Sanmei Long's page

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.. I do gotta say the analogies to real world medicine kind of fall flat from the perspective of universal healthcare in most countries. XD

(Yes, materials and care still cost money, but it's more like charging the commoners a handful of silver every month to ensure that they always have the services of clerics, rather than charging them a pile of gold per healing spell.)

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graystone wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
CLW wands were a terrible, hacky, unintended, uninteresting, and general terrible fit for that role.
People say that, but what is the replacement that's great, appropriate, interesting anda great fit?

More and more, the impression I'm getting from players here and Paizo is "bravely going forward even with few to nil resources and hoping like hell to win anyway! And being totally okay with it even if we TPK! Hell, half the fun is rolling up new characters anyway! I've never had a party last longer than level 5!"

Or alternatively, "to do that and always succeed because, pathetic human, I am vastly superior to you. I play Dark Souls blindfolded for a casual gaming experience. Also I routinely devise new forms of cold fusion for something to engage my brain whilst I slip off to sleep on my pile of Rolls Royces, and did I forget to mention I'm a dragon?"

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Heh, yeah, my suspicions were correct -- the average kit, not even including things like a tent, is probably too much bulk for the average adventurer when combined with their armor and weapon and any adventuring necessities. Definitely going to want pack mules when on the trail.

avr wrote:
Wouldn't a 13th level wizard be flying or teleporting, especially if there was a 20% chance of something bad happening? Even in PF2.

Hm. A 13th level wizard has access to level 7 spells, so, okay -- they can heighten Fly to last one hour instead of one minute. It's a single target spell and they get two level 7 slots, so they can either fly for two hours or make themselves and one other person fly for one.

Teleporting is a little better. They can Dimension Door (themselves only) for one mile by heightening to fifth, and they have three of those per day, so they can travel three miles by dimension door assuming they've been to the location to which they're dooring and don't have to worry about pesky comrades.

The actual spell of Teleport is uncommon, so wizards frequently will not know it. The level 7 heightened version does allow them to teleport themselves and up to four people up to 1000 miles, however, again assuming they have previously been to the place they wish to go (you can no longer Scry a location in advance).

So if they're fortunate enough to have managed the difficult roll to acquire Teleport, they can do that under some circumstances.

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thflame wrote:
Quite honestly, if a PC had a "good" aligned character of a good deity in my game and they asked to be paid to cast a healing spell on a guy in need, I'd probably have him lose favor in his deity.

Good heavens, why is that cleric even out journeying on some frivolous adventure when they could be saving tens of people with channeling and Create Food and Water spells?!

Why doesn't Batman just use his seemingly infinite wealth to raise standards of living for all of Gotham so that crime becomes pointless to all but the most sociopathic criminals?

Superman: A transitional power source

Superstition got a buff, but it still only looks playable if a 15 minute adventuring day is truly the expected norm. :\ Even with an alchemist pumping out elixirs of life, the barbarian just isn't ever going to regain enough HP to keep in fighting shape unless battles are spaced quite far apart from each other.

(Also, lawl, you're only expected to have enough gold to buy two potions of moderate healing. That'll restore, at best, about 4/5ths of your HP...)

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I seriously recommend having a long perusal of the spell list, followed by a gander at the saves on the average monster, before attempting to mitigate the awesomeness that is magic any further than it has been already. Wizards no longer throttle the heavens. In fact, on most days they can barely stir up a dust devil with a particularly aggressive fart.

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Dasrak wrote:
You'd need the person who dropped to be the cleric, and you would continue to need bad luck throughout the coming fight in order to lose. And, just in terms of my "gut feeling" on the odds (which, to be fair, is underdeveloped for PF2) that feels about like the 6% odds that Paizo's data suggests.

Chances are that much of the 6% is based upon the original Dying rules, where the cleric had no way to alleviate the problems experienced by a Dying character, thanks to not regaining consciousness or losing the Dying condition when your HP was brought above 0.

Thanks for clarifying that, Chess Pwn. The ambiguity of the phrase "same effects as normal" really needs to be addressed.

Even you don't gain Sluggish 2, however, the effects are still rather underwhelming given how hard it is to actually take advantage of your increased size in any way.

dnoisette wrote:
There is one added benefit to forcing opponents to Step or Stride to get to you: they now have one less action which they can use to attack you.

I did think of that, but as I noted under Giant's Lunge, preventing the opponent from making a third attack at a -10 penalty is... well, okay, monsters tend to have high attack roll bonuses, but they're still not overly likely to connect with that third attack anyway, so preventing them from using it is kind of "ehhh" at the best of times.

Unless you're fighting something that outclasses you even more so than the average monster, in which case why are you letting yourself be Sluggish oh stars you're gonna die

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One of the things I loved most about 1E is how flexible it was. You could build nearly anything and chances are could make it function relatively well if you knew what you were doing. Wizards who engaged in melee were possible. Fighters who use magical items to evoke sorcerous effects were possible. An alchemist who turns into a puddle of goo? ... okay y'know what

Now take this framework and look at second edition.

"I was thinking of trying an aasimar fighter and multiclass into a rogue."

"I'm doing another wizard, but this time I thought I'd try a goblin firebug."

"I think I nearly have the ranger build I wanted down. I'm going to add in half-orc for some extra oomph."

"All of these sound awesome. Which of you is playing the cleric instead?"

Screw obligatory classes.

Hoo. One of our players wants to play a barbarian with the Giant Totem and the more I dig into it, the more issues seem to arise.

To begin with, wielding weaponry of a size inappropriate to your own doesn't appear to be specifically addressed anywhere in the book -- the Items and Sizes page (191) only references cost and bulk of larger than normal weapons.

In 1E, weapons of different sizes did different amounts of damage. In 2E, it appears all weapons have exactly the same damage, whether your club is the size of a twig or the size of a tree. Can characters not normally wield weapons of an inappropriate size? Because if they can, I don't see what stops the from trading in their weapons for tiny-size equivalent (same damage, half as much bulk!)

But the giant totem is all about wielding larger weapons, so let's set that aside. Under the totem ability, it says that wielding a large weapon doubles the conditional damage bonus from raging, but imposes Sluggish 1 as long as the weapon is wielded.

Sluggish imposes a penalty equal to the increment on AC, attack rolls, DEX-based skill checks, and Reflex saves. Sluggish 1 is therefore a significant penalty, but having double the damage bonus is pretty significant as well, due to how 2E doesn't have ways of getting immense STR scores or feats like the 1E Power Attack.

Alas, you won't benefit from the conditional bonus to damage from Inspire Courage or other spells, which is kind of odd.

I feel like this works out to roughly a "push" as far as mechanics go. -2 AC is a significant penalty in 2E due to the increased likelihood to be critically hit and the tendency of monsters to have higher attack bonuses than a PC of the same level and I'm not sure the damage bonus makes up for it.

Then there are the abilities:


You grow to incredible size. You become Large and increase your reach by 5 feet until you stop raging. You have the sluggish 1 condition (see page 324) while your size is increased.

Your equipment grows with you. If you’re using the titan mauler ability, your weapon’s even larger size causes it to have the same effects as normal for that ability.

The phrase "the same effects as normal" is always problematic when establishing a concept for the first time. You have Sluggish 1 if you are wielding a larger than normal weapon. Does that mean you have Sluggish 1 twice? I'm guessing this is intended to mean that your Sluggish condition increments to Sluggish 2 in this case.

Ouch. Now you're effectively taking a -3 penalty to AC, -2 to attack rolls, -2 to Reflex, and are significantly more likely to fail a DEX skill check (which, let's face it, you were likely going to fail anyway because skill DCs tend to be no better than a coin toss for a fully optimized character). And in return you get... what?

The spell Enlarge grants a +2 conditional bonus to damage (which increases to +4 when heightened to increase the character's size to huge). Neither Giant's Stature nor Titan's Stature reference the spell nor the conditional damage bonus, so we must assume it doesn't receive any. That means the only benefit is the increased reach.

Given that attacks of opportunity are now strictly limited by class and the only way Barbarian gets anything similar is through Come And Get Me and Vengeful Strike, this would appear to make this skill extremely circumstantial, as there is now functionally very little difference between being size medium or size huge beyond forcing some opponents to take a Step or a Stride action on their turn (it mattering very little which, because you are unlikely to be able to make an attack of opportunity) or possibly managing to hit opponents who are at higher elevation.

Oh, and Giant's Lunge just increases your reach some more. Again, chances are that you won't have many ways to take advantage of this. It's not as if most monsters will connect with all three attacks anyway, so forcing them to give up an attack at -10 to get closer to you doesn't feel very strategically significant. Having an advantage over larger monsters with attacks of opportunity of their own, well... again, circumstantial situation.

All in all, it's a very flavorful feat tree that doesn't appear to have any particular mechanical benefits, working out to a push at best and usually negative on average.

Changes I would recommend:

1) Change the conditional damage bonus to a typeless damage bonus in order to allow the barbarian to benefit from allied spellcasting, and:
2) Add the same conditional damage bonuses as seen on Enlarge to the N Stature abilities.

As for Giant's Lunge, I suggest an addendum: If Giant's Lunge would enable you to make weapon or unarmed Strikes against an opponent who would ordinarily be outside your reach, that opponent is flat-footed against all such attacks.

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I am mentally batting around the idea of healing magic being built around a similar mechanic as the new Magic Missile, where the more time and effort you put into any given cast, the more HP it restores, with an out-of-battle application taking one minute per cast and restoring a substantial amount of HP in one shot. If that were the case, I don't think I'd mind wands only having 10 charges, or costing resonance.

I'd also like to see healing receive an additional bonus from the recipient's CON ability bonus, minimum 0. It makes no sense that investing in CON or being a mighty warrior also makes you a sponge who needs vastly more healing than other characters in order to feel restored to full strength. It feels like being punished for having more HP.

You have to be able to make the roll to craft it; items are gated off by proficiency level; you have to make a crafting check to reverse-engineer an item into a formula if you want to reproduce it; a successful craft check allows you to make it cheaper than you could purchase it.

I'd like to see resonance become a mechanic which enhances items, rather than determines whether or not you can use them, and I would like to see it detached from consumables.

As far as the endless parade of sticks casting Cure Light Wounds goes, that's not a problem, that's a solution to the problem. The real problem is the lack of efficacious, efficient healing available to players, especially those who don't have a cleric whose sole function is healing. When your options are "burn charges on a wand" or "spend one or two days resting between every battle," of course you're going to prefer the wand.

People who crunched numbers have discovered that healing options in 2E are even less efficient. That's only going to exacerbate the real problem. "We need wands in order to alleviate the 15 minute adventure day" is not a problem to be solved with "fine, then you can only adventure five minutes!"

GreyWolfLord wrote:
I hear it affects Alchemist far more adversely though, but we haven't tried the alchemist yet soooo....

The alchemist has virtually no mechanics which do not consume resonance. Once they're out of resonance, they're worse than a spellcaster who's out of spell slots (the latter at least has cantrips). They don't have any fallback options that set them apart from some sort of NPC class like a Commoner.

An alchemist eventually does get an extra pool for resonance which can only be used for Quick Alchemy, but they still face limitations and constraints unlike any other class. A wizard doesn't cast Mage Armor and then realize they can no longer invest their Belt of Giant Strength, for example, whereas the alchemist who creates an extra Bestial Mutagen might have just overspent and will now be unable to utilize their equipment's powers.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Charisma is now at worst the 4th best stat for almost all characters (probably not monks), which is much better than its former position of 6th or 1st.

Monks get resonance-taxed for their Handwraps of Mighty Strikes, making them the only class who spends resonance to equip a magic weapon, so they're automatically out one point every day. That may or may not influence where they put their stat bonuses, but I thought it worth mentioning.

Put me firmly in the camp of "not necessarily this, but something." I've never played Starfinder, but I have a serious issue with the 15 minute adventure day, or being corralled into every party requiring specific characters.

What I loved about 1E was how much customization was possible. Between races, classes, archetypes and feats, you could build a character who was truly unique.

2E feels like it's being engineered so that you have your choice of The Traditional Fighter/Rogue/Cleric/Wizard Party or you can die a lot. Count me sorely uninterested in a return to phrases like "okay, who plays the cleric?"

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Luceon wrote:
Sanmei Long wrote:
From what I've heard, it isn't what people do or don't do that kills them, it's the fact that monsters have a relatively high chance of hitting, critting, and sometimes even killing the PC in one blow
With the current rules and adventures this is impossible. So you must mean knocking someone to 0? people keep calling this killing, or dead it is not.

True, they're knocked to Dying 1 or 2, not Dead. But it often amounts to the same if they can't make the Fort save to recoup before the enemy party annihilates everyone else and then casually sits about poking the twitching bodies until they stop moving.

The new dying rules might even make this worse since now you can bounce between Dying 1 and Dying 2 back and forth several times before finally making enough consecutive saves to get out of Dying, though I still prefer them to the alternative (which was the potential to die while at positive HP values, based on some readings).

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From what I've heard, it isn't what people do or don't do that kills them, it's the fact that monsters have a relatively high chance of hitting, critting, and sometimes even killing the PC in one blow -- and that's if they're optimized. Battles are very swingy when optimized (apparently the average chance for a fully optimized character to land a blow or a spell against a same level opponent are never better than 55%) and tend to flatten you if you're not.

That means that there's pretty good odds for that party of level 0 monsters to drop a fighter in the first or second turn, and then while he struggles to roll 14 or better to stabilize, they're busy dropping the rest of the party and not having too difficult a time doing it. The boss has a 10% chance to crit against the fully optimized fighter and as much as a 30% chance against the squishier characters, potentially dealing enough damage to OHKO any single member of the party.

I plan to run the playtest with a party of level 3 characters to see if a few more points of AC and attack bonus help, but from what I'm hearing, they should still be expected to struggle and odds should be far from remote that they TPK against the boss. I find this troubling.

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DataLoreRPG wrote:
Also, low level monsters are a bit more accurate than they should be.

From what I've heard, the skills are slightly too high, but the attack roll bonuses are where they are intended to be. Monsters are apparently intended to continue posting some degree of thread until they are four levels below the PC's own. This means that levels 1-3 are, again apparently by intent, somewhat underpowered and it is expected that one or two PCs die per adventure at low levels.

I have objections to this.

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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Sanmei Long wrote:

I am not interested in playing the Dark Souls of tabletop gaming where PCs are forever at a razor's edge, uncertain whether they want to press on and risk a TPK or fall back and suffer storyline consequences while they consolidate resources.

That's a pretty good description of exactly the style I do want my games to be, provided the difference between the risk and the falling back has a reasonable blend of player and DM agency, and strategic choices aren't unduly easy to mess up with bad dice rolls.

I am particularly hoping to see elegant ways of extending that style into high-level play.

Meanwhile, I'm having the same reaction to it as I did when Breath of the Wild came out: it's not the game I started playing. It's not a game I want to play. If I wanted to play such games, I'd be playing something else altogether -- and now my alternative to that "something else altogether" is becoming the very thing I'd prefer not to play.

Well, there's only one outcome of that sort of change: one less customer.

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Tridus took the words out of my mouth. Literally had a post written up in Notepad while I read through the thread and Tridus wound up writing almost everything I'd intended to say.

I think that when it's not uncommon to hear stories of players fighting one or two battles, exhausting their healing resources, then leaving the dungeon and resting a day to recover spells and resonance, spending all those spells and resonance to finish healing, resting again, and then returning to the dungeon after two days, something has gone horribly wrong. That should never be necessary. If monsters are going to be this dangerous, then PCs cannot safely adventure at anything less than full resources.

I am not interested in playing the Dark Souls of tabletop gaming where PCs are forever at a razor's edge, uncertain whether they want to press on and risk a TPK or fall back and suffer storyline consequences while they consolidate resources.

The problem isn't wands of CLW. The problem is that wands of CLW are the best source of healing -- but that's a complaint about healing itself. No one really wants to sit in a circle waving a series of wands for 8 minutes, but compared to casting eight healing spells and then resting for eight hours and then casting eight spells and then resting for 24 hours (because you can't recoup your spells twice in one day)...

And the answer to that is not "Fine, you can only wave your wands around for thirty seconds before we stop you and you have to do something else."

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I think the fact that we're hearing terms like "15 minute adventuring day" are a good indication that something is flawed in the system. If this in particular is caused by spellcasters exhausting their slots on the first encounter of the day and the martial characters still having taken enough damage to necessitate a rest, then something has gone horribly wrong. Players should not feel so overshadowed by monsters that even the exhaustion of limited resources barely makes a single fight each day possible without serious risk (and even then).

Everything I'm hearing is that players are typically going all-in on every battle and then retreating, or else continuing on -- and then usually losing someone to the second battle of the day. I see issues with this.

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Apologies, I'm late to the thread but would like to respond to things posted earlier.

magnuskn wrote:
Although, as I pointed out, that divine spellcasters get access to their whole spell list but there are uncommon spells on it as well makes me doubt that this was the intent by Paizo.

The angelic bloodline for sorcerer uses divine spells, so they can be gated off from sorcerers in that fashion. I suspect we'll see errata stating that clerics and druids only get access to common rarity spells without learning others through skill use at some point in the future.

shroudb wrote:

Everyone needs magic armor. The same way everyone needs magical weapons (even casters need spell dueling wand/golves)

The same way cloak of prot and circlet were mandatory, now it's armor.

The problem with the cloak and circlet was that they were so mandatory that other items were never given a chance to shine. Other items would languish because there was just no way to make practical use of them.

Several third party writers had taken notice of this, producing rule sets such as the Iron Heroes bonuses, and Paizo themselves produced two alternative rule sets for bonuses in Unchained (one in which bonuses are based off of level, and one in which the bonuses are coupled on to other effects so you have things like Elven Cloaks that give resistance bonuses).

I' d personally prefer to keep to that line of thought -- avoid situations where certain items become mandatory, and certain slots are doomed to always be occupied by a specific type of item. I'd rather have enchanted robes than mages and monks whose slots may as well be filled in by default on the character sheets.

I'm still looking at Mage Armor, though. Since Mage Armor doesn't have a maximum DEX bonus, that seems like it eventually makes it the best armor option in the game -- the only way of breaking the +7 total cap on item and DEX bonus. It's even better on a monk, since they can add up to +3 from proficiency bonus.

John Mechalas wrote:
Passwall was actually a bigger offender in "skip to the end" syndrome.

For Reign of Winter, we played a stealth-heavy party which made absurd use out of an Insistent Door Knocker and Gloves of Reconnaissance, with the occasional round of Spider Climb to get into a good position. There's a bit of good-natured griping about that combo being nerfed, but we definitely understand the necessity! =

Now Passwall doesn't scale as neatly, only having an option to heighten it to 7th for a 20 foot tunnel, but its heightened form disguises the entrance and exit to appear and act like solid walls unless the person trying to use them meets criteria of your choosing. This might be the best "get out of town" option available at short notice to a party in 2E! You cast it, dive into the tunnel, and your criteria for entering it is something like "must be an ally of mine."

shroudb wrote:
also, you can buy wands and staves and fling fireballs every round.

Duly note that wands now possess only 10 charges and staves have charges equal to the highest level spell slots you have accessible (so 10 at maximum) and you may only use one at a time. Both use resonance for each cast and have caps on their spell DC growth; spamming Fireball off a wand won't be very productive if the DC is so low that the monsters critically succeed most of the time. Not to mention the relatively high cost of magic items means you probably can't afford that many of them...

dnoisette wrote:
Although I keep posting here in the hopes that Paizo staff will realize that a good amount of people truly feel let down with their new take on magic, I don't have high hopes that it will change anything.

For what it's worth, I'm in the same boat. I feel the heavy reduction to the reliability and overall oomph of magic is a step in the wrong direction. I played around with the concept of characters whose spells per day were strictly limited, but who could change a situation drastically when their magic was invoked, and I played around with characters who could do a small number of things almost continuously throughout the day. Second edition thus far feels like the worst of both worlds: both a strict limit on how often you can cast as well as an overall lack of efficacy when you do cast.

If magic is going to be limited this much, it also ought to be more powerful. Otherwise, it should be more common. Being both rare and rarely a gamechanger is a bad combination.

On one hand, the way many spells still have a reduced effect on a success save is nice, but it doesn't feel like it makes up for the shortcomings detailed throughout this thread.

Almarane wrote:
Am I the only one here loving Mythic ?

I liked what I played of Mythic, but there were parts of it that desperately needed balancing. From what I gather, PCs not only quickly start to overshadow mooks, they also start overshadowing other mythic creatures as well, until the question goes from "can PCs kill Cthulhu?" to "how quickly can they kill Cthulhu?"

We played a homebrew version of it for Age of Worms (in which the various arbitrary buffs PCs got were replaced by PCs becoming Mythic instead), but I think our GM may have swung too far in the other direction, making generation of mythic power limited to one point per day and scaling up monsters to the point that most encounters were barely survivable, as well as routinely creating situations which felt like the kind of thing a particularly sadistic GM might put together to "gently hint" that the PCs had gone off the rails and needed to get back on track (like a large cavern filled with equipment-destroying acid spewing horrors, shielded by a miles-wide antimagic field). I wound up never feeling like a superhero, more like I was barely keeping apace with the monsters.

But I liked some of the options it gave martial characters. I played a guardian alchemist/master chymist who picked up several abilities to become a massive tank and melee monster, and I liked some of the champion powers (although some of them were clones of existing feats, and others were lackluster). I would rather see martial characters get raised up in such a manner than to see casters brought down as they presently stand.

Incidentally, Perfect Lie had the potential to derail a campaign in hilarious ways. I consider it the most subtly overpowered skill ever: any lie you tell is believed by whoever hears it "in the absence of obvious proof." In a world with magic, that's a laugh. "Guard, I'm actually the king. That imposter on the throne is a Faceless Stalker who has inscribed runes of power on the underside of his malleable flesh to foil your truth-seeking magics."

FireclawDrake wrote:
The shield can only ever take 1 dent at a time from the use of the shield block reaction because the shield block reaction only forces the shield to take the damage that it blocked (up to it's hardness). This is not ambiguous in the slightest.

That's... one way to interpret it, I suppose, though given the prior text, it's not the way I read it. I suspect this will change in editing one way or another!

(It's possible the sections were written at different times and don't reconcile properly as a result.)

There are currently no rules for sundering items directly, but presumably unattended shields/weapons might be attacked.

Mm, not directly, but the Corrosive property rune inflicts damage to the target's armor or shield on a critical hit - the lesser version inflicts a dent, the greater version breaks the item altogether. Nightmare for a player, given Mending is so slow and there's no way to repair magical gear. Invest in Mending Lattice trinkets, I guess.

2 RP? It's not an Invested item, so the only cost should be the Command Activation to produce Light...

And yeah, ideally the alchemy would have its own internal point pool of some kind (spell points or otherwise), but I think the developers are intent on it tying into resonance one way or another.

On one hand though, they can get more bang for their buck per resonance point than other classes -- two items for the price of one when they create things at the start of the day. It just requires foresight that might be unfair to expect of players since they're a bit more limited than spellcasters, I think.

I do kinda wish Efficient Alchemy also doubled how many items you could produce with Advanced Alchemy. It might not be too much, given how much juggling the class has to do, and how many of those items are so situational, or so hard to utilize with a party ("Quick! Let me spend three rounds giving people a Cat's Eye Elixir to see the invisible stalker! Here, Monk, drink this Stone Fist Elixir sixty seconds ago!")

In fact, outside of certain mutagens and poisons, I'm really not sure how well alchemist holds up over time.

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Communication is key. If a game is likely to contain elements which might be liable to severely impact a player's enjoyment, the GM should discuss it before play begins. If those elements will indeed be problematic, considering finding ways to mitigate them -- ask if a tasteful fade-out on a particularly upsetting scene would suffice, or whether the player would like to step away from the table, or considering leaving the elements out altogether. Try to find a solution which accommodates both the players and the GM. Perhaps include methods of suspending play in a stressful situation -- safe words aren't just for the BDSM community!

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Yeah, I was thinking about these issues myself. I feel like alchemists were created at an earlier point of development. They have a feel to them that is significantly different than other classes -- less refined, more patchwork, and consequently a bit clunky.

Almost every class seems to have at least three specializations presenting themselves right off the bat, but alchemists have more of a mixed bag for the first several levels. After that, they seem to sort into different ways to use bombs, powering up poisons, and specializing in various mutagens? It seems to branch out more slowly, and thanks to mutagen differentiation, a bit more widely (in ways that aren't necessarily bad, but also might limit them).

I'm also really, really not fond of the way nearly everything an alchemist does is tied up in resonance. When they run out, or want to conserve points for an emergency, their options in a battle diminish significantly. Every spellcaster can use cantrips, martial characters have their weapons, but an alchemist has their choice of trained proficiency in simple weapons and not a lot else. They don't really have anything they do that doesn't have a cost associated with it.

And if you compare something like Alchemist's Fire to the Acid Splash cantrip, what alchemists get starts to look pretty paltry. They get some nice status effects they can apply with things like Debilitating Bomb, but they only last one round. Meanwhile, Acid Splash's persistent damage is a DC 20 flat check to remove compared to the Alchemist's Fire's Interact command to remove.

(And given spellcasters will get improved proficiency in spellcasting, while the alchemist doesn't receive any proficiency improvements, they're a lot more likely to land those ranged touch attacks...)

... And of course, casting Acid Splash a few times isn't going to make the wizard suddenly realize he might not be able to invest his Belt of Giant Strength.

Honestly if it were me, I'd overhaul Alchemist. They don't have to go back to being spellcasters look-a-likes, but they could easily be made to resemble other classes in 2E a bit more. They could have a generic bomb cantrip power that could be improved, customized on the fly and empowered using a point reservoir (spell points or some other resource); that would at least let them do things without spending RP in the process.

As for their crafting, I actually like the concept in general, but I feel like getting an expanded reservoir at level 9 is too little, too late, and too tightly restricted. No other class expects to spend every single resonance point every single day the way an alchemist does, or has to juggle so many variables the same way. Detaching a form of offense from the resonance cost would help, but more may possibly be needed to make them truly viable.

(Remarkable Resonance is also rather stingy at only +2 to maximum capacity. I'd suggest that it also decrease the DC for overspending, or remove the critical failure result from overspending?)

(Incidentally, the way alchemical items tend to have RP costs, drawbacks, onset times, or otherwise are made a pain in the butt to use feels like creating a problem to which alchemists are the inadequate solution.)

Addendum while I try to wind this up: of what use is a familiar to the alchemist now? Familiars are so much less useful on the field now that finding uses for one outside of an extra cantrip or spellcasting slot feels like hunting for a niche. I guess giving them communication and a method of movement (climbing, burrowing or swimming) could theoretically give them function as a basic scout, but... yeah, niche uses at best. I wouldn't even trust one to Aid in Craft checks (if they're even able to do so) because their bonuses are so low that they're liable to critically fail more often than not.

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Yup. Monsters seem to have a significant edge over players in 2E at any level except one with a gross level imbalance. Apparently this is intentional. I gather that monsters are intended to still pose at least a minor threat up to level -4, meaning those level 0 goblins should still be on the radar of a level 4 party and should have good odds of killing one or two characters per combat at lower levels.

I'm, uh, not fond of this conceptually. I feel like it skews the advantage to the monsters in most scenarios, and while there's certainly a niche in the market for games where you beat your head bloody on a wall for two hours before making incremental progress, I don't feel like tabletop is a good medium for that kind of system. I always felt like the days of showing up with a 3 ring binder full of character sheets were a bug, not a feature.

Plus it really doesn't make sense for a lot of campaigns. Reign of Winter for example -- you've been geased into helping Baba Yaga! Except, uh, half the party is destined to die within the next day or two. What happens when new characters show up? Do they, um, inherit the geas? (If you replace every part of the PC party within an AP, is it still the same party by the end?)

The Recovery DC, as stated in the new rules, is still equal to the enemy's Class DC (usually 10 + Level + Strength) plus the tier of dying you're currently at.

I believe that's intended to be the DC the enemy will use to recover from the PC's attacks, if they're one of the special cases where the GM has reason to bother tracking this information. Otherwise:

For monsters, the GM will use a high difficulty skill DC of the monster’s level (see page 336).

So you'd be looking at this:



Granted, this still seems kind of high to me. At level 10 with 14 CON and Trained proficiency, you're looking at trying to roll 16 (at Dying 1) or better to get a success. Magical healing is a must, and between resonance, limited spells per day, feat gates to using wands and scrolls and so forth, it feels like magical healing is at a premium.

I might be less annoyed about this if there were more mundane options for healing. Right now it feels like everything is skewed against the PCs unless they have virtually unlimited downtime, which the playtest scenario certainly does not.

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I'm confused as to how people are interpreting the RAW to state that a shield can only ever take one dent at a time, when the RAW explicitly states a shield can take two dents with sufficient damage?

If the item takes damage equal to or greater than twice its Hardness in one hit, it takes 2 Dents. For instance, a wooden shield (Hardness 3) that takes 10 damage would take 2 Dents.

The Shield Block reaction:

You snap your shield in place to ward off a blow. Your shield prevents you from taking an amount of damage up to the shield’s Hardness—the shield takes this damage instead, possibly becoming dented or broken.

How this sounds to me: The incoming damage is reduced by the shield's Hardness. You take the remainder damage and the total damage is examined against the Hardness of the shield.

If your shield has Hardness of 3 and the monster deals 5 damage, you take 2 damage and the shield is dented. If the monster swings for 6 damage, you take 3 damage and the shield receives two dents (and probably breaks).

This combined with Hardness no longer deducting the damage the shield takes from itself means that shields in Breath of the Wild are officially more durable. A legendary heavy adamantine sturdy shield (Hardness 21) can be destroyed by a fairly low level critter wielding a wooden club with a few lucky rolls, and in a single hit on a normal attack by anything of the level of the shield itself.

I'm in the camp that Hardness needs to be revisited. Otherwise there isn't much reason to bother getting anything but the base type of shield as its circumstance bonus is generally the only reason you would want to use it.

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Someone did a chart averaging Reflex saves on monsters at every level provided in the bestiary versus what an optimized Athletics character would have and the numbers are all over the place, but some things are definitely clear.

On average, you need a 7 to get a Success on any such check assuming you are built specifically for it (Belt of Giant's Strength and Armbands of Athleticism). The odds of knocking a weapon free on a Disarm check are indeed quite low across the board if you need a critical success -- on average needing a 17.

Compare this to what you need to get a Trip attempt to put a monster flat on their back and there's just no contest. Trip is significantly better than Disarm. It's slightly riskier because of the chance of being knocked prone yourself, but the odds of getting an advantageous result are so much better.

Disarming's success result is just not particularly advantageous in any way. In most cases achieving a critical success with your second roll requires a natural 20 regardless of the -2 penalty on the target, due to your multiple attack penalty effectively adding 3 to the DC (which, as I noted, already averaged 17). And that's for an optimized character!

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Josh-o-Lantern wrote:
You know what... every time I look at it it confuses me more... You give up every feature of Shifter with the exception of Track and Trackless Step... You aren't even really you original class. You get none of the minor/major benefits of the aspects that even made this class slightly unique... You get none of the damage scaling in your natural weapons... and the biggest sin of all? The freaking art for the archetype looks AWESOME...

The same writer created the Metamorph archetype for Alchemist. It replaces bombs, extracts and crafting bonuses to alchemy in return for this:


Shapechanger (Su): At 1st level, a metamorph gains the ability to transform herself into another form. This ability functions like alter self, except as noted here. The effect lasts for 1 hour per metamorph’s alchemist level, or until she changes back. Changing form (to another form or back) is a standard action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity. The metamorph is fatigued for 1 round each time she changes shape.

A metamorph can use this ability once per day at 1st level, and an additional time per day at 4th level, and every 2 alchemist levels thereafter, for a total of nine times at 18th level. At 20th level, a metamorph can use shapechanger as a free action once per round, either before or after all her other actions, with no daily limit.

This ability can also function as monstrous physique IUM at 5th level, as monstrous physique IIUM at 9th level, as monstrous physique IIIUM at 11th level, as monstrous physique or giant form I at 13th level, and as giant form II at 15th level.

So this writer has a thing for archetypes that render the class totally unrecognizable from its original form. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but in both cases, it gives up effectiveness for uniqueness.

It definitely needs refining, but it's not the worst class I've ever seen. I'd play the elemental shifter, or a tiger form shifter.

My present project is trying to find a way to convert the Mouse form into a variant of the Songbird of Doom build. I think perhaps the the Iroran Paladin and maybe a couple levels of Slayer could be taken out and replaced with Shifter to wind up with something relatively efficacious and not as mind-blowingly OP as the original build.

toastedamphibian wrote:
Sanmei Long wrote:
I could swear I recently saw something which gave you something that worked like Marital Flexibility for racial feats, too, but now I forget where it might have been. An archetype maybe? Something in Mythic?
Probably the vigilante talent I quoted above.

That was it! I was looking in Alchemist since it makes a little more sense there. XD

"A little frog's eye, a bit of devil toenail, and... huh. I think I just proved dwarves are genetically better at cleaving than other races?"

I could swear I recently saw something which gave you something that worked like Marital Flexibility for racial feats, too, but now I forget where it might have been. An archetype maybe? Something in Mythic?


I had a late night math seizure and forgot if even Competence bonuses got multiplied on a crit.

And now I'm trying to figure out how Mythic Vital Strike handles crits with Mythic Power Attack, besides "like whipped cream being flung through an industrial fan." Is there such a thing as enough sleep to process this sort of thing without wanting to take a break and read The King in Yellow as a refresher?

I'm trying to calculate a Heavy Pick (x4 crit) using Mythic Vital Strike (basic) and Mythic Power Attack (at -3/+9). The character has a STR modifier of +12 and the Heavy Pick has a +1 enhancement bonus. The weapon is being wielded with two hands. Here's what I come up with:

Basic attack: 1d6+19
Basic attack crit: 4d6+76

Power attack: 1d6+32
Power attack crit: 4d6+180

Vital strike: 2d6+38
Vital strike crit: 5d6+95

Vital strike with power attack: 2d6+64
Vital strike with power attack crit: ???

Oh hell.

Weapon die starts at 1d6; Vital Strike increases that to 1d6 + 1d6. On a crit, only one of these is multiplied by x4, becoming 4d6 + 1d6, or 5d6. So far so good.

12 STR * 1.5 is 18; plus 9 power attack bonus *1.5 = 13.5 rounded down to 13; plus 1 enhancement bonus, total of +32.

Mythic Vital Strike multiplies all bonuses by the number of bonus dice, which in this case is one extra, so it becomes 32 + 32 = 64.

So a normal vital+power attack is 2d6+64.

On a crit, Mythic Power Attack doubles its bonus before being subjected to modifiers, so 13 becomes 26. 18+26+1 totals 45 and then is multiplied by x4 (because Heavy Pick) to be 180. The damage dice are also multiplied by x4 for a total of 4d6+180 altogether.

Then the extra dice is added and here's where I'm not entirely sure about the bonus damage. If the bonus dice also receives double the power attack bonus, then the total would be 5d6+245; if not, then it would be a "mere" 5d6+212.

What types of multipliers, if any, are typeless damage bonuses subject to? There aren't many examples that I can find, and they are always written sparse in details. Examples in spoilers:

Master Chymist:

Brutality (Ex): At 3rd level, a master chymist's taste for violence leads her to strike more powerful blows with weapons easily mastered by her bestial mind. At 3rd level, a chymist in her mutagenic form deals +2 damage when attacking with simple weapons and natural attacks. This bonus increases to +4 at 7th level and to +6 at 9th level.

Brawler archetype Mutagenic Mauler:

At 6th level, a mutagenic mauler gains a +2 bonus on damage rolls when she attacks in melee while in her mutagenic form. This bonus increases to +3 at 11th level, and to +4 at 16th level.

None of these detail the properties of the bonus, so I'm uncertain how they are counted when tallying damage. For instance, are they multiplied on a critical hit? Do they get multiplied by 1.5 when you use a two-handed weapon? Do they get multiplied on a Mythic Vital Strike? :\

William Werminster wrote:

And that's why I love participating in the forum, I never know when I'll be surprised myself.

That was a bad habit of mine. I tend to make lame jokes, apologies if it sounded offensive. Also I'm not familiar with mythic rules so pherhaps they follow another reasoning.

But hey, now I am the one interested.

Not a problem! Mythic adds a layer of complexity to characters and often comes bundled with a dramatic increase in power, some of which obviously underwent very little balancing before implementation. If it says anything, I recently figured out a way to deal over 10,000 damage in a single turn through an exploit involving Mythic Improved Vital Strike.

Mainly I'm asking whether these rules apply to PCs as well as monsters, which our DM just ruled they do. So that's my table sorted.

As for "is your character a unique monster in disguise"... uh, kinda! I mean, it's quite possible for PCs to get DR/Epic with mythic rules, and mythic characters by nature tend to be unique in nature. It's quite possible to literally be the embodiment of your god's power on Golarian, even to the point of granting spells to your followers.

Yep. The Mythic improvements to Vital Strike are the other big mechanical breaking point. A Mythic Rogue is capable of dealing over 10,000 damage in a single turn, no exaggeration. Even with stricter table variance, dealing thousands of damage on a single attack is still easily possible with trivial effort and a bit of luck.

The Trickster's Perfect Lie ability is the roleplaying breaking point.

When telling a lie, you can expend one use of mythic power to make the lie indiscernible from the truth by both Sense Motive and magic. Obvious proof of your falsehood still reveals the lie for what it is, but in absence of proof, those who hear your lie believe it.

"Guards, arrest that imposter on the throne. I am your true king, who has been polymorphed into this insignificant form by the evil wizard now usurping my rightful place!"

I just need a quick bit of clarity. Under the Universal Monster Rules regarding damage reduction:

A few very powerful monsters are vulnerable only to epic weapons—that is, magic weapons with at least a +6 enhancement bonus. Such creatures’ natural weapons are also treated as epic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

I'm playing a Master Chymist with tiers in Guardian and he's just picked up DR 5/Epic; does that mean his natural attacks now also overcome DR/Epic?

Thanks in advance!

Awesome. Thanks!

Okay, that makes sense. Improved Natural Attack uses the "as if one size category larger" wording, so that obviously falls under an effective size bonus. Could I ask for a hand interpreting this one? From the Master Chymist class features:

Furious Mutagen (Ex): The damage dice for the feral mutagen's bite and claw attacks increase by one die step. The character must have an effective alchemist level (alchemist level plus chymist level) of at least 11 and must have the feral mutagen discovery or advanced mutagen to select this ability.

It doesn't reference size at all, so I'm not sure.

With regards to my reference to "basic effects of a polymorph effect," I admit I was unclear. What I meant is that the item appears to be genuinely transformed by casual investigation, and it takes special insight to realize that the nature of the item is not what it appears to be. Even then without magical assistance, you might conclude that the extra weight is a different magical property, a curse, or that the clothing is made out of special material.

Has anyone else read A Wizard of Earthsea? This part comes to mind:

Pointing his finger Jasper spoke a few strange words, and where he pointed on the hillside among the green grasses a little thread of water trickled, and grew, and now a spring gushed out and the water went running down the hill. Ged put his hand in the stream and it felt wet, drank of it and it was cool. Yet for all that it would quench no thirst, being but illusion.

This sounds like how I would imagine this to be -- illusion so convincing that it can be interacted with as if it were real, but which cannot change the fundamental nature of what is concealed. It seems as if the item is transformed and can be interacted with as if it were actually a new form, but only on a surface level.

In other words, if you turn your armor into a swarm suit, the swarm simply seems to flow into loose fabric weaves without resistance. I'm looking at this for disguise value, not to duplicate mechanical properties of other equipment.

(I'm kind of amused at the thought of a glamer bikini taking several minutes to successfully put on. I picture this being because the straps are strangely resistant to knotting and unless you take the time to carefully adjust and tie it, it either slips off or hangs awkwardly. Armor properties: Hastily donned, -1 AC, +1 ACP, -8 penalty to saves against wardrobe malfunction.)

You will find the game less complicated and significantly easier to understand once you start accepting things do what they say, no more and no less.

Welllll, that would be a lot easier if things actually said what they do, rather than leaving the description so vague. For example, you've automatically assumed that a glamered armor feels like real cloth, which was one of the things I was asking about -- because the text doesn't say that this is the case. It also doesn't say that it's not the case.

So it's kind of hard to accept the rules as written if there are no rules written.

Yes; my question is how thorough an illusion is it, actually? Quoting the section on glamers,

"Glamer: A glamer spell changes a subject's sensory qualities, making it look, feel, taste, smell, or sound like something else, or even seem to disappear."

I'm wondering, and the text fails to specify, how much of this text applies to the similarly named enhancement.

My DM and I are uncertain what properties are possessed by Glamered armor and disagree on how they play, both mechanically and in-world. Wording of the Glamered enhancement follows:

Aura moderate illusion; CL 10th; Weight —; Price +2,700 gp


Upon command, a suit of glamered armor changes shape and appearance to assume the form of a normal set of clothing. The armor retains all its properties (including weight) when it is so disguised. Only a true seeing spell or similar magic reveals the true nature of the armor when it is disguised.


Craft Magic Arms and Armor, disguise self; Cost +1,350 gp

He says that the enhancement simply replicates the effects of Disguise Self and provide only a superficial visual illusion effect which can be penetrated by interacting with the illusion in any significant way. Because Disguise Self is a first level spell which can be cast with 11 in a casting stat, the DC to disbelieve the illusion would be 11.

My take is that the entry seems to imply that the effect is stronger and necessarily more limited than ordinary Disguise Self.

1) The wording appears to state that the enhancement effects only the armor, not the wearer, whereas Disguise Self can affect both target and all of target's equipment.

2) It is moderate aura illusion effect, compared to Hat of Disguise (which functions as the spell) being a weak aura. It is also caster level 10, compared to Hat of Disguise being caster level 1.

3) It doesn't reference a Will save to disbelieve. In fact, it seems to state that only powerful magic can penetrate the illusion.

4) The fact that it "changes shape and appearance" seems to imply a more substantive effect than simply concealing its ordinary appearance with an overlaying illusion.

5) Glamered equipment costs at least 50% more than a Hat of Disguise, although the difference in cost could be explained in a number of ways (doesn't take your head slot, higher CL means harder to suppress the illusion with Dispel).

6) The rules explicitly state that glamers can fool all five senses, and the wording does not state that any senses are excluded (the way Disguise Self does).

Therefore, it is my interpretation that the Glamered enhancement should actually allow the wearer to replicate basic effects of a polymorph effect, in essence actually transforming the armor into clothing which, despite its appearance, functions in every way like armor.

For example, if a cleric invoked the enhancement to change her breastplate into cleric vestments, the illusion would satisfy all five basic senses and fool any casual interaction into returning confirmation that it was, in fact, a set of ordinary clothing. However, the vestments would continue to be subtly restrictive and heavy for the wearer. Trying to sleep in them would be difficult. An arcane caster would find them hampering somatic motions just as much as a breastplate. Their extra weight would hinder efforts to be stealthy. Most importantly, plate mail glamered to resemble a silk dress should still turn a blade.

The primary difference is that the wearer of Glamered armor can more readily pass off the armor as actual clothing. For example, if guards grab the rogue wearing studded leather glamered to resemble clothing, he might try a Bluff check to drag his feet and cause them to misconstrue his weight and slightly stiff posture as recalcitrance, rather than as wearing concealed armor -- and rather than getting a trivial Will save that they have a 50% chance or better at beating.

Any input?

I suspect they figured most players would load a monk up with WIS and wind up with decent Will saves anyway, but yes, it does seem odd that the rigorously trained (heck, Law is intrinsically part of them) monks would be so easily charmed, dominated, terrified, etc.

I could see monks having some form of WIS-based version of Divine Grace, perhaps powered by Ki with a decent duration, like one hour per monk level.

I may have to take ranks in Profession: Hand Model now.

Hah, there's a thought. If a monk's fists are to be treated as manufactured weapons for the purposes of being affected by spells and effects, does that mean my bard can cast Masterwork Transformation on them? Because I would GLADLY pay that 600 gold just to be able to say that my bones and muscles are of exceptional quality and have it be backed up mechanically. XD

Ah, pity. Well, I'm using the Unchained rules, so fortunately I still get a little more BaB than I would in Core. Cheers!

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