I'm approaching how I participate in this playtest a bit differently than I have in the past (after not really participating in the last one). I find the playtest forums a little stressful at times, so I'm going to try and just get all my thoughts in one place for the developers to see rather than try and sway people to my viewpoint. Obviously as this is being posted so soon, this is without playtesting, and I probably won't get to playtest it as I don't get to be a player often and none of the PCs in my campaigns would really switch over to this. Anyways, this is going to be pretty in-depth and long, so it will be sectioned off into spoiler tags.
Core class and general thoughts:
And that's all! Overall, I like the class, particularly in structure. I do think it needs fine tuning in a lot of places though, especially damage, and impulse triggering reactions thing really needs to be addressed considering how many abilities are about avoiding reactions. Apologies if I missed or misunderstood anything, this was a hefty document to take in all at once. Anyway, I wish I could write a more detailed closing thoughts, but I've spent 3 hours writing this and my hand is cramping. So long, and thank you devs for the class!
@YuriP Doesn't 25% chance of your key mechanic not working seem very high? If a Ranger had a 25% chance of their Hunt Prey not working if they had a 10 Charisma (I know this doesn't make sense, just for sake of example) I guarantee you nearly everyone on this forum would say it's suboptimal to not pump Charisma. I'm not entirely convinced that, from an optimization standpoint, the benefits you get from intelligence are worth a 20% higher chance of your shtick not working.
One small detail I love is that the Chalice works with negative healing, because that implement is perfect flavor for a dhampir/vampire character.
Also, assuming you can get an implement and its initiate feature by level 4 or 6 on a multiclassed character, what implements are the best for other classes? Mirror seems phenomenal on a Rogue, allowing you to set up sneak attack by yourself easily. Chalice and Amulet seem good for any front liners with a free hand, notably fighters who don't mind giving up a shield. Tome is a straight upgrade for any Raise a Tome Magus.
Followup idea: Magus with a sentient magic item that fakes being this artifact.
Like most ancestries we get that existed in 1st Edition, the Ghoran, Nagaji, Vanara, and Vishkanya appeared in a Bestiary! Specifically 3. So we can use them to get an idea for a few abilities they'll have access to, whether normally or from feats.
Ghoran: An aura that can make enemies flat footed and fascinated (I can see this not being a constant effect for a player), additional damage taken and harder to escape from jaw attacks, can give attackers a penalty to attacks by feigning anguish, and get detect poison, purify food and drink, and goodberry as innate spells.
Nagaji: They get a bonus to commanding reptiles, resistance to poison, and the ability to make additional saves against poison with a bonus.
Vanara: They can get a prehensile tail, get pest form (monkey only) as an innate spell, and can stand then step twice for two actions without provoking reactions.
Vishkanya: They can poison a weapon with their saliva or blood, and have a bonus to Escaping.
Out of curiosity, are there more entries for this one than the previous round? As someone who entered both, I found the first round to be a lot easier to come up with ideas for, so hearing about how many entries there are surprises me a little!
How viable would it be for Paizo to support a digital-only fork of the rules that wouldn't have print limitations and support continuous balance patches?
You know, if there was an app that had a character builder and you could purchase the books with it, I'd pay for that in a heartbeat. More convenient errata would be the cherry on top but not that important.
That would be Pathfinder Nexus, a service Paizo announced a little while ago but hasn't released yet. Some of the people working on it are people who developed D&D Beyond.
I Ate Your Dice wrote:
Paizo isn't your friend, you should be holding their feet to the fire to make the best game possible and not accepting second-rate work because they're running on a tight budget and working within an outdated business model.
Paizo is a very small company whose workers are already very crunched. I hold no love for any company, but I'm capable of caring for the well being of people who aren't my friends. Especially when they're people who browse and post on these forums, interacting with the community.
And speaking as a League of Legends fan, I would absolutely take fewer balance patches if it meant the workers got treated better.
Andrew 58 wrote:
Fantasy Grounds has all the Adventure Paths up to date and the vast majority of the Rule Books (guns & gears, Secrets of Magic etc). Sure, you have to pay as I'm sure you will with Foundry add-ons, after all somebody put time and effort into the coding and should be paid. While the adventure paths are insanely cheap if you own the pdf's, the rule sets can get a little pricey but you only need to buy ones you actually use. I for one am very sad Paizo decided to go with Foundry, but I can see why when the Pathfinder Community there is much bigger than Fantasy Grounds or Roll20 compared to 5th Ed. Hopefully their Paizo communities will grow, especially on Fantasy Grounds which I use and (tongue in cheek) Paizo will see the error of their ways. (Ps The pdf creator doesn't count as it's all done by a fan, not up to date and could stop at any time)
Running PF2 on Foundry is hundreds of dollars cheaper than running it on Fantasy Grounds or Roll20. I paid I think $20 for Foundry itself (got it on sale a while back) and $25 for the first Outlaws of Alkenstar module, and am ready to play. That's less than I would have paid for just the core rules on Fantasy Grounds.
Back in January, I believe. He's now the Director of Game Design for the Battlezoo line of products at Roll for Combat. So still making PF2 stuff, just as 3rd party.
Kineticists aren’t casting spells, so I don’t see them having one; you might as well as what Tradition the more magical-seeming Monk stances are.
Some of them do, actually. Even disregarding the focus spell stances Alchemic_Genius mentioned, Stoked Flame and Reflecting Ripple stances also have either divine or occult.
That said, I think Kineticists will be tied to either primal or arcane. If the abilities of elementals like Magma Dragons have the primal trait on any of their abilities, I don't see why our PC channelers of the planes wouldn't also have a tradition.
I've been vocal on the forums before about how I'm less than satisfied with the Witch class. Because of that, I've had the need to rework the class rattling around in my head for a while (no promises it gets done if the workload exceeds what I'm capable of, but I wanted to try).
But I wanted to get people's opinions on what they see as the biggest weaknesses of the Witch so I know where to focus my efforts. The main goals I already have are rebalancing and improving hex cantrips, as well as adding more of them, along with finding a way to improve the familiar. A smaller thing I'm looking at is feat support for rituals. I'm looking to keep them a full spellcaster, but if necessary for the power budget I would consider making them a 2 slot per level caster like the upcoming psychic.
So, to reiterate the title, what would you want from a Witch rework?
The only classes I feel are underbalanced are Witch and Alchemist (the latter, at least, the ways people want to play it are underpowered). If anything, I've thought more frequently that Fighter and Bard are a little overpowered rather than classes like Summoner or Magus are underpowered.
Quick Edit: To clarify, I'm only talking about fully released classes. Post-CRB playtest classes have almost universally been underpowered.
Marshal is a good example of what I want, and I've played a Liberator Marshal, but by virtue of being an archetype it's always going to be my character's side thing. My characte will always have to swing a sword or cast cast spell in order to be effective. Plus the abilities I'd want aren't available at low levels (level 8 at the earliest, and it doesn't have great action economy).
I figure if Monk and Martial Artist can both exist, so can Tactician and Marshal.
I enjoy free archetype, and generally prefer that it be there, but can live without it. It gives a lot more freedom to character building, but sometimes I feel restrictions can be fun. Plus, I've definitely had characters where no archetype quite felt right, but that issue has been resolving itself with more content coming out.
I'm also currently GMing a double class feats game, which I like significantly less. It feels like it homogenizes classes too much, particularly for newer classes that don't have as much feat support. The only class I like more under it is Alchemist, but that's because I feel they have too many required feats and would rather just identify those and give them to alchemists for free. So all in all, I'll probably continue with free archetype and not use double class feats again.
It might be a bit of a basic answer, but Beasts. Intelligent or magical animal-like creatures are some of my favorites as a GM, and they're incredibly varied as well.
Alternatively, I would love to see a book on Fiends. Again, I just love them as antagonists. Plus the player options could be fun in this one, I'd love to see a way for Wizards to be fiend themed for instance.
Honestly Fascinated isn't a particularly useful condition, anyways. The main strengths of Battledancer is that it's very easy to get Panache in exchange for a not super consistent or strong effect aside from Panache.
It's also important to remember that, while this forum is very mechanics-minded, that doesn't represent the whole community. I've definitely seen the opinion that Lost Omens books should have even more lore compared to mechanics in the PF2 subreddit (though the style of the Mwangi book seemed to be the most popular).
The earliest versions I wrote did have it be a one-action cantrip, but the main issue I came across is what you mentioned about proficiency. Giving a spellcaster a spammable one-action spell attack is not worth the loss of spell slots at lower levels but would nearly turn the witch into a fighter at the highest levels. The proficiency curve for spellcasters feels very weird to me compared to martials, and it makes tackling things like this difficult to do in a way that will be balanced at all levels of play.
I hear you on the patron-specific changes though, and if I ever decide to expand the archetype I'll look into that! Thanks for the critique and compliments!
Both of those feats are based of existing Fighter feats, Parting Shot and Debilitating Shot, with the latter being stunned instead of slowed to match the flavor. In fact, a lot of these feats are retooled feats from the Archer archetype, since the Warlock was meant to be balanced against a longbow using martial (minus any special class features such as a ranger's Edge).
That said, I know Fighters are generally considered to be on the more powerful side of the game, so if these feats are still too strong to be on a more martial witch I will definitely do another pass.
Genuinely, your warlock archetype, simple as it is, manages to blow most other attempts at a full class I've seen out of the water. Great job, and glad to see your work extends beyond Old Hunter!
Thank you for the praise, it genuinely means a lot!
Also, created a Mercy Stance and accompanying feat for Monk based on the 5e subclass.
A small update, I've added a 10th level feat for the Dueling Dragons Hybrid Study, Wild Rush Spellstrike. Modeled after the Dual-Weapon Blitz feat, it allows you to Spellstrike while moving.
Second, I've added a house rule that allows Way of the Vanguard gunslingers to add their Strength mod to damage with two-handed firearms as long as the target is within 10 feet of you.