What party would you build if you were trying to maximize the number of encounters the party could face in each day of gametime? Say for example that you wanted to clear the Emerald Spire Superdungeon in less than a week, and you can bring a party of 5.
Maybe something like:
This is kind of inspired by that common experience of looking back over a campaign and being like "We've been playing for 6 months and only a week of time has elapsed!" So I am wondering about how far we could push that. In the extreme, you would level up from 1-20 in a single day. That seems unrealistic, but if you were trying to do it, how would you go about it?
Do you get any flanking bonus when attempting a grapple? It looks to me like you should not, since flanking specifies that it applies to melee attacks, and grapple does not appear to be a melee attack. Though by the same logic, flanking also shouldn't affect disarm/trip/sunder since they also don't appear to be melee attacks, they only take the place of a melee attack.
When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner.
The combat rules seem to imply that combat maneuvers aren't melee attacks, as specific combat maneuvers are called out as "taking the place of a melee attack"
Attack Action wrote:
However, there's a counterexample in that the feat Dirty Fighting implies that combat maneuvers do benefit from flanking:
Dirty Fighting wrote:
Benefit(s): When you attempt a combat maneuver check against a foe you are flanking, you can forgo the +2 bonus on your attack roll for flanking to instead have the combat maneuver not provoke an attack of opportunity. If you have a feat or ability that allows you to attempt the combat maneuver without provoking an attack of opportunity, you can instead increase the bonus on your attack roll for flanking to +4 for the combat maneuver check.
But then it gets more complicated, like, if combat maneuvers benefit from flanking does that mean they are considered melee attacks? If so, could you use a maneuver like Dirty Trick at the end of a charge? Or is there a separate rule that allows combat maneuvers to benefit from flanking, even though they are not melee attacks?
After moving, you may make a single melee attack.
If so, what is the benefit of the feat Kitsune Style?
Kitsune Style wrote:
So, a few related questions:
1) Do trip/disarm/sunder benefit from flanking?
On one hand, there's something aesthetically pleasing about killing people with an ironbound copy of the Book of the Last Moon. On the other hand, an archetype that loses Bane and Judgment and locks you into a low-damage light weapon sounds like it could be a real drag.
Is there any way to make Living Grimoire viable as a melee combatant? Or should I drop the archetype and use a better weapon?
Dr. Herby Covio is a big teddy bear figure, with a shaved head, a full beard, and a deep, friendly laugh. His favorite activity is killing people and eating their sins. After all, the more people that die, the faster the Last Days will arrive and transform the Material Plane into a new, more perfect realm of existence! And besides, why should people toil away in this miserable mortal coil, when a blissful afterlife could be mere moments away?
His knowledge of the divine realms is encyclopedic, an ability he always tries to leverage when convincing the goodfolk he meets that they'd be better off after he kills them. When this persuasion fails, he won't kill the unwilling, although he is perpetually perplexed as to why someone would choose to remain in this life rather than be transported to Shelyn's realm in Nirvana or the halls of Cayden Cailean in Elysium.
Dr. Herby is uniquely suited to delivering souls to happy afterlives, as Groetus has revealed to him the talent of obliviation, in which he can eat the sins of the dead and transform those sins into pure nothingness. Not only does this help deliver the lucky departed to a harmonious hereafter, but it also removes these misdeeds from the Akashic Record so that when the Portal of Incarnation crystallizes all essences into a purer form in the next Great Turning, the next world will be better for having these sins expunged. And it's also quite invigorating!
My take on Kendra Deverin: She is impatient and no-nonsense. Overall she is good-natured, but she can be commandeering and demanding. She has a tendency to pace restlessly while talking, or if she is sitting down she may tap rhythmically on the table while waiting for a chance to interject into the conversation.
Her vision is to continue building Sandpoint to become a prosperous cultural center to rival Magnimar. She is proud of the theater and the glassworks, and after building a new bank her next great ambition is to put a magical college on Chopper's Isle. This magical school would be called the Builder's College, and would focus on teaching practical magic that engages with the community to improve people's lives, perhaps even requiring internships where its wizards spend a semester working in cooperation with a non-magical craftsman or company. This sets it apart from the abusive and insular environment of Korvosa's Acadamae, or the esoteric mysticism of the Stone of the Seers in Magnimar.
By request, we're back! This 'Everything About' is looking into the four noble houses of Sandpoint: Deverin, Kaijitsu, Valdemar, and Scarnetti. Post all of your musings and homebrew material on any member of one of these families here!
Everything about 'Everything About':
I figure every GM wants to run 3-dimensional NPCs, but not everyone has the time to prep every one. So I'm hoping this can act as a reference thread for GMs starting the AP, where they can take advantage of the creativity of GMs who have already invested the time into making these characters interesting.
Previous threads in the series:
Let's see all of your content (original or not) about any member of the noble families, including but not limited to:
Kendra Deverin gets up on the stage and makes an announcement - everyone who wants to participate should gather by the steps of the cathedral. When she announces the reward is 50 gp the crowd oohs and aahs, and someone shouts out "Forget about the cathedral, now we know where our tax money went!" getting some laughs from the crowd. (But, Kendra has been planning this as a way to introduce visitors in town to what Sandpoint has to offer, so for her it's worth the gold.)
My players considered using the "distraction" of the scavenger hunt to go around sniffing for trouble, so I prodded them by saying "The reward is 50 gold pieces" and they got the hint, hahah.
At the cathedral steps, the hunters are separated into Sandpoint natives and non-natives, and the non-natives get a three-round head start (after all, the mayor's goal is advertising the town to the visitors.) Everyone is pointed in the direction of The Way North, and then a whistle is sounded, and the non-natives are off. Three rounds later, the natives are released, and now there's a mad scramble to The Way North to pick up the scavenger hunt maps.
Many PF2 spell-based mechanics work such that lower-level abilities can't invalidate higher-level powers (for example, Detect Magic can't see through illusion spells unless Detect Magic is cast with a higher caster level than the illusion.) So I imagine "attempt to counteract toxins" would mean that if your caster level is high enough, it will counteract the toxin, but won't have any effect if your CL is too low.
Interesting domain powers - but, if it costs a feat with Expanded Domain to get an extra 1st-level domain power, and a second feat with Advanced Domain to get the 2nd-level power, are these really strong enough?
I mean, I love tasty food, but even so, it seems almost impossible to justify spending a feat on it! Especially with the additional cost of the spell points it requires. Gives a new meaning to "flavor" ability at least...
And then Artistic Flourish - spend two feats and two spell points and 10 minutes to make an item slightly better? Honestly, how many times in an entire campaign do you foresee that ability being used? Or Tempt Fate - spend two feats and two spell points, and if you fail then you just spent those resources to actively make things worse!
When I first read that clerics could take an extra domain with a feat, I thought that sounded cool! Since each deity has only a small number of domains, I feel like the domain abilities could be slightly more powerful than regular feats. Instead, these previewed ones at least don't seem very compelling (dare I use the word "trap")?
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Firstly, I'm not even saying it's a good idea - that's actually why I hadn't posted it until now. But just to be clear, these would be completely optional, they would just be feats that you can take, I'm certainly not proposing them as class features.
I could see "voluntarily take an anathema in order to gain certain mechanical benefits" as being a thing one could spend a general feat on, similar to deific obedience in PF1.
I was mulling over an idea like this - take a feat that pairs a restriction with a benefit. There could be different ones for each class, for example:
It'll be a tough design challenge though to balance them, and make the restrictions meaningful without being too overbearing.
Mark Seifter wrote:
OK, I definitely agree with the design goals here! And as long as a specialized blaster can do equivalent damage to a frontliner, I'll be satisfied.
Captain Morgan wrote:
But by "solo encounters" do you mean solo certain specific blast-friendly encounters (lots of mooks in a tight space,) or solo any arbitrary encounter? Because my experience playing PF is that most fights are against 1-2 enemies, and I've never seen a blaster solo a single-enemy fight (at least not without Dazing Spell.) So rating them as 9 (just one step from "I can solo everything, you are coming to watch") just doesn't match my personal experience at all.
My experience in PF1 is that you need to hyperoptimize a blaster to even stay relevant. Players who bring non-hyperoptimized blasters (usually new players) invariably end up disappointed when they're doing 10 damage each round while the martials are doing 30 damage.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Interesting, but I think the experiment might be testing "optimized character in a published adventure" as much as it's testing "hyperoptimized blaster vs standard PC." An optimized barbarian put through the same test might also come out looking like a 9 or a 10. It's pretty much just a known fact that if you optimize your character and then bring them to an AP or PFS game you are going to steamroll it.
The thing that I don't like to see is when a new player comes in, and all they want to do is build a blasty damage-dealing caster, and they are consistently doing half (or less) of the damage of the frontliner. If you specialize for blasting, I'd like to see you do an equivalent amount of damage as a frontliner. After all, the frontliner is performing two roles - tank/damage sponge and also DPR, so if the blaster is only performing one of those two roles and doing it half as well, it's no wonder they leave the session feeling worthless.
I'd agree with those numbers.
To clarify, you're agreeing with Mark's numbers or mine?
Mark Seifter wrote:
To try to use some numbers here to explain, suppose that there is a 0 to 10 scale of what you can do in an encounter, where 5 is about what you would do as a reasonable share of a 4-person team and 10 is "I can solo everything, you are coming to watch." If non-metamagic blasting was 4 in PF1, metamagic blasting was 6, hyperoptimized blasting was 9, and the strongest nonblasting caster shenanigans was 10, and we curb that "other shenanigans" category, then if blasting in PF2 competed with "hyperoptimized blasting" from PF1, it would be the new caster problem child.
Those numbers seem way high to me!
I played in a party that had a hyperoptimized blockbuster blaster (crossblooded sorcerer 1/admixture wizard X with Magical Lineage for Fireball and all the metamagic feats) and I'd say they were around a 6.5 on that scale. The blaster sorcereress in my current Runelords game is non-optimized and probably a 1...
What are other people's experience with this? How would you rank PF1 blasters on the 0-10 scale?
edit: I wasn't counting Dazing Spell in the above assessment, as I don't really considering it blasting at that point. If you add Dazing Spell in then "blasting" becomes insanely more powerful, but I'm more wondering about actual damage-dealing blasting.
How about a universal archetype that buffs your blasting? Call it Elementalist and then druids, wizards, and sorcerers can all take it.
I agree we desperately need stronger blasting in PF2. I'm 100% OK with it requiring investment for a caster to rival a fighter in DPR, but if they invest heavily into blasting they should be able to get close. So many people want to play blasters, especially new players, it's a real shame PF1 doesn't support that playstyle.
It's still 3 actions (that don't even bloody work as written) to apply a DC 13 poison to a weapon and it works for 1 hit. That's it. Unless the save bonuses have been drastically reduced, I don't see how it's any better than PF1 poisons except in price.
I assume you can spend those three actions at the start of the day and have your weapon poisoned until you use it.
Have we heard any indication that poisons lose potency? Certainly alchemist-generated "unstable" poisons will deteriorate after a day or round, but I don't think there's been any hint that bought-and-paid-for poisons will degrade once applied.
Keep in mind that the alchemist is targeting touch AC, so their crit probability is WAY higher.
And poisons still have super low DCs. Yaaaay.
Did you miss the 5 gp price tag? I was actually wondering if DC 13 was too high.
I don't know what kinds of other dangers or restrictions are involved, but if I could just visit the local apothecary and spend 5 gp for a poison that has a half-decent chance of slowing and maybe KOing my enemy, I would probably poison 100% of my weapons 100% of the time. Obviously drow sleep poison will not be that readily available, but if other poisons are similarly deadly with similarly low costs I can see a massive shift in the percentage of characters that use poison.
It's also interesting to note that both the elixirs mentioned (Bravo's Brew and Lesser Bestial Mutagen) along with the one we already knew about (Elixir of Life) give +1/+2/-1/-2 types of effects.
I think a lot of people were expecting PF2 to end the era of "fiddly +1/+2s", but it looks like they're here to stay.
Mark Seifter wrote:
OK, good! It was bugging the verisimilitude center of my brain to have "non-magical" elixirs be attuned by spitting into the brew.
(It still bugs me that "non-magical" elixirs require resonance. I'm hoping that little piece of equivocation drops out in the playtest.)
Yolande d'Bar wrote:
Personally I probably wouldn't reveal the meta details, I would probably try to come up with an in-game description of what is happening, that has a strong implication of what action should be taken and the potential consequences of failure. (If you want to give more details on what your skill challenge is going to be, I could try to help you brainstorm an immersive description.)
Isn't the experience of being undead also quite hellish? I thought that for example many undead suffer from endlessly ravenous hunger, and that feasting on flesh doesn't actually satisfy the craving, it just kind of dulls it.
I'm not sure how much of that is canon - what do we really know about the experience of being undead? Could you really morally justify creating something that is doomed to eternal suffering?
Crayon, to answer your question please refer to my two posts upthread:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
I'm really questioning what the problem is.
As a GM, say I'm running a combat with three types of enemies. I have goblins, goblin commandos, and an NPC. On a goblin's turn, he attacks and I roll a nat 3.
In PF1 I literally don't even need to look at his statblock at all, I just know it's a miss. I've just resolved an entire turn in about 3 seconds.
In PF2, I need to look at the statblocks, find the goblin's stat block, find the attack bonus, look up at the board to determine flanking, try to remember if there are any other buffs or debuffs active, look back at the die result, add everything together, ask the PC what their AC is, they try to recall whether or not they put their shield up, they respond, and then I can finally resolve it.
It may seem trivial because you do all that so frequently, but this is the stuff that bogs combat down. I love the turns that you can resolve in 3 seconds because it keeps the action moving so quickly, and now it looks like those 3-second turns are dead and gone (at least when your PCs have fumble-triggered abilities.)
I do agree with everything you're saying - if they find a way to make it crystal-clear to new players they shouldn't allow themselves to be bullied into playing a role that's not interesting to them, then I have no objections to a strong healer class (except maybe for combat speed impact.) But, I don't know how easy it will be to get that message across in the CRB.
So you're calling the current system clunky, awkward, and confusing? Yes, I agree.
I had a player ask me during our last session "Do I add my ability score, or my ability bonus?" I agree it's completely unnecessary to have the score, especially if all stat bumps in PF2 will be in increments of +2.
You can literally do it the exact same way. Roll 3d6, subtract 10, and divide the result by two (rounding down.)
You have to do that anyway when you fill out your bonuses on the character sheet.
The fact that even in PF1 where combat healing is weak, there is still a very common sentiment that someone needs to play a healer makes me very worried what would happen if PF2 buffs combat healing.
I've actually seen people post on reddit with questions like "Right now the party is a druid, a witch, and a ranger, so we need a healer. How can I make a cleric that isn't boring?" This conception that you need a healer just won't die, so reinforcing that conception by making combat healing powerful will unintentionally mean a lot of players get pressured into playing a character they have no interest in playing. This is especially a problem for new players! New players don't have the system mastery to refute and say "actually we can get along just fine without a cleric," and they're more likely to accede to pressure from other players on what kind of character to make. That leads to uninspired characters and bad (first) play experience.
I'd almost like to see language right in the cleric class description of the CRB, something like "While druids get their healing powers from their connection to natural life forces, and wizards get their healing powers from manipulation of the material fabric of the world, clerical healing powers are a direct gift from the divine." Just some kind of bright flashing message to brand-new players - "there are other options!!!"
To clarify, I have nothing against the cleric class - I actually love it - but I do object to seeing players get pressured into playing a specific role, and that happens A LOT. Buffing combat healing is bound to make that problem worse.
Resurrection. Resurrection being made impossible is enough reason that necromancy is evil. Once someone's been reanimated as undead, Raise Dead is flat-out impossible on them. Even True Resurrection fails unless you destroy the undead creature inhabiting their body.
Even if someone willingly volunteered for their body to be made into an undead creature (which is definitely the only way necromancy could possibly be not-evil,) you don't know if some higher power might want for them to be resurrected at some point. If they've ever been reanimated, at the very minimum that's going to require Resurrection instead of Raise Dead, and if their body is still animated then it could require a Wish to summon the corpse so it can be destroyed before being resurrected.
I'd reaaaally like to know more about how ability scores are generated. If it's true that backgrounds play a part I'm worried that we're going to get into a situation where all Barbarians take the same 3 backgrounds because they grant a STR boost, for example.
I'm really concerned about this as well. At the very least, I'd like as many backgrounds as possible to have multiple options for stat boosts.
Mercenary: +2 to any stat
Scholar: +2 to Int or Wis
Escaped slave: +2 to any stat
Thief: +2 to Dex, Int, or Cha