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I'm using SoP and SoM both in Zeitgeist, and the party's currently at level 3. And at least in my game, it is the only magic system. Paizo classes are still allowed (except for Mediums with Shared Seance), but I do require casters to use a spheres archetype.


I know the body of the spell says "This is a polymorph effect", but it's vague what it's referring to. Is the entire spell a polymorph effect? Or is only the physical transformation that works like polymorph a polymorph effect?


James Jacobs wrote:
That's a coincidence. Certainly there's nothing in Tyrant's Grasp that is an attempt to give an in-game explanation of the rules changes. It's moving the world's storyline forward, but the rules themselves? Those changes are in large part meant to be invisible in-world. We can and will tell the same stories in 2nd edition that we did in 1st edition or in the 3.5 version of Golarion.

I mean, you could make the same argument with the 2e-3e transition and Die Vecna Die!. But being able to tell the same stories doesn't mean everything's identical. For instance, bards will still be able to buff their parties, but they'll be finding that the performance works a bit differently, which is exactly what DVD described with spells.


I looked up the Crow thing again. The staircase from B24 to B25 is the one I was thinking of, where it's left-handed on the 2nd floor, but right-handed on the 1st floor. B5 to B6 is also weird, where the best way to put it is that the 2nd and 3rd floor repeat each other. Each floor is half of a loop, where the 1st and 4th floors both have a left half and the 2nd and 3rd floors both have a right half. And if I were really feeling nitpicky, I could also point out that the staircase between B14 and B15 shouldn't connect at all, but an undrawn corner feels much less notable than the handedness of a spiral staircase changing between floors.

And I'll grant that this is insanely nitpicky to point out in general, and most people probably wouldn't notice. But this sort of eldritch architecture is exactly the sort of thing you notice when you're recreating maps in Dungeonfog to make them easier to import in Roll20.


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Zi Mishkal wrote:
So, is it me or is the grid for the map of Roslar's Coffer on p4 skewed? The vertical lines, in particular, seem to not be equally spaced. I'm finding it next to impossible to grab and drop it in roll20.

I'm suddenly reminded of the Crow in Shattered Star, which must have been designed by Groetus, since there's a spiral staircase that switches which direction it spins each floor.


Tectorman wrote:

Based on my understanding, you didn't miss anything. There is no distinction between small and medium races in terms of what weapons they can use. A gnome can use a greatsword exactly as well as a half-orc. He'll still have problems with a large-sized creature's weapons, but only the same problems that the half-orc would also have.

And thank God they did this. I enjoy 5E, but I don't touch small size races on sheer principle due to how they have them interact with Heavy weapons.

Small creatures are already penalized because of low strength, while large creatures are already boosted because of high strength. I've never understood the need for different dice depending on size. It just seems counterintuitive, especially when you consider that small creatures get a bonus to hit.

If you scale two creatures up or down in size, but change nothing else, their hit rates stay the same because of that bonus. But apparently, kaiju kill each other faster than normal-sized lizards, because their massive size deals more damage.


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Squeakmaan wrote:
So am I correct in seeing what I believe to be a reference to D&D or some similar tabletop RPG in The Clerk's Lounge of Salighara's Scriptorium?

Not necessarily. I just read it as literally being about dice and card games. Things like Yahtzee, craps, or rummy. Although it definitely wouldn't be unreasonable to include things like Humans & Households manuals.


I definitely agree that that's probably the intended ruling. My issue is that there's no indication that "doesn't need to meet the prerequisites" also includes the conditions within the Benefit section, especially when there's specifically a line called Prerequisites. Although it's an odd corner case in general, since as far as I'm aware, it's the only case where a class or archetype ignores the prerequisites on a bonus feat that uses the prerequisites as part of the benefit. It would be like if TWF wasn't an option at all without the TWF feat, then a class gave Double Slice as a bonus feat.


But the target has to be a subject of your mesmerizing stare. And since you don't have bold stare, you can't get psychic inception, meaning you can't affect mindless creatures with it, meaning you can never benefit from the feat.


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The Vexing Daredevil archetype for the Mesmerist gets Greater Mesmerizing Feint as a bonus feat, except they trade away Bold Stare, so this should do nothing. Notably, there's even an asterisk as if there should be a footnote explaining it, but it goes nowhere.

So how does the interaction work / how is it supposed to work?


So to summarize, the official rules are:

* Spells targeting yourself always bypass SR

* Someone else casting a spell on you from the necromancy school proper needs to overcome SR

* Someone else casting a biomancy spell, referring to that subset of AD&D/5e/PF2e's necromancy school that briefly became conjuration [healing] in 3.5 and PF1e, only needs to deal with SR if the spell says they need to

* Dhampir and other things with negative energy affiliation have to deal with the obol limiting their healing

And as two common sense houserules, but houserules nonetheless:

* The obols ward against whichever of positive and negative energy harms you

* Inflict spells used to heal always bypass SR

So overall, a dhampir would still be a bit more difficult by RAW, but at least if you're the one playing healer, it shouldn't be as bad.


KingTreyIII wrote:
Also, REALLY out-of-nowhere, but am I the only one who imagines Mictena as having a Mexican accent—she’s based on Calavera iconography for Día de los Muertos, so it kinda makes sense...

Considering I'd be planning on making her personality similar to Mamá Imelda... No, no you aren't.

Also, the name's supposed to just be Día de Muertos, no "los", or at least that's the page name on the Spanish Wikipedia. See, Spanish is fine with using an adjective directly as a noun. English isn't, and the equivalent of a plural adjective meaning "those who are X" is "the X". Hence, "of the dead" not "of deads". The version with "los" is technically just a backformation that mimics the English translation.

Ron Lundeen wrote:
KingTreyIII wrote:
KingTreyIII wrote:

(I've read literally everything in Book 1 EXCEPT the actual adventure itself, so take what I say with a grain of salt)

I noticed a weird thing: It says that the obols give SR against necromancy, but it also gives false life (a personal-only spell) as an example of the SR being detrimental to the players, but anyone who knows anything about SR knows that an individual's SR isn't applied against that person's own spells on themselves (e.g. a faerie dragon wouldn't inherently need to roll against its own SR when casting a scroll of false life). Thoughts?

Bump Now that I know that Ron is actually checking this thread I would like a bit of insight from the Dev on this weird situation.
Yes, false life is probably a bad example. Better to use, say, death ward.

What about dhampir and Inflict Wounds? It seems unfair that they should be the only ones who have to deal with SR on healing spells, especially since the only reason every other playable race doesn't have to deal with the obols interfering with healing is that 3.5 and PF 1e (as opposed to AD&D, D&D 5e, and PF 2e) decided healing should be a conjuration subschool, instead of necromancy.

EDIT: Especially considering how fitting dhampir are for another Whispering Way AP.


My group actually uses Spheres of Power, so a Dual Channeler Soul Weaver with a magical tradition made to mimic divine casting as a Pharasmin cleric. Personality-wise, she's a creepy goth chick who nonetheless served as a healer and spiritual guide after the Twisted Nail attacked, and, depending on rulings about the obols, is preferably a dhampir.

Imagine a cleric except: spellcasting in general is weaker (vaguely comparable to 2/3 casters), you only have d6s, you don't get domains, you have 5+Cha+1/2*Lv uses of channel, your magic is Cha-based, you get Versatile Channeler for free, you ignore the -2 ECL penalty from that feat, you can ignore alignment and deity restrictions on channeling feats, and you can eventually mix and match channel types. "Oh, there's a crowd of living creatures? I'll just channel positive energy at my allies and negative energy at my enemies."

The closest 1st party equivalent would probably be a Pharasmin Cleric with Versatile Channel and the Death and Healing domains. Possibly multiclassing into Holy Vindicator after 6-8 levels of Cleric.


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Alenvire wrote:
I deleted my whole post cause I realized you just meant they could not do it as a swift action but that they could still heal themselves with touch of corruption. lol

Yep. Lay on hands? People will want to use that, so you can use it on yourself as a swift. Touch of corruption? What sort of masochist would use it on themself? I mean, you can, but it's still a standard action. Cure Wounds? It'd be annoying to have to deal with SR for healing, so SR only applies if you're attacking the undead with it. Inflict Wounds? I mean, it's a semi-useful combat spell used by evil clerics, so you always deal with SR. Cure Wounds? I mean, I know you're manipulating life energy, but necromancy sounds too evil. Let's just move healing to a conjuration subschool. Inflict Wounds? Evil. Totally evil. Necromancy is fine.

Except those last two questions don't apply to D&D 5e or PF 2e, because they move healing back to necromancy like in AD&D. So if you blindly converted this to one of those systems, you'd encounter SR for any healing whatsoever.

Barring a designer saying it being important that it wards against negative energy, I would just take a more fluid, common-sense approach. The obol wards against whichever type of energy hurts you, and SR doesn't kick in against Inflict spells used to heal, like how Cure spells only have SR when used to damage.


neonWitch wrote:
One of my players has informed me that they wish to play a dhampir, and the obols seem like they could make what would normally be a very campaign and region appropriate race very difficult. Not only does it leach off any spells cast on them that could heal them, it also gives SR against all of the inflict spells.

At least with the SR, I would just rule that inflict spells bypass it. There's a general trend where abilities will be written asymmetrically where positive and negative energy are involved. For example, most things can benefit from positive energy, so paladins can use lay on hands on themselves as a swift action. But most things that can get class levels are harmed by negative energy, so by RAW, even if they're a dhampir or juju zombie, an antipaladin can't use touch of corruption on themselves as a swift action.

SR only kicks in on Cure Wounds when you'd take damage, so at a minimum, dhampirs in other campaigns should be allowed to bypass SR with Inflict Wounds. But especially given that Cure Wounds is only allowed past the obol SR because 3.5 and PF1e decided healing should be conjuration, as opposed to every other edition of D&D and PF2e making it necromancy, I'd just give the dhampir a break and not apply SR to Inflict.


Packing problems resulting from an AP-inspired hypothetical question about copying every spell into a series of spellbooks


Say I have a standard 100-page spellbook and add 33 3rd level spells. This takes up 99 pages, so I have 1 page left. Can I start writing a spell on that page and have it spill over into another spellbook, or can I only use that page for a cantrip or 1st level spell?

(Inspired by a separate hypothetical question on Reddit)


Pharasma should be LN. Because honestly, I'm not convinced TN is possible for anyone above animal intelligence, or maybe for Gozreh being natural phenomena. As an example, aeons only caring about maintaining some balance and not the circumstances is the definition of Lawful Stupid. For example, "I don't care that you're using time travel to stop a Great Old One from waking. You're using time travel!"

Gorum should be CE. Or more exactly, Gorum now only allowing CN and CE clerics only supports my concerns that he's basically the official version of Chaotic "Neutral".

And on a less contentious note, I think it would be interesting to promote someone like Cassandalee to official god status. She is by the time of Starfinder, and 2e is assumed to take place after all the 1e APs.


Nettah wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:
Nettah wrote:

The amount of people suggesting Fighter with druid dedication to be a "stronger" ranger is actually pretty shocking to me. Yes +1 to attack is good but is it really enough make a good "ranger". Currently I don't see fighters really having any support for high dexterity which I kinda see as a must-have for most rangers (wielding light armor to move faster, stealth better etc). A bad reflex save also makes the fighters much more prone to fail against most kinds of traps.

Maybe it's just me that view one of the core niches of the ranger to be the parties scout, which I honestly don't see the fighter/ druid fulfilling. So the argument for the fighter base vs ranger seems to come down to +1 to attack from proficiency.

Fighter/druid might be better fighting with 2 non-finesse weapons and wielding a heavy armor, but is that really a "ranger" at that point?

It makes sense to me, at least. To me, one of the most defining features of the Ranger, possibly even more so than something like the pet or favored enemy, is the combat style. Fighters may be the archetypical heroes with things like Bravery, but Rangers are weapons masters. Not only do they get bonus feats, but they get to ignore the prerequisites on those feats.

Since the 2e Fighter is meant to be a weapons master, it makes a certain amount of sense that you could use one to build a Ranger-equivalent.

I am not sure whether we are misunderstanding each other a bit. I don't think you can't use a fighter base to make a "ranger"-ish character, like Aragorn. My point was more that several people in this thread have stated that ranger is pretty much obsolete because a fighter/druid makes a "better" ranger than a ranger or ranger/druid does, which I disagree with.

Well yeah. If you view the Ranger's main thing as being the expert at a particular combat style, it is obsolete. Everything left is just being good at monster lore and having a pet, which can be accomplished through multiclassing into Druid. The 2e Ranger still fills a unique spot with single-target damage, but that was more the Slayer's thing than the Ranger. The Ranger, meanwhile, who was originally a variant Fighter, has become a Fighter again.


Nettah wrote:

The amount of people suggesting Fighter with druid dedication to be a "stronger" ranger is actually pretty shocking to me. Yes +1 to attack is good but is it really enough make a good "ranger". Currently I don't see fighters really having any support for high dexterity which I kinda see as a must-have for most rangers (wielding light armor to move faster, stealth better etc). A bad reflex save also makes the fighters much more prone to fail against most kinds of traps.

Maybe it's just me that view one of the core niches of the ranger to be the parties scout, which I honestly don't see the fighter/ druid fulfilling. So the argument for the fighter base vs ranger seems to come down to +1 to attack from proficiency.

Fighter/druid might be better fighting with 2 non-finesse weapons and wielding a heavy armor, but is that really a "ranger" at that point?

It makes sense to me, at least. To me, one of the most defining features of the Ranger, possibly even more so than something like the pet or favored enemy, is the combat style. Fighters may be the archetypical heroes with things like Bravery, but Rangers are weapons masters. Not only do they get bonus feats, but they get to ignore the prerequisites on those feats.

Since the 2e Fighter is meant to be a weapons master, it makes a certain amount of sense that you could use one to build a Ranger-equivalent.


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Mathmuse wrote:
I presume that Hunt Target is based on the PF1 Slayer's Studied Target ability, which costs a move action (or swift action at 7th level). Studied Target makes more sense mechanically, because it gives numerical bonuses for having studied the target. The ranger gains an ability to shoot faster (Hunted Shot) or fight with two weapons (Twin Takedown) because he studied the target. The conceptual connection there is weak. Other PF2 ranger feats try to mimic the simple numerical bonus of Studied Target by removing penalties, which looks kludgey. I presume that this is so that the ranger's feats stack with circumstantial, conditional, or item bonuses, but the result is way too complex for a game that is supposed to be simpler than PF1.

Once again, Spheres of Might has some nice options for martial characters that Paizo could take inspiration from. Specifically, the feat Target Spotting. The actual mechanics are "Make a Knowledge check to identify the creature, or substitute Perception by taking a -5 penalty. If you succeed, you can expend martial focus to treat the target as your highest favored enemy." So basically, Instant Enemy, but limited by the action economy and Knowledge/Perception instead of being a 3rd level spell. (So requiring level 10, 13 Wis, and 3rd level spell slots)

The flavor of the ability is somewhere between the Ranger and the Slayer in 1e. You're still focused on one type of enemy in particular, but you're also good enough at monster lore and/or observation in general to be able to get similar bonuses against creature types that aren't your specialty.

You could argue you'd still have the issue you described when fighting hordes of enemies. But explicitly tying it to a skill check and getting to have a few creature types that don't require it at least feels a little more natural.


Malk_Content wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:
* Only halflings can be nomads, which has serious implications for Varisian culture
This is seriously reaching. Only Halflings (currently) have a ethnocultural nomadic group distinct enough to derive seperate mechanics from. Not no one else can be nomadic. Unless you suggest that because some dwarves can benefit from a noble bloodline that noble bloodlines don't exist in any other race. Which is obviously stupid.

Okay, so I'm exaggerating a bit. My point is that ancestry/race/heritage should ideally be genetic, not cultural. There are other heritages which are distinctly cultural, but it's especially noticeable with nomadic halflings, because "nomadic" is a fairly general concept, and there's even an entire human culture built around it.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
most current heritages are nonsensical and arbitrary

My favorite example is Nomadic Halflings. From this, we learn three things:

* Being a nomad and exposed to numerous languages is genetic

* It's impossible to be a nomad with low-light vision or darkvision

* Only halflings can be nomads, which has serious implications for Varisian culture


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Basically, it should be two dimensional- Magic/Martial and Low/High-level.

Low-level martial: Vaguely possible in the real world. For example, favored enemy and favored terrain seem realistic enough.

Low-level magic: Impossible in our world, but perfectly ordinary in a fantasy setting. For example, no one would bat an eye at the local priest being able to cast Cure Light Wounds if you need it.

High-level martial: Things that would make Austin Hourigan scream. (Angry science guy from Shoddy Cast and Game Theory) The ideas all make enough sense, like you know what swimming and stealing are. It just breaks all logic to do something like swim through dirt or steal someone's pants without them noticing.

High-level magic: Magic feats that even sound impossible to low-level casters, like a high-ranking member of the clergy even being able to bring back the dead.

The problem is that since both low-level and high-level magic are impossible in our world, the equally impossible high-level martial abilities get lumped in with that. As long as martials are limited to what I've called low-level abilities, while casters can have relatively unlimited power, casters will always overpower martials.


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Lycar wrote:
Will casters be able to make martial characters obsolete AGAIN?

TBH, they already can. As I always put it, if martials continue to be strictly held to the precepts of our reality (e.g. weapon cords), while casters are allowed to flagrantly break them, they'll never be even. This isn't saying that martials need magic. Low-level spells, for example, are about as impressive on Golarion as being able to pick a lock. It's that they never get any sort of legendary abilities- just bigger numbers.

Quote:
Right now, THE ONLY THING martials can do is damage.

And even then, at least 2/3 of a well-built martial's damage output can be attributed to magic items.

necromental wrote:
Path of War, Spheres of Might, Kirthfinder are things that come of the top of my head where non-casters could do something more than damage and use a skill or two. I was hoping that PF2 will embrace those kind of solutions, instead we got super-mega-extra-nerf to casters. Yes, they said they are rolling some of it back, but I'm not holding my breath for it.

SoM legendary talents are amazing and a good model for what legendary skill feats should have looked like. As an example, you can become so good at swimming that you get a burrow speed. Also, even the combat-oriented talents are amazing. For example, I theorycrafted a Conscript who, eventually, can fire off 6 arrows in a standard action with as high as a 100% hit rate. (As in getting to ignore the rule that natural 1s automatically miss)


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Voss wrote:
mostly because heritage is cultural, full stop

I completely agree with you there. Ancestry and Heritage are backwards, as they're currently being used.

Quote:
I'm not sure what the problem is with hatred of orcs (or whatever) being cultural. A taught prejudice is indeed entirely cultural.

That's the thing. I want it to just be cultural. The problem is that the current location for cultural things like that seems to be ancestry feats. For one, like we've both acknowledged, heritage feats would be a better name, while ancestry is a better name for what's currently called heritage. But additionally, the moment they decide to add Tien cultural feats, which I strongly suspect they'll do, it will imply that being Tien (so basically, being Asian) is comparable to being a Dwarf, which is exactly the sort of implication they changed from Race to Ancestry to avoid.

If ancestry feats are to be the location for cultural things, they A) need a different name, and B) need to be devoid of biological connections, like having Elf or Dwarf as requirements or having half-elves get special access to Elf feats.


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Sam Phelan wrote:
That said, please keep the conversation on the original topic and points of the thread, and do not detract from that content by introducing other fractionalizing topics. If you notice that the conversation is developing a tangent, please create a separate thread to hold that conversation.

I already did. I started a thread over in the Ancestry and Backgrounds subforum about whether ancestry feats should still have the ancestry name attached.


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Okay, now that I've gotten the intentionally provocative title out of the way to draw attention to this thread, it's time to talk about Heritage from whichever update that was.

Historically speaking, one of the greatest issues with ancestry/race is that culture was part of it. The AD&D assumption was that non-humans were insular, so you could count on them all coming from a similar culture. Thus, OD&D even had races as classes. We've mostly moved past that point, although it still shows up in a few places. For one, humans have all sorts of languages even just within the Inner Sea Region, but elves from Kyonin and Jinin apparently speak the exact same Elven language. All the core races in 1e have Racial Weapon Familiarity. And dwarves are particularly bad offenders, where half their racial abilities are things like "+1 vs orcs, because you were raised to hate them" or "+2 to Appraise, because you're greedy". (I have a grudge against dwarves)

Heritage was actually a huge step in the right direction. It seems like the intention is to make Heritage more about particular quirks in your physiology, while Ancestry is more about the cultural aspects. Personally, I think the names should be swapped, especially since being an aasimar will probably wind up as a Heritage and Ancestry sounding more like an aasimar's celestial ancestry is my biggest issue with the word, but I digress.

There are still issues with this on both sides of the split. On the Heritage side, some of the heritages are clearly biological. For example, twilight halflings get low-light vision, desert dwarves are more resistant to heat, and, of course, whatever's going on with humans mating with elves and orcs. (Seriously. What does it mean biologically that humans can have viable and fertile offspring with elves and orcs, but elves and orcs can't with each other?) But at the same time, apparently only halflings can be nomads and be experts at learning new languages as a result.

On the other side, by removing the Heritage feats from Playtest version 1.0, the vast majority of Ancestry feats now feel properly cultural, which meshes well with the Adopted feat. But this also has unfortunate implications. For one, it still makes the assumption that all dwarves are raised in a culture that they know to hate orcs and the assumption that anyone adopted by a dwarf would also be raised in such a culture. And second, if Paizo decides to add Tien cultural feats in the equivalent of the Dragon Empires Gazetteer, Ancestry feats would seem like the obvious place to put them (so they can be taken with Adopted), and suddenly that would imply that being Tien is a culture like unto being a Dwarf, which is exactly the sort of implications they're seeking to avoid by not calling Dwarf a race. And finally, it's implicitly still somewhat biological, since the entire benefit of being a half-elf is that you can also take Elf ancestry feats.

Long story short, especially if they focus on Heritage, I'm willing to accept the name change to Ancestry. (Just come up with a better solution to half-elves and half-orcs than "Can take elf/orc feats") But if Ancestry feats are really going to be about culture, then that use specifically of "ancestry" needs a better name, or else we'll be right back to the days of culture-as-biology, which the name change away from "race" was meant to avoid.


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MaxAstro wrote:
I think I'm a bit unusual in that I'm not particularly bothered by ancestry feats granting biological abilities. It's weird, but not particularly weirder than a feat granting you the ability to get so angry that you turn into a dragon.

Nor am I. My issue is that cultural and biological things are being tossed into the same pool. Feat that makes your already hardy dwarven body even hardier? Great. Feat that makes you better at using traditional dwarven weaponry? Great. Just give them separate names. For example, make the former ancestry and the latter heritage. But whatever you call the concept traditionally referred to as race in the end, let's end the days of assuming all dwarves are necessarily raised in a culture that teaches them to hate orcs.


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MaxAstro wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
So, ignoring the topic that Paizo has said is not up for debate...
At least in my opinion, it can still be useful to discuss

I don't see the point in discussing the benefits of changing things that Paizo has told us there is no chance they will change, at least not on Paizo's official forums where they have already asked the matter not to be discussed.

I do think there are great discussions to be had about what exactly ancestry should mean in Pathfinder and how it should be represented mechanically, though. The fact that ancestry represents both biological and cultural things, sometimes unevenly, is an interesting point, and I think there's a lot to talk about as far as where that line should be, or how much of which aspect should go into heritages.

That second part is what I said. Race/ancestry seems relevant largely because of the history and how we wound up mixing biology and culture. But especially given the argument about cultural things moving over to ancestry feats, I'd hope they're willing to discuss whether ancestry feats are even connected to this whole concept traditionally called race at all.


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Malk_Content wrote:
Another thing to add is that with the heritage update Ancestry choice isn't just about "Dwarf" or "Elf" but you also define as part of that option whether you are dwarf whose family hails from the desert, or from an important noble line. Ancestry combines both race and more specifically "who your parents/grand parents/great grand parents" were.

I agree with Desna's Avatar that it would work better as two separate fields. For one, it's inconsistent between heritages what they are. For example, Twilight Halfling is fairly explicitly Darwinian, while Nomadic Halfling is extremely cultural. Why are only halfling nomads able to get extra languages because of their extensive travels?

I can definitely get behind this concept of splitting physiological and cultural abilities. But if ancestry feats are going to be the residing place of cultural things, then I very much question if they should still be called ancestry feats. There aren't currently any feats for focusing on Chelian/Vudran/Tien/Ulfen heritage, but if they ever add feats like that (which I expect to happen in the equivalent of the Dragon Empires Gazetteer), ancestry feats would thus be the most logical place to put them. But if that also means my elf from Jinin needs to take something like Adopted (Tien) to qualify for those feats, it will mean we've taken a massive step back toward race-as-class, regardless of the terminology used.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
As of right now, anyone can get Weapon Expertise (Dwarf). You just need the 'Adopted' General Feat to have been raised in the right (ie: Dwarven) culture.

The feat also has a clause that you can't take the ancestral feat if it depends on their physiology, as determined by the GM. Ideally, you wouldn't even need a clause like that because race/species/ancestry and culture would be completely separate. Continuing to pick on dwarves, because again, they're the worst offenders in 3.PF for continuing the culture-as-biology trend, a lot of the feats are fairly clear-cut. Ancestral Hatred and Weapon Familiarity (Dwarf) are both cultural, while Ancient's Blood and Hardy (both Heritage feats, overloading the word, I just realized) are physiological. But what about something like Giant Bane which mentions cultural and physiological aspects. Emphasis mine:

Playtest Rulebook, p. 25 wrote:
Your squat stature and your hatred for giantkind give you an edge when fighting them. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to your Armor Class against giants; Fortitude and Reflex DCs against giants’ attempts to Disarm, Grapple, Shove, or Trip you; Survival checks to track giants; Perception checks to notice giants; and Stealth checks to avoid being noticed by giants.


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MaxAstro wrote:
So, ignoring the topic that Paizo has said is not up for debate...

At least in my opinion, it can still be useful to discuss, since it so strongly borders on what we expect to get from ancestry. For example, whether dwarves are best described as a species, a race, or an ancestry and what the choice of word is meant to imply is related to where things like Weapon Familiarity (Dwarf) should go. As an example of that, if calling the concept "ancestry" is meant to emphasize that this is a biological thing, without the complications that arise with calling them species (again, aasimar), then does it make really make sense to say that only creatures with dwarf ancestry can get Weapon Expertise (Dwarf)?


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Jeven wrote:
Ancestry could be seen as worse than race as the term is most commonly used for humans of different ethnicities e.g. Swedish or Italian ancestry, or Tutsi or Tibetan ancestry. In this day and age the term ancestry is closely associated with genealogy and ethnic origins of one's ancestors.

That's exactly my issue. Like I said, when I hear the word "ancestry", I sooner expect something like an aasimar talking about having celestial ancestry, not a dwarf talking about having dwarven ancestry. The addition of heritages does a bit to mitigate this, but devoid of any names for things, I'd still assume "ancestry" refers to the thing called heritage in the playtest, not to the standard RPG concept conventionally called race.


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Mellored wrote:
Until someone can tell me how "dwarven weapon training" in biologically inherent, I'm fine find with ancestry.

Dwarves are just a hot mess in general as far as this is concerned.

See, back in AD&D days, the assumption was very much that the non-human races were more insular, so cultural components could reasonably be part of racial traits. This was especially true in OD&D when races were classes unto themselves. We've mostly moved past that, which I think is part of the motivation behind the switch to ancestry, but you can still see remnants of it if you know where to look. For example, humans are allowed to have multiple languages, even just within the Inner Sea Region, but the elves of Kyonin and Jinin apparently speak exactly the same Elven language.

Some races are good about this and are almost exclusively biological, like 1e elves and halflings. They have the standard issue racial weapon familiarity and language, but except for elven magic and fearless, virtually everything else could be biological. Contrast with dwarves and gnomes, which typically have more cultural abilities. This is especially true with dwarves, because it's typically in the form of things like a bonus to Appraise, which is probably one of the least used skills.

Crayon wrote:

Perhaps, but the term is inaccurate in the context of the game. Even more so when where things like half-elves, tieflings, and the like get involved. Nothing resembling these creatures exist in the real world which is why no specific real world terms apply to them. Hence we're left with three options:

1. Misuse a real world term like 'species' or 'race'.
2. Make something up out of whole cloth 'metasapients'
3. Confer a specialized meaning to a vague RL term like 'ancestry'

Personally, I favour option 3.

As a partial counterargument, the phrase "the human race" exists.

My primary issue with "ancestry" is that, to me, it sounds more like aasimar having angelic ancestry than dwarves having distinctly dwarven physiology than, say, elven physiology. But at the same time, something like "species" isn't accurate. It would cover things like dwarves, halflings, and gnomes, sure. But aasimar are very distinctly not a separate species from their parent race, and the fact that humans can consistently have viable and fertile offspring with either elves or orcs, but that elves and orcs can't with each other raises all sorts of questions about biology in the standard fantasy setting.

The fact of the matter, which you referenced, is that there isn't anything in the real world that resembles this hodgepodge of biologically distinct species, genes not native to this plane of existence that can magically switch between dominance and recessiveness, and whatever's going on with humans, elves, and orcs, which is conventionally called race. I just draw a different conclusion, where I prefer continuing to just use "race" because it's the least wrong on average, rather than using something like "species" or "ancestry" which accurately describes some of the options (dwarves, gnomes, and halflings for species, or aasimar, tiefling, and other planetouched for ancestry), but not others.


Mathmuse wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:
Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
Paladins are holy knights who defend the weak.

[citation needed]

I continue to point out that Retributive Strike is a horrible ability for a guardian to have, since it only works if they failed at being a guardian and let their allies get hurt.

Page 107, Code of Conduct: "• You must not use actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn’t force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and potential to attempt to protect an innocent." Okay, that is legalistically wordy and reminds me of Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, but it says that the paladin should try to protect the innocent.

I agree with RazarTuk that Retributive Strike is a terrible way to protect the weak. My wife's paladin was able to use Retributive Strike only once during The Lost Star, because positioning seldom worked out well.

In other words, strategizing to actually use Retributive Strike would be against the paladin's code, because it necessarily involves allowing an innocent to come to harm through your inaction.

To be fair, I'm one of the last people who would interpret a paladin's code that legalistically. I was even a major proponent of not falling in lose-lose situations long before Paizo made that official in 2e. But it's still hilariously easy to argue that planning on using a class feature could cause you to fall.


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Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
Paladins are holy knights who defend the weak.

[citation needed]

I continue to point out that Retributive Strike is a horrible ability for a guardian to have, since it only works if they failed at being a guardian and let their allies get hurt.

But more generally, I think there's such a thing as too much identity. The fighter is especially guilty of this, since its shtick being "Hit things hard" means no one else can ever be as good at combat. But you can also point to things like light armor paladins fighters not being supported, since there's no way to get legendary proficiency in it.


Turkeycubes wrote:
Very well said, and yes please fix the spelling..... And the syntax and grammar and terrible layout, ergonomics, and too many new terms. Elves and dwarves ARE DIFFERENT RACES!! The word "race" isn't bad, it's just that applying it to humans of differing cultural extraction has always been a thing terrible people do.

I mean, the fact that humans and elves have fertile offspring calls into question the claim that the typical fantasy races are all biologically distinct, suggesting something more like Shadowrun's H. sapiens subspecies. (No, seriously. In Shadowrun, Elves are canonically H. sapiens nobilis, Orks are H. sapiens robustus, Dwarfs are H. sapiens pumilionis, and Trolls are H. sapiens ingentis)

That said, I definitely agree with qualms about "Ancestry" as a term. Although my issue is more with the fact that "ancestry" sounds more like a sorcerer's bloodline than anything resembling whatever elves, dwarves, and humans are.


Helmic wrote:
I'd go as far as to guess that Bulk/Encumbrance is the #1 thing houseruled or just completely ignored at tables, and so it should be almost a complete nonfactor in item balance. It's far easier to just handwave it away as "everything fits in your bag of holding" or similar and just not be a dick about it, much like how Quantum Arrows are infinite until you try to build a house out of them, at which point you only have 20.

Single best legendary talent in Spheres of Might- Ceaseless Arrows. As long as you have at least 10 of some type of non-magical arrow (and aren't in an antimagic field, since it's Su), you somehow never seem to run out...


Blave wrote:

Not a good solution, in my opinion. Going against full AC instead of the slighly lower TAC is pretty hard for casters. They usually have a lower attack bonus not just because of BAB/Proficiency but also because they lack the ability to max out Str/Dex.

If they remove TAC completely, they need to make up for it somehow. Allowing casters to use their casting stat for spell attack rolls or something like that.

I'm not going to try to make any claims about Str/Dex vs casting stat for said attack rolls. My main point is that by putting everyone on the same +level track with TEML modifiers, Paizo's already removed what was basically the only reason to have a separate, lower version of AC for spells to target. And by removing TAC, you give heavy armor a reason to exist. The difference would be "Instant high AC, but has penalties" vs "You need to invest in your Dex to max out your AC, but you don't have those penalties". But because those penalties don't include "Does not work against some attacks", they become more bearable.


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Remove TAC. That's it. If you were to remove TAC as a mechanic, I think heavy armor would have enough of a trade-off associated with it to be a viable option. But to explain why, I need to start with a brief history lesson on why TAC is a thing.

Way back in war gaming days, your battleship might be described as having 1st class armor, 2nd class armor, 3rd class armor, etc. This is the origin of the term "armor class" and why it was decreasing in AD&D. When porting this concept over to a pseudo-Medieval fantasy setting, Gygax and co. made a list of armor types and ranked them. For example, wearing full plate and carrying a shield was 1st class, wearing full plate without a shield or wearing half plate with one was 2nd class, and wearing half plate without one was 3rd class. Dexterity did affect your AC, but at least in AD&D 1e, it did nothing from 7-14, and changed your AC by 1 point for every point of Dex up or down. (E.g. 15 Dex was -1 AC and 16 Dex was -2) Thus, and this is slightly speculative, going into 3e, the assumption was that the bulk of your AC would come from armor. This will be important in a second.

See, while all this was happening, they were shifting how attack rolls worked. First it was Class x Level x AC tables. Then it was THAC0, which let you generate the entire row for Class x Level with a single value. And eventually, in 3e, they had the idea to simplify attack rolls into the 3.PF BAB+Str/Dex mechanic. But that led to a bit of a problem. Wizards had low BAB so they wouldn't be good with weapons, but that also meant they had a hard time landing spells. Thus, the solution was to create a new type of AC- touch AC- for wizards to target. And- and this is the speculative part- since armor was the main source of AC, wizards could just ignore it.

This, of course, led to a feedback loop. Because armor no longer applied to all of your defenses, it was more useful to invest in Dex and wear lighter armor. But because people weren't wearing armor, wizards had trouble hitting targets again, as long as they didn't rely on natural armor.

This is where UTEML comes in. It and 5e's Proficiency Bonus are both variations on giving you the equivalent of full BAB with weapons you should be good with. Thus, it becomes entirely reasonable to expect casters to be able to hit regular AC, as long as they put a few points in Str/Dex, eliminating the original need for TAC. And at that point, heavy armor would have a purpose again. Given high enough Dex scores, light armor would be superior for not having as many penalties. But heavy armor would have the benefit of immediate gratification, as opposed to needing to wait until relatively high levels for Dex+light to be able to compete.


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How to start making heavy armor worth it: Remove TAC.

TAC only exists because when they unified attack rolls in 3.0, WotC ran into a problem where wizards would up unable to easily land their spells. Thus, because armor was the main source of AC, they made a new type of AC that ignoring armor for wizards to target.


Armor class is called as such and was originally descending because of war games. So just like your battleship could have 1st class armor, 2nd class armor, etc, you might have full plate+shield be 1st class, full plate without a shield or half+shield be 2nd class, etc. Dex did affect it if your Dex was high enough, but for 7-14 Dex, it was only a function of armor class. (Double meaning fully intended)

Catch is, this created a sort of feedback loop. Your Dex bonus to AC was more valuable, because it also applied to TAC, so heavy armor started to fall out of favor. And, of course, this just leaves us right back where we started, because wizards are relatively unaffected by light armor. (But admittedly not natural armor, like a dragon's dismally low TAC, hence SR)

Switching to a Starfinder-style KAC/EAC split could be interesting. But whether you change TAC to EAC or just remove it completely, as long as there's an entire class of armor that only really applies to (K)AC and not TAC, no one's going to be interested in it.

And removing TAC is reasonable, now that PF's switching over to unified proficiency bonuses.


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Temperans wrote:

idk but it makes sense that ranged attacks (regardless of what it is) require good aiming. Now what attribute/skill is best for aiming is a difficult question, in which pf1 decided its Dex (unless something changes it).

I do agree its kind of odd that a Wizard needs to max out dex to hit better. But isn't that why they also targeted TAC in PF1? So even with suboptimal Dex they could hit most targets baring a horrible roll?

TAC was introduced in 3e because they wanted to unify attack rolls with weapons and particular spells, but ran into the issue of wizards having poor BAB. Thus, because armor was the main method of increasing your AC in systems past (and indeed, that's where the name and decreasing scale came from, e.g. full plate + shield was 1st class armor), they just invented TAC as a way wizards could ignore it.

This, of course, caused Dex to be more attractive as a way to increase your AC, because it also applies to TAC, bringing us right back to where we started. Whether you let casters use their casting stat or not, TAC has definitely served its purpose and no longer needs to exist. (In contrast, however, I think KAC/EAC was a very elegant solution to SF's problem of energy weapon)


Matthew Downie wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:
5e SRD wrote:
(a) a lute or (b) any other musical instrument
I don't care that there aren't any class features that actually require you to use a musical instrument. If you're forcing every bard to own an instrument and learn to play three of them, you aren't just eliminating the orator bards I love so much, but even dancing and singing bards.
Start with a grand piano. Sell it.

Truly, the most onerous restriction is that Summon Instrument can only summon 1-handed instruments. Because once you get up into the 20+ range for Strength, grand pianos become only heavy loads.


Copying over from the "One free kit" thread:

I can agree with making kits like 5e's equipment packs, because the minutiae of gear are always the most annoying part of making a character. As an example, a dungeoneer's pack includes a backpack, a crowbar, a hammer, 10 pitons, 10 torches, a tinderbox, 10 days of rations, a waterskin, and 50 feet of hemp rope.

That said, I'm also extremely skeptical of just doing class-based starting equipment, also because of 5e. Specifically, because of the bard's 3rd bullet point:

5e SRD wrote:
(a) a lute or (b) any other musical instrument

I don't care that there aren't any class features that actually require you to use a musical instrument. If you're forcing every bard to own an instrument and learn to play three of them, you aren't just eliminating the orator bards I love so much, but even dancing and singing bards.

My issues with 5e aside, though, that's still the danger of simplifying starting equipment. You run the risk of funnelling classes into a single playstyle, even more so than already only giving fighters legendary proficiency in heavy armor.


I can agree with making kits like 5e's equipment packs, because the minutiae of gear are always the most annoying part of making a character. As an example, a dungeoneer's pack includes a backpack, a crowbar, a hammer, 10 pitons, 10 torches, a tinderbox, 10 days of rations, a waterskin, and 50 feet of hemp rope.

That said, I'm also extremely skeptical of just doing class-based starting equipment, also because of 5e. Specifically, because of the bard's 3rd bullet point:

5e SRD wrote:


(a) a lute or (b) any other musical instrument

I don't care that there aren't any class features that actually require you to use a musical instrument. If you're forcing every bard to own an instrument and learn to play three of them, you aren't just eliminating the orator bards I love so much, but even dancing and singing bards.

My issues with 5e aside, though, that's still the danger of simplifying starting equipment. You run the risk of funnelling classes into a single playstyle, even more so than already only giving fighters legendary proficiency in heavy armor.


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What about something like: Remove TAC, let casters use their casting stat for spell attack rolls, make cantrip damage only dice (as opposed to weapons being dice+ability), and either give martials a way to increase damage dice without items or require casters to buy wands to increase cantrip damage.


I mean, I'm also coming from Spheres of Power, where any caster can pick up the Destruction sphere and get a touch attack that can be used as often as they want. Sneak attack damage progression, bludgeoning by default, and you can spend more talents to get additional damage types. This is kept balanced by two main factors:

* You have a limited number of talents (equivalent in power to feats), so while using one for the base attack is easy to sacrifice, getting more damage types requires specialization

* For the most part, BAB and CL follow opposite progressions. So while things like the Incanter get half their level in dice, something like a Mageknight (full BAB) only gets half their level in caster level and thus a quarter in dice.

IMO, cantrips as weapon substitutes are already balanced by having comparable damage dice to light weapons and not getting any ability-score-based bonus damage. Although I will concede that it'd be better for balance if martials were able to increase damage dice without potency runes, which I've already expressed support for in other threads.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
As for the others, Goblins don't make sense to have charisma, but I don't see any of the other mental stats working for them. It's also a bit jarring that they had a negative in PF1, so going to a bonus is a big swing the other direction. Gnomes might be good to get an Inteligence boost instead of CHA, they are clever people. But as was pointed out, the free boosts really make it so the other boosts don't matter too much. Only the negative does in that it keep you from having an 18 at first level.

Charisma's a weird stat in general. Like there's even an NPC in In Hell's Bright Shadow who's described as having a big ego (typically high Cha) but being so irritating that the Asmodeans exiled him to a job no one wanted (low Cha). Hobbitses having high Cha is the latter type, being likeable, while goblins having high Cha is the former type, having strong forces of personality.


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But if you have a damaging spell that you can use endlessly, I think they should fall into a similar design space to manufactured weapons.

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