I do believe that is the intention of the ability and even of Medicine, yes. Pg 272 describes the difference between abilities requiring you to be "Having" vs "Wielding";
I think the three things you expect to use hands for is actually what the free hand is for; You read the formula first, draw the tools as you need them from the bandolier, and finally have the potion in the free hand. It does NOT say that you have to be "Wielding" or "Holding" the Alchemist's Tools, just that you need to have them.
Look, this isn't a big thing, but it IS a thing that confused me. In 1E, an average human with 30 ft speed could travel 24 miles in a day, per the Movement and Distance table. In 2E, however, a human's speed has been reduced to 25 feet, but travel time is the same. So now, a human can suddenly only travel 20 miles per day.
You're right, I went and asked him, it was not a crit, just 4 strength, 4 Rage bonus and 11 on a greataxe (So only 19 damage).
In general, the rogue and the barbarian cleaned the encounters by themselves - The druid did a bit of damage, but both the druid and the alchemist were mostly used for healing up the rest of the party.
Byron Zibeck wrote:
Yeah, even optimized, a rogue had a 25% chance of crit failing on that door. Considering you need three successes (at 30% chance)....well, lets just say a lot of rogues likely broke their picks.
Afterwards, the warrior tried to Break Down the door. Critically failed too. They decided to go the other way instead.
We just finished our playthrough of The Lost Star and I am going to try and write this down while it is still fresh in my mind.
A quick recap of the encounters:
The party burned down the sewer ooze in a single round. It got to use its filth wave, but that was about it. The barbarian got a crit in and that was more than half the hp. The halfling threw a stone at it and that was that.
The Goblins in the first goblin chamber heard the rogue as she utterly f@$&ed up her stealth, but presented barely any threat. They hit once with an arrow and stabbed the barbarian good once, but got otherwise burned down in no time. The rogue especially got sneak attacks in very easily with the new action and no AoO and the half-orc took one down per round.
The Quasits were the first challenge - They spread the poison around to all of the party, except the rogue, and got a decent chunk of damage off with it.
The goblin commando with pyro and warriors were a rather quick battle. The rogue (Once more) failed to sneak into them and they hid. She was pretty sure that goblins were in there, so she waited in the hall while the barbarian stepped in. The alchemist ran ahead and got the goblins to trigger a trap. (I am a bit worried about how ambushes works, more on that below). The alchemist went down from the trap and when the druid arrived a round later, the Commando and a warrior took him down quickly.
After this, they returned to town to rest for one day of downtime. That was the only rest they took. During the rest, the alchemist made healing elixirs to his heart's content and distributed them, as he was back on his feet after a night's rest.
They discovered the statue was a trap because the Druid was using Detect Magic in the hallway and stopped to do investigate, figuring out it was a trap and the group decided to go drink the water to see if that would bless them. It did.
The skeleton fight was relatively straight-forward. The rogue did enough damage with her rapier to basically go through the resistances and same for the barbarian with her axe. The druid used her slingstaff and the alchemist his light mace, for similar great effect.
The last boss attacked the group in the door opening, but the rogue tumbled through his space (Eating a nasty crit as she did), and went down the next round, being the only one to use a hero point to get back up - Critting with a sneak attack as she did, making a bit of an awesome ending to the fight as the faceless stalker was stabbed from hell's heart.
Alright, with that out of the way, here's my thoughts:
* Mostly, the game seems more straightforward and I am positive about this. Character creation was much more pleasant than 1.0.
Trinkets are basically scrolls for the martial classes - Low level ones probably won't upend the world, like a Magic Missile scroll wouldn't.
That said, I wouldn't say it is only useful for a fighter at all. At first level, sure, when they are the only experts at using their weapons, but fighters actually do get access to the critical effect of their weapons and the trinket would then be useless for them. That means that at higher levels, a rogue might have more fun with it.
So, to make schedules match up and to give me some time to read the rules, we won't be playing part 1 of the Playtest till Sunday. In the meantime, however, my players got eager and started making decisions about their characters - Not outright making them, but doing things such as picking Druid Order or Barbarian totem.
If you are untrained even in unarmored, wouldn't it then always be preferable to wear a leather or hide armor, and most of the time be more than worth it to wear at LEAST a chain shirt even if you are untrained? For no armor, (Level + 0 -2 ) can never compete with (Level +2 -2).
Is there any good reason for, say, a sorcerer to not just strut around in half-plate right out of the gate?
When I made my latest campaign, in an Eastern setting, this would assuredly have been useful. It was hard for the players to give up the stable of shields and falchions, full plates and breastplate. Rarity would have been a very nice tool indeed, seeing as some foreigners did indeed start trading with the islands during the game. Could have made their armors and guns uncommon, the weapons they were unwilling to trade Rare. Love it!