1. Bastard swords that are versatile piercing. My pet peeve. But in general, more 1+ level non-magic gear would be cool.
Back in the very early 1980s we ran an all kobold campaign. There were 4 kobold PCs, Huey, Duey, Luey, and Puey. Huey was a fighter, Luey was a cleric, Duey was thief, and Puey was an assassin. Most of those kobolds died, but Puey, aka 'Puey the bold', went on to join the regular adventuring party and eventually became a 15th level grandfather of assassins. He was like a kobold James Bond. These were kobolds from the 1st edition monster manual, which looked like cute little reptilian devil puppy people, and they were technically members of the 'giant class', and so somehow related to ogres, trolls, fire giants, orcs and goblins.
There are all sorts of cool alchemical items that should have been in the game, but we got stuck with low level stuff with more DC and damage.
Anyway, here are some higher level alchemical items that might be cool:
I think that the Thaumaturge is good for a monster hunter class. There should be a cleric doctrine of inquisition, that has the spell/attack progression of the warpriest, provides light armor proficiency, and focuses on perception and skills. So, instead of being a cleric with an investigator/rogue/thaumaturge background, you could be a cleric with the inquisition doctrine if you wanted.
Really two cleric doctrines is kind of sad. There are all sorts of rogue rackets, sorcerer bloodlines, druid orders, etc. But only 2 cleric doctrines.
Other cleric doctrines could include evangelist, and secret cultist.
The following is incorrect:
Goblin (Intelligence/Charisma) I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again, Goblins have some of the best feats and heritages around. Of particular note here is the Goblin feat ‘Burn It!’ when combined with the Oscillating Wave Conscious mind can make your Produce Flame deal an extra 2.5x the spell’s level damage when your psyche is unleashed (that’s an extra 10 damage at level 8, and 15 damage at level 12!)
Both Burn It! and Unleash psyche are status bonuses, and so they do not stack.
Still, Burn It! is somewhat useful for when your psyche is not unleashed. To unleash your psyche, you need to cast a spell first anyway. Cast ranged 'Produce Flame' or other fire spell with a bonus for Burn It!. Then on the next round, unleash your psyche, and cast a ray of frost or other cold spell (as per the requirements for oscillating wave, and benefit from the unleash psyche status bonus.
I'd see it similar to a good religions tenets against killing. It's OK to destroy undead in self defense, or to otherwise further the creation of unlife in the world and the cause of Urgathoa. If some cleric of Norgrubber created a bunch of undead and had them attack a community of Urgathoa worshipping gouls, Urgathoa would be cool with destroying those tools of Norgrubber.
It could also be that Urgathoa wants just to make sure that their clerics are a negative force in the cosmos, weighing things away from life and towards undeath. As long as the cleric creates or saves more undead beings than they destroy, they are OK.
But then, there are also probably Urgathoa fundamentalist fanatics that are very strict. A pragmatic blood lord would use them, but not really buy into their strict, literalist interpretation of Urgathoa's anathema.
I don't know if you noticed this yet, but you have a section where you say,
This does not always work, because of the following rule regarding weaknesses:
"If more than one weakness would apply to the same instance of damage, use only the highest applicable weakness value."
So, for the flaming sword example, you could use the personal anti-thesis to trigger the 'you' weakness for the slashing damage that the sword does, and then the 1d6 fire damage that the flaming sword does would trigger the troll's fire weakness (I think that's how it would work, those are 2 different damage instances, right?). But, if you were attacking a werewolf with a silver sword, you could not do this, because the silver weakness is already triggered by the slashing damage, and you don't combine weaknesses.
I am more into the mana wastes and steam punk these days, but I will say that Iron Gods was an utterly awesome adventure path to run. Each and every module was splendid-- not a weak volume in the 6. Also, when you dig into Numeria, it is friggin *cool*, what with mutants, rat folk warrens, Kellid barbarians, the Technic League, all of the crashed alien starships and alien monsters.
So, you could have been died due to ghoul fever. Before rising as a ghoul, your disease infected corpse was mummified. Then, since the mummification process interfered with your becoming an actual ghoul, and the ghoul fever interfered with the curse that would have caused you to rise as a mummy, your restless spirit returned as a ghost/ghoul/mummy. It could happen. It's not inconceivable.
Inquisitor doctrine for cleric that focuses an perception, tracking, and intimidation. (trade, say, the medium armor of a war priest for some skill and perception boosts)
Evangelist doctrine for cleric that focuses on persuasion, bluff, and performance (trade, say, the free domain spell of a cloistered cleric for some skill boosts)
Unarmed/Unarmored combat doctrine for cleric.
Demonic instinct for barbarians that lets them grow horns, claws and other demonic features.
A paranormal investigator.
Storm, protean, aquatic bloodlines for sorcerer.
Wizard arcane thesis that allows them to add primal or occult (choose one) spells to their spell book as arcane spells. Note that divine is opposite of arcane, so it is not part of this thesis.
Jagen Zeli Vef Ti Zaen wrote:
I read that and Speaker for the Dead in the late 1980s. They were good, but I always find it funny because Ender's brother and sister influence earth politics by posting political opinions on what is essentially Usenet.
A really fun space opera from the 80s is Startide Rising. There are genetically uplifted chimps and dolphins, dozens of different ways to travel faster than light, and gobs of weird aliens. I didn't like the sequels as much, as Startide Rising, though, because one of the cool things about that book was that humanity was not particularly special, we are kind of a primitive, wild, backwards world. The follow ups make us something like 'the chosen ones' in an old school epic fantasy.
I am surprised that there have not been several new cleric doctrines by now. In addition to Sacred Fist, you could have an Evangelist, that gets automatic skill increases to Diplomacy, Society, and Bluff as well as a few bonus skill feats, and an Inquisitor that gets automatic boosts to Perception and, Stealth, and Intimidation, a bonus to Reflex saves, and few bonus skill feats. The Inquisitor would get light armor proficiency, and the Evangelist would get to to use their divine channel spells to cast divine enchantment spells in additional to heal or harm.
Something like that.
There are a lot of ways one could go for this. There are advantages to doing it as an archetype, as that would let you add in some focus spells that are particularly appropriate, and it makes sense that it would be a dedication feat, as it would involve quite a bit of dedication for a wizard to develop their strength and develop spell casting tricks that utilized it. Note that this version of the concept would not have any powers for actually physicall punching stuff. The character would have to choose a further archetype (barbarian, martial artist, fighter, magus, as they desire) to get some ability to hit stuff.
Other notes: you can get this dedication archtype by taking the Stength Powered Wizard arcane thesis. That thesis basically is just 'You can the Strength Powered Wizard dedication feat'.
Here is an outline of some ideas:
Archetype: Strength Powered Wizard
You have developed a unique arcane thesis that allows you to boost some of your magic using your physical strength. You may add your strength modifier to the damage dealt by any evocation or transmutation spell that you cast. This applies to any damage dealth by the spell throughout its duration, for example, it applies to each damage roll a flaming sphere deals, and to any damage you deal while polymorphed into a battle form. In addition, the status bonus you gain from the focus spell physical boost is equal to your strength modifier if it is greater than 2, and you can add your strength modifier to the damage dealt by the focus spell hand of the apprentice.
Mighty Shield (level 2): WHen you cast the shield cantrip, you add your strength modifier to the spell's hardness. When you use Sheild Block with your shield spell, you may also make an athletics check to push the attack. Add both your strength and your intelligence modifier to the skill check for this push attempt.
Break Magic (level 4): gives access to a focus spell (and a focus point) that lets you counter wall spells and other magical barriers, as well as effects that would restrain or hinder you (slow, entangle, etc.)
Hefty Telekinetic Haul (level 10): When you cast Telekinetic Haul, the distance you can move the target increases to 10 feet times your strength modifier, and the maximum bulk of an object that can be affected by the spell increases to 80 plus 10 times your strength modifier. Once per turn you can sustain telekinetic haul as a free action.
Mighty Battleform (level 6): You add half of your strength modifier (round down) as a status bonus to attack rolls you make while polymorphed into a battle form.
Hand of the Apprentice (level 1): as per wizard feat.
Although I don't think it is officially in the downtime rules, I imagine a person could use a week of downtime to retrain one of the languages they learned at 1st level due to a high (12+) intelligence to a new language provided they have a tutor for that language, or a 'Teach Yourself Jotun in Seven Days' book, or the like. If you had selected the multi-lingual feat, either due to a background, or whatever, you could also retrain the languages you picked for that feat.
The Inventor class feat 'Gadget Specialist' (pg. 27-28) does not list the level of the gadgets that the inventor gets for free each day, just that they must have the formula. As it stands, it seems that a 4th level inventor can make a 19th level temporary gadget, and acquire valuable high level formula. The text should probably be changed to something like the following:
"You gain the formulas for three common or uncommon gadgets of your level or lower (page 66). Each day during your daily preparations, you can create two temporary gadgets of your level or lower from your formula book. Gadgets prepared in this way don’t cost you any resources to Craft and don’t have any sale value. They are temporary items and fall apart the next time you make your daily preparations if you haven’t already used them.
A class feat that gives Thaumaturges Trick Magic Item as a bonus skill feat and lets them use there Charisma bonus instead of their Wisdom or Intelligence bonus for any relevant skill checks would be a good low level class feat.
It would also be nice to have a class feat that let the Thaumaturge use some version of Implement's Empowerment with two handed weapons (or at least two handed weapon implements). Then I could make a halfling Thaumaturge with a staff sling and a filcher's fork as a backup weapon. Halfling nature seems perfect for a Thaumaturge.
I'd also like to see more pacts, even though they are uncommon.
One idea for a pact: a pact with a hag coven that curses creatures that bring you to 0 HP but requires you to, say, surrender a number of years from your lifespan for each such curse might also be cool.
It is very easy to build an inquisitor right now. How one does depends on their deity and how you want to balance the spell casting vs. combat vs. investigation aspects of the character.
You could make a war priest with an investigator, rogue, or ranger archtype. You could make an investigator, ranger, or rogue with a cleric archetype. Etc.. Throw in druids for more nature oriented inquistions.
I think that cleric/detectives are a great character concept, though. There is a lot of good fiction featuring medieval versions of them-- Brother Cadfael, The Name of the Rose, Sister Fedelma. I would like to see a cleric doctrine to create a more perception and skill focused cleric.
Music and powerful magic are a staple of bards in fantasy fiction. Kvothe from the Name of the Wind, Deth and Morgan from the Riddle Master of Head, Orpheus from Greek myth, Taliesin from Welsh myth... There are a bunch of them. Learning song and story reaches into people's hearts and spirits. Music is a harmony that at its most perfected reflects the secret harmonies of the universe. The class makes total sense to me.
If you started as a performer or wandering musician, you learned the deeper secrets of your art and they developed into a knack for some magic.
Or you may have learned your art as part of a path to a deeper, occult understanding of the universe.
I love adding science fiction to my D&D world. Doing so is as old as D&D, and I am a giant fan of all sorts of science fantasy, science fiction mixed with fantasy, and high technology mixed with fantasy. From movies like Bakshi's Wizards, to comics like Saga, to books like Vance's Dying Earth or Gene Wolf's Books of the New Sun, I love all of that stuff. Iron Gods was the first adventure path that I thought was so cool I had to stop my current campaign and run it. So, yeah, there are other fans, and count me as one of them.
Inqisitors and evangelists would both make good cleric doctrines, the inquisitor getting the warpriest's weapon/spell progression light armor, and boosts in perception and intimidation (with bonus skill feats), while the evangelist might get the cloistered cleric's weapon/spell progression and boosts to persuasion, deception and perform (with bonus skill feats).
That being said, in my group the only two 1e classes that people have run that are not 2e classes are the inquisitor and the skald, though a couple of us have been hankering to try a bloodrager. Only one person ever ran an inquisitor. They liked it, but then that was a kingmaker campaign where we punished law breakers by having them torn apart by castings of mad monkeys.
Right now it is not easy to create a ninja in 2e, if by ninja one means a stealthy Asian martial arts sneak attacker with ki powers. You can do it, but it takes a lot of fiddling. So, my guess for one of the two classes is ninja.
Sonic damage is weird anyway. Are we talking the concussive force of a sound wave? If so, how is it not bludgeoning damage, just like blasts of air? It would probably be better to narrow down the damage types as much as possible, and then fit each effect into one of the more limited damage types. Sonic effects could deafen you and do bludgeoning damage.
Also, other than being magical and effecting incorporeal/ethereal things, how is force damage different from physical damage? Seems like that should just be physical damage appropriate to the shape of the force object, that is magical and ghost touch.
It would be cool if there were a race like the Phraints from Arduin (an old, amazing D&D setting that was in many respects way ahead of its time), or the Tri-keen, which were similar in some ways to 4 armed Phraints.
The schtick people liked about Phraints was that they would jump over you while throwning a javelin, and then land behind you, quick draw a greatsword, and hit you in the back.
That fix is not as simple as it seems. Elves would then have to reproduce much more slowly than humans, so that they have children only every 100 years or so. One way that could work is if there were some astronomical event, the alignment of moons or whatnot, that caused both genders to become fertile at the same time, and drove them to mate. It might be something like the 'Amok time' that affects Vulcans. Is it a coincidence that both elves and Vulcans have pointy ears? Is it possible that elves are the ancient, fantastic ancestors of Vulcans?
Elves were one of the first playable races in the first fantasy RPG. They were there, because the D&D creators were playing medieval wargames with a Tolkien fantasy element (because the battles of 5 armies, and the battles from the lord of the rings rock so hard). and those wargames evolved into D&D. They didn't think through the fluff of elves too much. They assumed that people who were going to play D&D would use their background knowledge of elves from whatever source, and run with it.
Game mechamically, non-humans had extra powers that humans did not, starting from 1st level, but this was balanced in the original D&D and AD&D by limiting the maximum level you could advance an elf to as a player (except as a thief, for some reason). Non-humans were also limited to what classes they could hold. For example, elves could not be rangers (weird, right).
Even back then, there was this nagging issue with regards to elves. If they are so long lived, why do they not dominate the world? Even NPC elves would have centuries to hone their skills, gain worldly knowledge, craft wondrous artifacts, study, explore... People make up all sorts of relatively dumb explainations, like that they are sickly and die off fast, or that they reproduce very slowly, or that they are big-time slackers that spend all their hours playing harps and frolicking (even so, they would get really good at harping and frolicking). The conundrum has not kept elves from being a popular D&D race. There is so much that doesn't make sense about the default D&D fantasy universe, that this issue with elves perhaps only makes D&D more popular, as it gives one something to ponder for a few moments in this all too brief life.
I like Undead Lore and Fiend Lore.
A good, more specific lore is Ghost Lore (or perhaps more generally, Spirit Lore). Undead lore will not readily do what this does, because specific ghosts each have a way to be put permanently to rest, and that kind of knowledge would only require a really high DC roll without a specific lore skill. Also, with Ghosts it is definitely worth an action to recall knowledge.
I think that they could work as cleric doctrine, where they would have only light armor proficiency, and a more limited weapon selection, but gain a bonus to perception, a hunters mark like feature (but working on creatures that were condemned by/anathema to their religion), and some extra skill training/skill feats (probably having to do with intimidation). If cloistered clerics were the spell casting clerics, and war priests were the fighting clerics, inquistors would be the perceptive and skilled clerics.
What about level non-magical items? What kinds of high level melee weapons, armor, and other gadgets (artillery, howdahs, coaches, clockwork gizmos, spy devices, etc.) are there?
How many new types alchemical devices are there? What are some particularly cool ones?
Will there ever be a bastard sword with a point that can do piercing damage? If not, how is it that smiths are unable to put a point on a great sword, but not a bastard sword? What does this say about the crafting abilities of the smiths of Golarion?
Is the default 1st level gun a matchlock, a wheellock, or what? What are the higher level guns like? What is a particularly cool high level gun?
Will guns and gear include the errata for alchemists (because they have some pretty significant changes in the errata)?
Ogre and half ogres, and centaurs that are all playable, feel like actual ogres and centaurs, and are not particularly more powerful than the other ancestries.
I also have a foundness of vanara, rabbit folk, and such.
Ascestries from the first world might be interseting, as would a first world setting/adventure path where the game takes place in a fairy land and you can play a native denizen.
Cylar Nann wrote:
5e has a different design with regards to math than PF2e. In 5e, your level does not affect your chances of hitting nearly as much. A 1st level character has about a +5 to hit without spell boosts, and a 20th level character has around a +14 to hit or so (+14 assumes a 20 in the relevant attribute and a +3 weapon). AC for a 1st level monster will be in the mid teens, and AC for a 20th level monster will be in the low 20s. In PF2e a first level character is around +7 to hit (fighters are around +9), and a 20th level character is around around +35 or so.
Because level matters more in PF2e, if the monsters are a little high level for the players, the players will miss more (or the monsters will save/crit save more). In 5e, you can face a CR 8 monster and hit it a lot, but it will be harder for a 5th level 2e party to hit a 8th level monster. (especially true when the level difference is one where the characters would advance to the next level of proficiency). If the DM throws lower level encounters against the players, then it works the other way around, and you will kick their butts (both with increased hits, and with increased crits) Of course, that would also let your spell casters use incapacitation effects, so such encounters should be over quickly.
Also note that each +1 is more significant in 2e in that it has a 15% chance to matter with each roll (to turn a crit fail into a fail, a fail into a success, and a success into a crit success). In 5e, a +1 only has a 5% chance of mattering per roll (to turn a fail into a success). That being said, each +1 5e is pushing your dice roll across a greater percentage of the space between what you rolled, and what you need to hit a higher level creature, since creature AC doesn't improve across levels as much. So, in 5e, spells and abilities that boost your attack rolls, like bless, or bardic inspiration, will result in a larger increase in the number of player hits during a combat, and gaining advantage in 5e, which is fairly common, results in what amounts to about +5 to hit. Taken together, all of that means that players do probably hit more often in 5e, especially against higher CR monsters.
One neat thing about PF2e is that equipment can be higher level. We have already see a couple of higher level weapons like the sword cane, but it the potential is that there could be all kinds of fancy "mundane" weapons. Perhaps we might see some in Guns and Gear.
Here are some examples:
Basket Hilted Rapier/Long/Short Sword: An elaborate basket hilt adds the parry trait to a rapier, longsword or short sword.
Mercurial Greatsword: These were probably inspired by Gene Wolf's Books of the New Sun. Severian is an executioner who has a greatsword with a hollow blade that contains mercury so that as it swings it gains the benefits of having a lot of weight at the end. I doubt it would actually be useful in real life, but in a fantasy RPG it must be awesome. Perhaps it adds the forceful trait to a greatsword.
Knightly Sword: a bastard sword with versatile (piercing), the way it should have been. In our world this would be the equivalent of an Oakshott type XVa, or XVIIIa-c longsword.
Dueling Greatsword: These are swords that requires two hands, do a d12 slashing versatile piercing and that have a new trait, free hand, that lets use feats like combat grab, dueling parry, or disarming stance that require you to have a hand free while wielding a single handed weapon. Weapons with the free hand trait can not be used if your have anything other than the weapon in either hand. So, you can't wield a free hand weapon in one hand, and a shield in the other, for example.
Mighty Composite Bows: these are bows that allow you to apply your full strength bonus at the first range increment.
Compound Bows: a fancy system of pulleys negates any strength penalty to damage on the bow.
I think it was the recognition that there are 9th level PF1e spells that are just more powerful than anything else-- timestop, miracle, and wish, specifically. By making those level 10, and limiting the number of times they can be cast per day, the designers probably hope to make high level play more interesting.
As a hema practitioner, and fellow sword nerd, I agree with the spirit of your post. The weapons in D&D and pathfinder are more based on D&D history and trying to balance the game than on historical weapon taxonomy. So, in pf2e you have the bastard sword, which can be easily used in one hand and can't be used to thrust (it apparently has no point, and does no piercing damage-- a type of sword that probably includes an oakshott XIIa. XIII, XIIIa), and the longsword that can be used to cut or thrust, and then the short sword, which seems to act like most one handed swords hema people fence with in that it's agile and finesse and that the word 'short sword' brings to mind the oakshott XIV - XVI swords.
There really is not a PF2e weapon that matches the what 21st century hema practitioners call longswords, or that matches oakshott type XVa, XVIa, XVII, or XVIIIa,b,c swords. Typical humans can't fight normally with one of these and, say, a left hand dagger or shield, though you can momentarily use a free hand while fighting with them. I have seen really great athletes temporarily parry/bind with a longsword in one hand, but its more a trick (feat), where the D&D bastard sword is a weapon that you can wield with a shield.
So, I agree, but there are more unrealistic things involved in D&D combat, so I can live with it, especially since there are now feats to grapple and trip while wielding a sword.
For example, bucklers are not at all like historical bucklers, because you *hold* a historical buckler in your hand, and greatswords in PF2e do not have the proper traits, which would include sweep and backswing if you model their usage after the historical montante.
This is an extremely silly ability. It not only makes no sense that any drifter gets it, it makes utterly no sense that every drifter gets it.
Many games do not want to be this silly. For some games, its OK, but not as a standard feature of all drifter gunslingers.
Also, there are a host of alternate abilities that would be good for the drifter's 9th level deed. How about a dual weapon attack that takes 2 actions, lets you shoot someone, move up to them, and attack with a melee weapon with no additional multiple attack penalty and a bonus to damage if the range attack hit.
I don't like this feat either. It changes the flavor of the world to one that is more silly. For some games, it might be fine. Other games don't want things that are that silly. Think about it in terms of the expected imaginary world of the genre. In fantasy kung fu movies, people can execute crazy jumps by having developed their martial arts abilities. But in westerns, or in the Dark Tower books, gunslingers can't do that. Gunslingers can do some crazy accurate shooting-- shooting guns out of people's hands, shooting their pants off, shooting blind folded, etc.. But you don't see them flying around by shooting at the ground.
I would not be against just raising the damage die a size, but note that by giving them an extra die at the first range incrmeent encourages risk taking tactics that are flavorful. Also, raising the damage die a zize makes the striking firearms more deadly and makes it less important to score a critical hit, but adding a damage die for the first range increment does not improve striking firearms, and keeps the critical hit incentive (as all of those damage dice are improved by the fatal trait).
Captain Morgan wrote:
Magic items and runes will exist along side higher level firearms. It just makes sense. It is more difficult to craft a pepperbox than a flintlock pistol. You could then also have a pepperbox with runes.
I don't think leveled firearms will be as extensive as they are for starfinder.
Note that alchemy is also leveled, so that you will probably have cartridges and weird powder formulations as alchemist items of various levels.
So, you could well have a double barrelled dragon pistol (level 7) with one barrel loaded with a level 5 red dragon cartridge, and the other barrel loaded with a level 5 blue dragon cartridge.
The damage for simple muskets and flintlock pistols is small, but one assumes these are 1st level firearms.
I imagine that there will be higher level versions of the various firearms. For example, rifled muskets, double barrelled pistols, pepperboxes, heavier long barrelled pistols, dragon pistols, etc..
Since gunslingers will use these things, it would be good to playtest with some of them.
Also, higher level versions of firearms would let use judge the effectiveness of the simple flintlock and musket in context.
I think it would be interesting if firearms had a 'point blank' trait, that gave them an extra damage die when they hit a target in their first range increment. That would mean the gunslinger (or other firearms user) would be encouraged not to fire until they saw the whites of their opponents eyes, so it speak.
Also, it would make firearms more useful to classes that don't have a fighter or gunslingers proficiency advancement. It's great that there are simple firearms, but there is little reason for a character to want to use something with such a bad range increment that also only does 1d4/1d6 (except on an unlikely critical hit).
For about a year I ran a starfinder campaign, but my players got sick of the rule system and wanted to go back to PF1e.
Starfinder has amazingly awesome concepts-- great aliens, races, story arcs, factions, monsters, a super cool setting. But the rule mechanics are horrible.