Anthropomorphized Rabbit

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber. 5,063 posts (5,248 including aliases). 15 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 10 aliases.


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Garrett Larghi wrote:
Can any character voluntarily get hit? Lile drop their dex to ac? If so i think this might solve a problem or two

Biohacker does ranged attacks against allies as flat-footed, and melee as auto-hit, IIRC.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I think my difference is that mitigating damage is what I want to do. I want to be an unkillable juggernaut with DR, damage mitigation, evasion, and maxed Con. Throw on enough damage to make me relevant, plus enough skills to not embarrass myself, and I’m good.

Which option do you want to spend your points on that is fun for you?

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Dracomicron wrote:
I found that DR might not be worth it on an 8th level vanguard because I missed out on EP because it took damage from 17 kinetic to 9 kinetic.

DR scales as your level. 1 EP prevents damage equal to your level. It seems like this is just freeing up your reactions?

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

1. In a pinch, you can spend RP for EP, although I probably wouldn't until level 10 when the trade improves. (Though I do wish it were a swift action, since you really need those move actions.) It's not really an issue at 1st (EP just boosts your AC, which hitting somebody will also do). At level 2 and 3, getting hit is almost guaranteed to be enough damage. At 4th, you get another way to gain a starter EP, including "getting missed" or "charging".

2. That's going to take several levels to start happening, of course. If you're taking too much damage, you spend your points to mitigate it as much as possible. I mean… if you were any other class, you'd just be dead already. If you're not getting hit for enough, then you're taking less than 2 x level damage per hit. If you finish the fight before you get hit (4 + Con mod/2 + 1) times, then you don't touch your HP during the fight. So… seven or eight times for most of your career.

I think the aspect trait does help considerably, though, since the first point is the most important (+1 AC against targets you didn't hit, you start getting your free weapon properties, and you've got an emergency use). If it's a concern, at level 6 you can also get a point from getting hit with energy damage, and you get to roll to reduce the damage.

3. I'd honestly like for this to be an option for emergency use, but it's not. It's almost always a bad trade, but having it available would make for some nice cinematic moments on the very rare occasions that it's worth it.

4. This really doesn't seem like the case. Level 2 sets the general tone for EP: it takes 4 damage to get 1 EP, and 1 EP prevents 2 damage, so it would have been better if you hadn't been hit for 4+ damage. Earning EP by damage is not a good trade; it's a consolation prize. If you run up in combat, you're going to get damaged. Unlike other classes, you get something useful when you're damaged. It's like how Solarian doesn't want combat to run long (that's more party resources spent, after all), but they're the only class that gets some consolation prize for a long combat, charging up a big ability.

I do feel that the need for at least 1 EP to turn on a lot of abilities means that your aspect "has" to be one that gives you an early EP pretty easily.

But, I also haven't had a chance to actually playtest this, so all I can offer is armchair analysis.

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Personally, I'd also like the tradeoff between "weapon" and "no weapon" to not lean too heavily towards weapon. That would take away some of the fun of the class if it's weaponless-but-not-really. As it stands, you need a weapon to make your attacks ranged or to add fusions. If the choice is "that or 25% of WBL", that's a fair choice to make. If it's "that or 5% of WBL", then I'm stuck wielding a rocket dagger or whatever again.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
EltonJ wrote:

There are a few ways you can spend your entropy points for the Vanguard. We've decided to use them to fuel entropic strikes for now. Anyone else house rule the way they spend Entropic strikes?

Wait… so you took an at-will ability, and gated it behind a limited resource? Or you took the primarily defensive limited resource and made it into an offensive boost for entropic strike?

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Figured I'd give this a shot! I've got a character who up until now hasn't been very easy to represent in Starfinder. Vanguard might be a better fit, so let's see!

- Looks human.
- Has black oil instead of his blood. He can control that oil, and produces it quickly.
- Is lazy and hasn't studied much.
- Pretty good at chemistry and biology.
- Knows enough computer stuff to make a mildly-unethical-but-legal living.
- Really weak-willed, and a sucker for monstrous women.
- A good cook.
- A charmer.

Nice to have build elements:
- Any of the external tricks he can do with his oil: climb speed, tentacles, etc.
- Incredibly hard to kill.
- Ludicrous Con score and stamina (both the game term and stuff that requires Con checks).
- Immunity to diseases and/or poisons from weird biology.
- Any of his signature skills: Cooking, chemistry, biology, schmoozing aliens and monsters, computers.
- Low wisdom and intelligence, good physical stats and charisma. Zack's a fool and a tool, but being able to control his blood while it's inside him makes him pretty strong and fast by means of self-puppeteering.
- Able to shrug off damage (especially physical) like it's nothing.

Okay, here we go!
Level 1:
Race: Human is the obvious choice here. I don't really have time to hunt through things that look human but reflect him better. The extra skill point is good for dumping Int, and the extra feat will allow for something like Toughness.

Theme: Xenoseeker is the one to beat here, since being able to hit on aliens despite a language barrier is a neat trick. So, let's take a look! Biotechnician's discount on bio implants is nice for building some of Zack's elements, but the Int focus and flavor aren't a great fit. He's a hobbyist biologist at best, not an actual lab worker. Cultist is actually pretty funny for him… not as good of a fit generally, but if the game features cults of an fitting entity, this is a good option. Xenoseeker it is!

Skills: 6 skills is great! With the one from human, we should be good with 10 Int. Class skills: Life Science, Medicine, Culture, Diplomacy… looking great! We'll progress Profession(Computer Services Huckster) as a Cha-based option for his work, and steal a rank from Medicine for a token rank in Computers. That leaves Acrobatics and Athletics. Chemistry is probably rolled in with Physical Science, sadly, so we'll just be leaving that one be, and sticking with biochem. Maybe trade Medicine for Bluff?

Saves: Bad will saves are a feature here. We'll see what can be done about them through other means later. Good Fort and Ref sounds good, though.

- Con as a key ability score is great.
- Entropic Pool: Getting hit at this level means a boost to AC. Nice, nice. Not being able to get points out of combat is sad, though, as is not being able to get points from a friendly creature's attack. Zack can't show off his powers to somebody, use them recreationally, in response to the environment, or for roleplaying purposes? Only combat? I'd like to suggest that outside of combat, points last until you gain or recover stamina or HP through any means, or maybe they only last for a minute.
- Entropic Strike: Con to damage? Heck yeah! The block property is a little weird for not stacking with the basic Entropic Pool effect, but it does mean that regardless of who hits whom, there's an AC boost. I get the reasoning behind tying the strike to weapons, I don't want to ruin the flavor by running around with a weapon just to modify my strikes. But that's fair- I save money, and miss out on ranged attacks, etc.
- Primary Vanguard Aspect: All right, getting to the weird philosophical stuff for the class. Let's go take a look. Before looking at them, I think the most relevant maneuvers are, in descending order: grapple, trip, and disarm. Dirty Trick would be included if it did anything. Skills are those already listed.
-- Adiabatic: Grapple and diplomacy? Awesome! … Generate entropy by not moving for two turns. On a melee class. I feel like I have to discard this for any game at 4+, because the extra way to generate entropy is so important. Aspect Finale is a good fit again, but that's 16+.
-- Boundary: Sunder? Ugh, just because I don't use equipment doesn't mean nobody should get to. With items only selling for 10%, though, maybe it's okay? The Perception bonus reminds me that I forgot to pay the Perception skill tax- I'll probably stick with it, though. Good way to generate EP, though.
-- Cascade: See above for Sunder. Acrobatics is more relevant to me. We'll have to see if I have AoE attack roll options?
-- Exergy: Bull rush and not one of his skills? Skip. That method for generating EP is one of the best on a melee class, though…
-- Inevitable: Bull rush with a relevant skill… but you generate points by actually using bull rush. Skip.
-- Inversion: Reposition isn't relevant to me, but medicine is. Hmm… possibly a decent EP option, depending on if I can find anything fitting for internal stamina regen.
-- Momentum: Bull rush again? Culture is good, though. EP by just… moving. Umm. Not great…?
-- Reaction: Dirty trick doesn't do anything (standard action for a chance to cost somebody a move), and Physical Science… but it's tied to chemistry, so that might convince me to switch Medicine. EP on condition infliction is decent, although actually using dirty trick to accomplish that seems like a waste.
Overall: This feature ties together a lot of unrelated things. My skill specialization is tied to my combat maneuver, which is tied to how I get EP. Chances are good I'll have to pick based on one of those, and disappointed in the other two isn't a good experience. To me, getting EP without using the outrageous exchange rates of "give up your crit for 1" or "spend one resolve for 1" is the most important, so my level one experience is "get two things you don't care about so that you don't feel bad from level 4 onward". Conclusion: if I think the game is going to die before it reaches level 4, take Adiabatic, and if I'm wrong, around level 3 tell the GM that I'm rethinking that choice and ask to change it. If I think we're going to hit level 4, though, go with Boundary or Exergy, unless I can get swift or reaction healing (Inversion) or a good way to inflict statuses (Reaction). For the purposes of this build, we're going with Boundary to start with.
Feats: Human means a low Dex if I still want to max Con. I should consider attack and defense boosters. Close Combat, Toughness, Weapon Focus, Spellbane. We'll go with Toughness and Spellbane, although passing up Close Combat is a shame. If Toughness didn't give a bonus to all sorts of Con and fort checks, or if Spellbane didn't address a poor will save while also boosting fort and ref saves, I'd be making another choice.

Zack Caligat, Xenoseeker Human Vanguard (Boundary) 1
Stats: 10 Str, 14 Dex, 18 Con, 10 Int, 10 Wis, 11 Cha
HP: 12, Stamina: 13
Skills: Acrobatics 1, Athletics 1, Computers 1, Culture 1, Diplomacy 1, Life Science 1, Profession (Computer Services Huckster) 1
Feats: Toughess, Spellbane
Attacks: Entropic Strike +3 vs. EAC (1d3+4) Bludgeoning and/or Acid

Level 2:
Mitigate: I really love this! Damage reduction is one of my favorite things to get Now we can start spending that EP. If we run out of stamina, we use these to protect HP.
Vanguard Discipline:
- Controlled Mental Degradation: Nice, a way to mitigate certain combat enchantments without protecting him from charm effects. The catch is… you can only use it when you're first hit. If they get you before you've taken damage, this doesn't do you any good. Too circumstantial? Hmm, maybe.
- Curative Deconstruction: Poison and disease resistance in one go, with no EP cost! Nice thematically, even if it's not mechanically a high priority with his saves.
- Evasion: An EP-free way to reduce damage taken? Nice!
- Friendly Fire: Love this, reducing friendly AoE with no cost.
- Systems Knowledge: Oh, pretty cool, a skill ability! Only usable 1/day out of combat, and only if you haven't needed it in combat (since you can't opt to spend the EP in combat if you haven't used it that day).
- Noteworthy skips include Flatten Bullets (a good mechanical fit, but I'd rather not be in heavy armor), Metabolic Stability (Diehard isn't worth spending anything on, especially with so much health/stamina)
Overall: Good selection! I feel like Controlled Mental Degradation is the price I pay for not wanting a good Wis score, but I can pay that at level 4. Level 2 is a flavor choice between Systems Knowledge (for skill focused), Curative Deconstruction (for flavor), and Evasion (the best of my selections mechanically).

Level 3:
Reactive: A nice perk, even if we can't use it for much yet. It does work nicely with Step Up, though.
Feat: Well, we can take Close Combat now if we want, but an extra reaction also makes Step Up very tempting (as about half the benefit of the benefit of Step Up and Strike is included). Our next feat will be at 5, when the good feats start. However, Reactive is limited per day, so we'll go with the more defensive and more consistent use option of Close Combat for now.
+ 3.5 damage is nice!

Level 4:
Vanguard Discipline: Spoken for already- Mental Degradation, as a result of my choice to neglect Wis.
Aspect Embodiment: The first miss now gives one EP. Nice! Looks like Evasion would be a pretty good choice, and I don't feel strongly about Systems Knowledge. We'll be counting on good Fort saves to give us the flavor of resistance to poison and disease for now, though.

Level 5:
Stat boosts: Sweet, sweet stat boosts! The long wait always makes me miss PF2's stat generation method. Str, Dex, and Cha all get +2, while Con gets +1.
Feat: Enhanced Resistance for DR! Zack finally gets a reliable means of reducing damage. Full BAB is great for this.
Entropic attunement: Ooh, plenty of options here. Extinguish and Gravitation can be discarded out of hand as being too pricey.
- Extinguish. One EP per attack? No thanks.
- Gravitation. Move a target towards me with a melee attacks, and pay for it? No thanks.
- Breach. I'd love this, but since it can't be used outside of combat, no thanks. Opening doors in a fight almost requires the GM to set a perfect scenario up for this to be worth having.
- Feint. Eh…
- Force. This one is neat.
- Penetrating. This would be nice to be able to use outside of combat, but bonus damage against constructs is nice, and I think it's a good flavor fit too (with an oil attack seeping through). Picking this one, but again, requesting a way to get EP for use outside of combat.
+1 damage is nice!

Level 6:
+3.5 damage is nice!
Vanguard Discipline:
- Energize: Oh man, this is amazing! Get EP and reduce damage once per short rest? That's what I'm here for!
- Uh. That's it. Blindsense is cool, but I really can't think of a thematic reason for the character to have it. Vanguard Ferocity is something I'd take and be happy about flavor-wise, but I'd rather have a third level 2 ability over an ability that only triggers on hitting 0 hp (unless it lets my stabilize for free).

Level 7:
Feat: Climbing Master gives me that climb speed I wanted.
Uncanny Agility: Nice, circumstantial AC bonuses. I won't look a gift horse in the mouth, as this isn't the only feature for the level.
Entropic attunement, redux: Ooh, crit effects! Knockdown, staggered, and scaling corrosive. Honestly, all good; I could go with any of these.

Level 8:
+2 damage is nice!
Vanguard Discipline:
- Vanguard Ferocity is flavorful. I have a lot of health, though.
- Looks like here is where it's time to take that Curative Deconstruction.
Secondary Vanguard aspect (insight): Will the game reach level 17? … Honestly, that's not as much of a concern, I think, so I can pick just for the maneuver and skill. Adiabatic it is, unless I really need a better culture modifier.

Level 9:
+1.5 damage is nice!
Reactive for a second time per day.
Feat: Kind of running out of ones I really want in order to accomplish character build goals, but there are plenty of things like Weapon Focus, Extra Resolve, Step Up (especially with a second Reactive), skill feats, etc. I'm going to stop including feats on my listings now, though, because they're not very important.

Level 10:
+2 damage (from Str) is nice!
Stat boosts: Sweet, sweet stat boosts! Same as before, bump everything but Int and Wis.
Improved exchange rate from resolve to EP: At this point, I'm pretty happy to spend a point of resolve in the opening round.
Entropic Attunement (reach): Whoa, nice! I like it.
Vanguard Disipline:
- Improved Evasion: Nice, solid upgrade. Taking this one!
- Road Hazard: Okay, this is mostly just style. But it's a lot of style.
- Clothesline: Cool, but would be nicer with a trip aspect. As it stands, it wants two feats Improved Maneuver (Trip) and Step Up.
- The other stuff… Blindsight is great, but not the character's style, and Drain Heat is decent but eliminated for style reasons as well. Break Fall really feels like a shame; it's substantially worse than a level 1 spell that most casters know because it's the undercast version of one of the most useful spells in the game.

Level 11:
+2 damage is nice!
Flashing Strikes: All right, I'll think about making full attacks.

Level 12:
+1.5 damage is nice!
Aspect Catalyst: Completely forgot about this. Let's see what I get… Oh, that's right, the catalysts are a cool idea, and nicely implemented. Looks like… allies get to use Mitigate. Ooh, I like it! The improved version where everybody gets twos is nice because it gives you something to use after its drained all your EP. This is the first time I've felt really happy and satisfied with my aspect choice.
Vanguard Discipline: Clothesline on this one, probably. It also speaks for level 9 and 11 feats, possibly Step Up and Strike at 13. Road Hazard is acceptable for style points.

Level 13:
+3.5 damage is nice!
Attunement: Better reach and 2 EP for blast (20ft.) Nice! Both pretty cool.

Level 14:
+3.5 damage is nice!
Vanguard Discipline:
- Arrest: Hmm. I think I'd prefer attacking. The level 18 upgrade is nice. Any chance this can get some damage or something, Black Tentacles style?
- Poison Inured: Hey, poison immmunity! Good flavor choice for my character, and the radiation resistance is a nice addition. Presumably, reducing medium radiation to light doesn't make you immune to it, though.
- Quick Quaff: Wut. Level 14, and we get quick draw for serums? Whatever, there are other options.
- Reflexive Shield: Hmm. A weaker version of Mitigate, but it works on allies, you can spend extra to further reduce it, and you can still gain EP if you don't reduce it enough. That said, it reduces AoE attacks for everybody. Yeah, I'd say this is nice to have.
Conclusion- Not sure on the oder, but Reflexive Shield and Poison Inured.

Level 15:
Stat boosts: Sweet, sweet stat boosts! Unless the game is going to see much level 20 play, it might be time to consider boosting Int and Wis instead of Dex and Con.
+3.5 damage is nice!
Reactive +1/day. Good to get- by now, even my build has a lot of things that could use this.
Uncanny speed: Oh wow, this is really nice! Movement during a full attack.

Level 16:
+3.5 damage is nice!
Aspect Finale: I don't really expect to reach this point of the game, but let's see what we get for it. Oh, excellent! Mitigate is one of my favorite tools, and having it last all turn is great! Boundary seems like a great fit overall; it's just a shame that the unrelated level 1 features don't do anything for the character.
Entropic Attunement: more reach, bigger blast, free AoE attack. Man, that's nice- very stylish too.
Vanguard discipline: We're just picking up whatever we didn't get at 14, Poison Inured or Reflexive Shield. Neither are going to do a whole lot over these last couple levels, at least with Boundary and Curative Deconstruction.

Level 17:
+3.5 damage is nice!
Second Aspect Embodiment: Probably useless. I took the first part nine levels ago, with incentive to select something where I didn't care about this. In my case, I get an EP for standing still for two rounds on a melee build that moves as a reaction. It would effectively be a dead feature.

Level 18:
+3.5 damage is nice!
Vanguard Discipline:
- Absolute Zero: Hmm. Interesting. Not something my character would take (cold damage isn't really on-theme), but it's… interesting.
- Internal Resevoir: Oh wow… I mean, this is what I wanted, a way to use abilities outside of combat. But… waiting until 18? It's nice that it's free with a short rest, at least. I'd still take it, but it feels like a tax just to get around the weird limitations the class encounters.
- Living Effigy: Nice! … Also not something that fits the flavor with its other energy damage. But, the only time that matters is level 20.

Level 19
+3.5 damage is nice!
Agent of Change: Awwwwww yeah! 3 EP to start combat with? *chef kiss*
Entropic Attunement: More reach, bigger blast, and… another level 5 ability. Flexible crit effect is nice, though. Really, though, Agent of Change is the star of the show, and would definitely stand on its own.

Level 20
Stat boosts: Just wrapping everything up here.
+3.5 damage is nice!
Invulnerability: Wow. One fight per day, no conditions, no crits, all the reactions you could possibly use, and no weapon bonuses against you.
Vanguard Discipline: If I actually reached here, I'd be a little sad about needing to suddenly take a fire or cold energy damage option. Not actually concerned, but just providing that feedback.

Other stuff:
Not needing to spend money on a weapon is nice. More money for armor, bio-enhancements, and the like. Of course, needing a way to reach opponents is pretty big, so that's its own expenditure. Don't really have time for shopping analysis, though.

Overall, very solid improvement to my ability to represent Zack in Starfinder.
- Good niche. Full BAB defensive class, gets good skills, Con focus.
- Doesn't need to spend a bunch on weapons.
- Good range of defense choices.
- Catalysts are great.
- For this build, a couple points where disciplines ran a little dry. Only level 18 had nothing that didn't contribute to the character concept, though.
- Some space dedicated to disciplines that feel pretty weak for their level. Partial fall damage reduction at level 10,
- Aspect Insight at level 1 doesn't really tie to the aspect, so picking something you like for your character career gives you stuff you don't care about at level 1.
- Combat-only abilities, especially ones that are primarily useful out of combat. In general, though, you should be able to creatively apply combat abilities; evocations aren't restricted to combat even though they're mostly useful there.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Mostly, I'm hoping it keeps the charm/suggestion type spells, since I find them very fitting on a charisma class.

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
atr4jc wrote:
I was mildly surprised to see no Psionic classes at all in the new playtest. I was wondering with Lashuntas labeled as "gifted physic" in the Core Rule book that Psionics would be a pretty early addition.

We already have Mystic, a class with a mindlink and telepathic bond (whose casting can be psychic if you want it to be), and the explicitly psychic Phrenic Adept archetype.

"Psychic" (something Pathfinder represented with spontaneous casting classes) is not "psionic" (point-based casting system that Paizo did not use). Somebody else has that covered, though.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I noticed while looking over Biohacker that it's got some similarities to Operative. 3/4 BAB class with built-in debuffing.

I'm going to make the following assumption in my comparison: you can ignore theorems and exploits in the comparison. They're both traded by archetypes, and if any particular exploit or theorem is needed to make the chassis competitive, it's too much of a tax. I'm also only looking at Int-based Biohacker, as it's the most comparable. I'm still bringing a hefty amount of bias to the table, so get your grains of salt ready.

Level 1:
Operative: 10-12 skills, Dex primary, +1 to skills, trick attack (~55% for +1d4, +2 attack), two good saves (one of which is beastly)
Damage: 1d4 + 55% of 1d4

Biohacker: 10 skills, Int primary, +4 to Perception/Sense Motive, +1 to attack, basically two good saves (and starts with effective +2 will), 5/day debuff for two rounds of -2 AC or a couple other options, or +2 to skills for a couple rounds. Plus, a cool scanner.
Damage: 1d6

Wow! That's WAY closer than I thought! The ability to use Int for will saves and the two Wis skills means you can be as skill-focused as a Dex-focused Operative. You've got a more reliable attack bonus, but you're stuck with worse weapons. You're more party-friendly, but stuff like your skill bonus is very limited in time. Your combat abilities are limited use, but trick attack has a limited chance of success.

Level 5:
Operative: Now doing serious damage, gets a fancy ability. Now provides 1-round debuffs on the level of what Biohacker's defaults are. Also, evasion, bonus move speed, and another +1 to all skills.
Damage: 1d8 + 2 + 55% of 3d8

Biohacker: Biohacker gets a 1/day super-debuff, and no longer has to worry so much about running out. Breakthroughs are mostly circumstantial, but the free use is good. If you want to load up the party, though, you're going to be spending down the durations of other ones pretty hard. Is it a problem for them to last long enough to generally assume they're up? Probably so, they'd need to knock down some of those bonuses hard.
Damage: 1d6 + 2

Biohacker is getting a little nervous now. Operative gets in on helping the party in combat, and Trick Attack is dishing out a lot of damage when it's successful. Biohacker has more uses of their injections, though, while Operative still has ~55-60% chance of succeeding at trick attack. Biohacker also has a possibly useful breakthrough at-will, and a 1/day ability.

How much better is Biohacker at debuffing? Sickened vs. off-target is probably a good example. -2 to hit is probably about the same as -2 to saves, and skills/damage aren't as big a deal. So, the debuff is about twice as good, and lasts longer (but takes resources to renew). Operative is about twice as good at damage, from the looks of things, so we're still okay.

Level 10:
Operative: Trick Attack is stronger, now effectively guaranteed. More movement, better skills. Is triple attack good? I don't know the math.
Damage: 2d6 + 5 + 5d8

Biohacker: Biohacker is now 2/day on the double debuff, gets a very, very small improvement to the scanner, gets another set of injections, and gains +1 attack.
Damage: 2d6 + 5

Here's where it seems like Biohacker really starts falling behind. Operative is more than twice as good at damage, and Biohacker is still only twice as good at debuffing. The duration doesn't matter much anymore, with Operative refreshing every hit.

Almost everything an Operative gets scales in power. Biohacker scales in options and uses, but a given round doesn't get more powerful outside of the accuracy bonus. That accuracy difference disappears when you give Operative an energy weapon (reflected in the damage), and with Trick Attack resolving against flat-footed AC.

Biohacker has more options, and nearly as many skills, so they probably shouldn't be doing as much damage as the Operative. But… as of level 7, Operative is doing way more damage, on top of being more mobile and doing about half as well at debuffing enemies. Biohacker's breakthroughs can be considered comparable to the 5th and 11th level unlocks of Operative. It feels to me like Biohacker needs to spend theorems just to avoid falling too far behind Oparative's chassis.

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

The core class feature is short-lived injections, lasting two to four rounds, eventually reaching four to nine rounds at level 20.

Every field of study gives you two injections that last a couple of rounds, and one injection that lasts a minute to an hour (with one exception to suppress diseases).

Your capstone has two "undo a condition" options, one instant damage option, and a one-hour duration option.

Biohacker theorems are where we get some options, so lets dig in!
2nd level:
- Aquatic Adaptation. (Although your old armor could let you breathe while underwater, but it probably isn't set up to let you breathe on land? The lack of amphibious really hurts this, as you have to wait right at the edge of the water for both ends of the switch.) That's definitely hacking biology, even if it's hours duration.
- Strange Anatomy. Not glamorous, but it's definitely a modification to yourself.
- Toxic Skin. (Expect arguments over armor.)
Assessment: Good! Enough to take biohacking stuff until the next batch of options. I'm kind of missing Alchemist's really out-there options, though. Grow a familiar on your body, add some arms, that kind of thing. Let's see if later levels give us more.

8th level:
Augmentation Upgrade. I missed this on a first glance- glad there's something that interacts with biotech mods. I feel like it would be nice to allow a free low-level mod if you don't already have one in there, or maybe a discount? I'm not sure how this should compare with Geneturge.
Assessment: Bad. There's only one biohacking option, and it's only useful to let you spend money on something. This is where it seems to really stop feeling like a biohacker. (As an added note, all this injections focus makes stuff like Quick Load feel mandatory and like it should be baked into the class. If you're going to make a class centered around short debuffs on low-damage weapons, I feel like you should give them the ability to use those together in combat without spending one of their options.)

14th level:
Liquid Bravery: Maybe? The flavor behind it as a side effect of everything else you've chugged rather than some sort of intentional neural tampering steals the thunder from this.
Assessment: Bad. This is as high as it goes, and the only self-modification is made to feel like an accident.

I may be holding the class to unreasonable standards for the start. You can spend half your theorems on hacking yourself, and we'll have more later. My major concern is how required you are to spend theorems to use your class features in combat. If you don't spend anything, it seems like your expected combat is six shots, 30 ft. range, with reduced damage, imposing one of six planned penalties each time.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

It’s eventually useful, but not in the same way that spell cache is until high levels. Which is okay, because if you get past a rough first level, you can start picking up once-per-person-per-day effects to pad out your adventuring day.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

the 10th level ability is an "or." You can only increase one of those things.

At 19th level it's "each." You can adjust all of them at the same time.

I'm making a note to look at the wording.

Thanks! That would have taken a while. Skimming, I actually just assumed that it had been upgraded to a two-step change.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

1-3: I don't think difficult terrain is that useful. You have to spend a standard action for it, and the small radius at low level means you don't get much for it. It's not useless, but it's certainly not on the level of making people forget they were enchanted.

4-6: Basically no change. Needing to change the damage type of an environmental hazard is a once-per-campaign situation. Want to use it for something creative, like cooling lava so it hardens? That's not "explicitly stated", so it doesn't work.

7-9: Cover! Seriously seal a door to buy a little time! Very minor pit trap! This is where it finally starts pulling its weight.

10-12: Bigger radius is great, and you can use it to buy a little protection from the elements if your suit can't handle it. You can inconvenience creatures without spacesuits.

13-15: Silence doesn't stop casters, so this mostly just adds to the inconveniencing of creatures without spacesuits.

16-18: This is where it gets pretty cool! A whole range of effects, some weak damage, and it's got a larger radius?

19-20: I don't know how much getting all the effects is better than getting the most important effect. Maybe gravity helps hold them in the radiation better?

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I do not care for "Thingamancer" naming scheme outside of Erfworld.
Biohacker is nice, since that's the actual term that's sprung up, although I wish they got more abilities in line with biohacking (i.e. permanent changes).

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The Sideromancer wrote:
Atmospheric data won't tell you much, if nothing important happened. If some planet undergoes terraforming/an energy revolution/a nuclear war, it's going to start showing up on the spectrograph.

Sure. That leaves some significant room for debate over what the spectrograph readings mean. I imagine that’s up to GMs, though. It’s pretty easy to introduce discrepancies in if you want, since one of the first things people will do is FTL jump to get readings from different time slices. I might be inclined to have atmospheric data be one of the few things you can use (on most planets; Aucturn doesn’t giv consistent data even outside the gap looking through ordinary telescopes). Other GMs might ignore it or have discrepancies.

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There’s only so much meaningful information you can get from light years away. I expect at least Golarion is fuzzed, but most other planets? Sure, you can see back into the gap, but atmospheric data is only going to tell you so much. Any powerful directed sophant-made radio signals aimed at another system are treated like any other record.

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In Pathfinder’s time, there are alien civilizations with most of Starfinder’s technology. (The exception is easy FTL; that’s new.)

If it was just a matter of having souls with the right information show up, daemons in Pathfinder would all be using much more efficient killing methods.

It’s all filtered by perceptions or culture or something, though. If a character from Pathfinder’s Golarion planeshifts to Heaven’s public-access city, they’re going to find lots of human visitors, some dwarves and elves, and so on, and probably a higher concentration of aasimar, but it’s not going to be vesk and sentient slugs. The advanced alien races of Pathfinder’s time don’t have azatas showing up with bows and arrows.

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I'm eagerly awaiting a book with one or more new classes. Right now, I really just keep ending up wanting to play Operative. A charisma-based caster might help a little there.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Igor Horvat wrote:
Sorcerers should auto-highten spells by default. All of them.

They tried this with early playtests. It wasn't a good experience.

- If you auto-heighten everything, you "have" to pick spells that heighten. If a low-level spell doesn't heighten, why would you take it and have fewer options?
- It ended up leading to choice paralysis during combat (the worst time to slow things down).

(You can see a different solution in 5e's design. No restrictions on heightening, but seriously restricted spells known; Sorcerer eventually gets fewer than one spell known per level.)

Anyway, I like bloodline heightening as a feat. That way, bloodlines don't have to focus on which of their spells can be heightened, and just pick appropriate spells. If it's not worth it, you don't take the feat.

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Really happy to see wild-shape Druid getting a boost across the board, even if you're a different order!

Also, love the different feels of the Paladin reactions.

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Just a thought as I'm reading this:
Greater Field Discovery for Poisoner seems like a level one ability that you would just forget about. You can apply a poison to your hand if you don't have a weapon.
- Why would you not have a weapon at level 13? I get that it allows a touch attack, but you're giving up weapon damage for that and you lose out on the accuracy of a weapon.
- This can reasonably be accomplished by wearing a gauntlet or even a thick glove.

I'd suggest allowing drawing and applying a poison with the same action, or allowing a poison to work for multiple attacks, or something like that.

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Alchemaic wrote:
zer0darkfire wrote:
shaventalz wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Instead of mitigating Burn with Gather Power you use it to boost your stats.
Does it stack with a stat belt and elemental overflow?
Gather Might is just +2 to all physical stats for every point of burn reduction you would have gotten instead. It only lasts until the end of your turn though. "Maximum of +10 when spending a full round plus a move action to gather might with the supercharge class feature".
On a mechanical level I get why it only lasts until the end of your turn, but I'm still super disappointed you can't beef up and stay in your boosted form for the duration of a fight. Maybe if it was "you gain these bonuses until rounds/level pass or you take a point of burn". I just want to be a super saiyan for reals, you know?

There are a few fun or cinematic tricks.

- Gather up strength for two rounds to lift the gate up for a moment, as everybody has readied an action to run through.
- Make a noisy distraction with gather energy, then use your boosted Dex for a stealth check to hide.
- Ratchet up the DC of Suffocate or Splash of the Styx, or boost Telekinetic Maneuvers. I haven't checked through the Kinetic Invocation list, but I suspect there will be some there.

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zer0darkfire wrote:
Cruel Illusion wrote:

Are there interesting new options for kineticists?

Sorry, I forgot to answer this one before. Yes, there are some new options, but just some feats and infusions.

There is a feat that lets you use burn as a ki pool, a feat that changes gather power to instead buff all your physical attributes (to a max of +10!), an kinetic fist type infusion that lets you do some weird debuffs by blocking an enemies chakras (Basically the opposite of opening them), an infusion that gives you an unchained monk style strike, a fire infusion that causes everyone to see the target with true seeing for 1 round, a water kinetic fist infusion that lets you make a free trip or reposition maneuver against damaged targets, an air kinetic fist infusion that lets you 5ft step after each punch, and an earth kinetic fist infusion that increases your DR by 1 for each hit.

I gotta chime in to say that while most of these are focused towards the Monk/Kineticist overlap, the one that buffs your physical attributes for a round is awesome and great for all kinds of Kineticists. It lets you pump up the DCs of your offensive utility talents, or just boost your accuracy (and damage) a little. Very versatile!

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The Occultist archetype is really cool. You use improvised weapons really well (getting something like a swift action version of the transmutation implement power), and you invest focus on the fly (it drains out slowly, although you get a bit extra to make up for this). You even get some flexible spellcasting later, but you're trading out the full circles set of abilities and it can burn through your focus.

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Wow, this sounds quite nice! I'm looking forward to checking out the new styles and the Style Shifter in particular!

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

As somebody who is excited for Druma content, this is awesome for me! It’s a very useful nation for coming up with character backgrounds.

The passion project nation books have been excellent all around. Can’t wait to check this one out.

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Bargain Hunter seems pretty great to me.
- Get the crafting discount, but while you're shopping.
- Use diplomacy as your "profession".

It lets diplomacy/charisma characters be as good at earning money as the Wizard, and neatly rolls in shopping downtime.

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In PF1, you could play a negative energy Cleric of Pharasma. There were a lot of negative energy options you could take that a reasonable GM should probably consider switching your powers off if you used them. Even healing undead should probably get some serious attention.

Lamashtu is now in a similar situation, but it’s a little more reasonable- channeled positive energy doesn’t have demon-smiting baked into it.

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I definitely recommend the book. It's been a little while since I've gone over it, but it does an excellent job of fleshing out the practicalities of living in a nation that's been ruled by immortal servants of an evil god of pain and torture for thousands of years. It makes distinctions between how people act in the highly-supervised urban areas vs. in rural communities. How do crops work in an area that receives very little sunlight? It addresses communities of fetchlings, as well as how they're viewed, covers the major political players and factions, and goes into why people would choose to live in Nidal.

There's not much crunch that I can recall (certainly nothing like archetypes), no parody, and I don't think there was anything all that squicky.

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Seoni has the old version of Ancestral Surge listed on her sheet, so I really though Sorcerers had gotten kicked in the ribs on this one. But no, the actual version is a lot better. Before, I was mainly eying Ancestral Surge as a way to trigger Magical Striker for just one action.

However, additional powers seem like a generally poor investment. It's more options for a very limited resource (one that could also be spent on boosting items).

Just armchair analysis, though.

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Ooh, love the feat for the I-can't-believe-it's-not-a-familiar! (It doesn't have any scaling, and you'll probably want to spend an armor slot holding it safely out of combat.)

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All right. Just had the second player drop, which dips us below the players to reasonably run things with, even with a GMPC.

We'll be looking at the game again when it comes out.

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Alexander Augunas wrote:
2) Whomever ordered the art of Quid getting baleful polymorphed into a rat is the best kind of genius. Props!

Sorry, I'm getting what now?

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MartiniPhilosopher wrote:
You only get one chance to make a first impression.

Eh… I feel like Paizo's got about four chances to make a "first impression" on me. There's the start of the playtest, obviously, but I'm going to go re-evaluate at the end of the playtest. Already, one of my middle concerns has been resolved. I don't really expect my biggest concern to be resolved in the playtest update document, but if it is, Paizo's managed to make a good first impression on me with the playtest.

When the final product finally comes out, how could I not go check it out again with an open mind? The core book PDF is going to be extremely cheap for what I'm getting. Finally, I'll have to reassess my opinion after a year and a half or so, once there are a couple books out. I can't stand PF1 core-only, so I'll give PF2 the same fair shake of introducing at least its equivalent of the APG. Starfinder was even able to win me over without introducing new classes, just by fleshing out the gear and feat selections, and patching up some rules issues. That doesn't mean that I'll like it at the end, but it's got a couple of goes first.

I might be an outlier in terms of how many times I'll reassess from scratch, but I think the people who won't even give the final product a fair shake aren't going to be the norm either.

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I’m pretty happy with this update because it supports a more substantial base. It’s much easier for them to bake in something like a skinwalker or kitsune’s shapeshifting. With high-level feats, a magical tail feat chain is possible.

It’s also nice to have distinctive elves. In PF1, they never really stood out much to me.

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42nfl19 wrote:

So this has been probably been mentioned before but is it intended that a half-elf won't be able to access the new Elf Step Ancestry feat(lvl 9)? For an elf to get it they would need the Fleet general feat and the Nimble ancestry feat. 30+5+5=40. The old Half-elf ancestry feat could get it by getting the Half-elf feat, Nimble feat, and Fleet feat. 25+5+5+5=40. Now the new Half-elf has no dreams of getting it. 25+5+5=35. Out of all the feats, this is one of the few that does not require a previous feat per say but a stat requirement that can only be reached by certain feats. Maybe there is an item that can boost your speed but I feel sad for Half-elfs that want to go fast.

Is this an intended balance from Paizo or an oversight? Would be interesting to know. I rather be told it was a "nerf" then stay up wondering if this was an error.

Half-orc got access to five new feats. Half-elf got access to six, but one of them is hard to access (it's class-locked for now).

The feat also doesn't make you go fast. It's just letting you five-foot-step twice with one action. I don't really know why folks would want to take it at all, given the rarity of needing to take a five-foot-step in the system, compounded by the rarity of needing to immediately take a second one.

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Vic Ferrari wrote:
dnoisette wrote:

- Terrain variations should not be heritage feats for specific ancestries.

An Arctic Elf and Snow Goblin and exactly the same, mechanically. This is because adapting to a specific environment is not something restricted to some races, anyone can do it.
These terrain heritages should become available to all ancestries and the ones that have them should receive REAL heritage feats instead, something that pertains to their ancestry and their ancestry only.
Yes, elemental and environmental variants should be open to any race (jungle gnome, fire elf, whatever). I am on the fence about Planetouched.

I'd rather not have this. If you're playing Reign of Winter, then arctic elf is the best choice for elf. I don't want it to be the best choice for every single character regardless of their race; that's just going to get boring.

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David knott 242 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Is "Multitalented" supposed to be a *human* feat or a *half-elf* specific feat? It feels like there is a tag missing there since "good at multiclassing" was always a half-elf thing, less so a "standard human" thing.

It is definitely a human feat.

A weird thing I noticed in this update is that it has absolutely no new Half-Elf ancestry feats.

That's probably intentional. Half-Elves get access to Human and Elf feats, so they got six new feats (more like five, since one of them is difficult to access). The most any other option got was five (Goblin and Half-Orc).

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Marco Massoudi wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Well that is a depressing thought:(

It is.

Supposedly june's campaign setting book will be about "Druma"...

Oh man, that's great! I've found the Kalistrocracy really handy for character backstories.

Concordance of Rivals will also be really nice to give the neutral outsiders some more attention. Having some content for folks with connections to Proteans will be interesting.

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Ooh… Waiting for the 17th to roll around so I can check out the new playable races!

To anybody who has the book, I'm just curious if there's any cool player option you like in particular, apart from the races?

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There's no good third-level alternative to Magic Armor if you need your hands for something other than a stave. My archery Wizard has nothing to pick- there isn't even an out of combat stave he can use. Second-level items are very limited, and I think first is just consumables.

My goodness is it unbelievably frustrating to have to hunt through alphabetized items with mixed consumables and permanent items of all levels. It's a miserable experience, up there with hunting for PF1 items on a high-level character, and this is only 4th level.

I ended up with a scroll of a spell I can already cast, an item that lets me cast a weaker version of a spell I have prepared, bracers of armor, and a healing potion. I'm not going to be touching my resonance, because I couldn't find an item that used it for anything I wanted.

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Cool! It seems rather unfair that spontaneous casters get two cantrips, while prepared casters get two cantrips that can be changed daily from four options. I'm guessing the extra trained skill is there for? I guess with the larger untrained penalty, that's a much bigger deal now!

The higher level spells, though, seem very imbalanced between the two.

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Tiefling (with various heritages)

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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.

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(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."


The book is poorly organized and unintuitive, its inefficient despite this attempt at new fun dnd5e style pick-and-go options. It makes you hunt and flip through the book as opposed to a logical progression.

Like, i cant help but compare it to World of Darkness games, Werewolf the Apocalypse in particular. The books lay out things so well that its very easy for a novice to learn. Theres even a page that lists out basically a giant checklist of everything you need to make a character and where in the book to find the information for a certain category. It's easy as hell.

its like, if i could have a visual metaphor
this is how wod is:
(Basic flowchart.)
this is PF:
(Complex flowchart.)


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.

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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.


But that's the main problem I have so far with PF2: it feels like a clone of 5th edition, apart from the fact that they punish you with a glut of trap options and make it less fun throughout. See also how Ancestries work, or Languages, or the difficulty actually reaching target numbers (both skills and attacks) at level-appropriate DCs. They made it unfun to play the game. Company is the only reason why I'm still in the playtest, to be honest. You're lovely people and that's worth a lot.

I'd almost take Assurance (Stealth) to sneak around in plate armour, but monster perception at level 1 was already too good to make it worthwhile, even with Expert Stealth. I'm heavily a skill/background focused player in RPGs, and this is so discouraging. I just cannot connect with characters as they appear on paper after I translate the story seeds I have in mind. Too many things are non-functional.

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.

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David knott 242 wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
I’d love to hear what the new eidolon subtypes are!

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks! Sounds like some cool additions- looking forward to checking them out myself on the 19th!

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I’d love to hear what the new eidolon subtypes are!

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A Bard should be able to charm people, heal people, and create illusions.
A Bard should not be able to sling fireballs or turn into a dinosaur.

A spell list has been created to satisfy those constraints, and it’s called the occult spell list.

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