Samurai

Shisumo's page

Goblin Squad Member. *** Pathfinder Society GM. Starfinder Society GM. 5,797 posts (15,084 including aliases). 1 review. 1 list. No wishlists. 27 Organized Play characters. 24 aliases.



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I started my subs at Paizo before Burnt Offerings even came out. I'm not doing this lightly. I just don't have any other way to make clear what I think about the company's management in light of these revelations.

Fix this. Make real change. Maybe I'll come back.

Liberty's Edge

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I really like in-world card decks, and have always loved the Harrow deck. Now that we have the Old Mage decks described in Secrets of Magic, how's about getting one of those too? After all, it's probably the deck you play golem with, right?

Liberty's Edge 2/5 5/5 **

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I find it really frustrating to have to spend an ancestry feat to acquire an ancestral weapon that is supposed to be iconic of my character's people. Spending the feat to change proficiency is perfectly fine, of course, but having to burn an ancestry feat to acquire an elven curve blade that my elven fighter already knows how to use seems antithetical to how the PF2 commonality system is supposed to work. I'm an elf! This is an elven weapon! Why is it so hard for me to get my hands on one?!

(As a sidebar, in my home games, sharing an ancestry trait with a piece of uncommon equipment automatically fulfills the access requirement for that equipment. But that's a home game, not PFS.)

Since the Powers That Be don't seem inclined to change the access system accordingly, though, it seems like the Achievement Boon system might offer a compromise. How about a fairly cheap AcP boon that would give a character access to the uncommon gear of their ancestry? No change to proficiency, so it doesn't step on the toes of the ancestral weapon feats, but this way you don't have to burn one of the three or so ancestry feats your PFS character will ever get to use on just being allowed to buy a thematically-appropriate weapon.

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I've just noticed that I never received my subscription copies of PFS2 #2-21 and #2-22 from June. I got my Starfinder Society mods, but not the Pathfinder Society ones. Can someone take a look at this and get them added to my account? Thanks!

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There was something deeply appropriate about the first magus attack roll being a spellstrike with shocking grasp that critted.

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This is an absolutely phenomenal book.

Also, Drag Down and Riptide are kinda scary.

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As planned, yesterday I played this guy* through The Star-Crossed Court, for which spoilers follow. The other PCs were a leshy druid (3rd), dwarf dragon instinct barbarian (4th), a human scoundrel rogue/oracle (4th), a human stumbling style monk (4th), and a gnome armor inventor (5th).

The Build: As with my other gunslinger playtest, I went into this with a plan for how I expected his turns to go. In this case, it was basically a routine of Strike, Hide, Running Reload/Sneak. I wanted to maintain mobility as much as possible to keep from getting pinned down, even if I was hiding. With mobility in mind, I decided to stick with the musket over the arquebus. My biggest concern with the build was the lack of reliable damage; even with Firearm Ace, my minimum damage on a successful hit was only 4 pts, and I couldn't do much about that. My hope was to use attacks from hiding to increase my crit potential, making up the difference that way, along with One Shot, One Kill on the first round to offset not having the bonus from Firearm Ace. I feel like I should absolutely note that I would have 100% swapped out Risky Reload for Rogue Dedication had this not been a PFS official playtest, where archetypes are not, by my understanding, allowed.

{spoilers for PFS 1-23)

The Encounters:
The adventure is a mix of skill challenges and combat encounters. I had an absurd number of trained skills - literally everything but Nature, Religion, and Performance - though I wasn't necessarily all that good at all of them; +7 is better than nothing, but when it can be matched by a 1st level character, it's not much to write home about either. The first encounter, a choice between attempting some social checks or getting poisoned, wound up with us going the latter route. I made the save, as it happened.

The second was another social encounter, interrupted by an attack from four (!) basilisks. As my PC had already said he was on alert after the poisoning and had moved to put his back against the bar, and because the GM was being generous due to the playtest, I got to actually use One Shot, One Kill - although I was very aware that I probably shouldn't have. Nonetheless, I won initiative with a nat 20 and followed my plan. I moved to get some cover behind a table, took a shot at the nearest basilisk, and tried to Hide. The shot was a non-nat crit for a very respectable 45 damage, taking about 3/4 of the basilisk's hp in one hit, and stunned it to boot thanks to the crit specialization. The Hide check, on the other hand, was a nat 1. The basilisk was understandably annoyed with me and replied with a Petrifying Gaze; I rolled a 3 on the die for the Fort save, spent my hero point, and rolled a 2 on the die instead. So that's me slowed 1 for the combat. To be very clear: being slowed as a reload character sucks. The next round I used Running Reload to relocate to some higher ground further away from the developing melee, then took another shot for regular damage. At that point, I settled into a routine of Running Reload to get into position, then fire. Unfortunately, I didn't get another crit that combat, I did waste a turn getting a nat 1 on another attack, and the other two hits I did were not impressive: 6 damage and 12 damage respectively. It was a total of 63 damage across 4 rounds and 4 attacks. (5/7 of that damage was one attack.)

The next encounter was another social encounter followed by a combat. I was actually able to roll well enough on my Diplomacy check - after using my other hero point - to help save that encounter from going sideways, so that was something. The combat was against what was essentially an infinite level 3 elemental generator, very much in the Gauntlet arcade game style. 5 rounds of randomly spawning elementals - due to my choice of position, I mostly wound up attacking brine sharks and sod hounds. Since this was an intentional fight, more or less, I was able to take cover in a stairwell before init was rolled, so my use of One Shot, One Kill was legitimate here. On the other hand, I was an idiot and forgot to use my moderate quicksilver mutagen, despite this being the perfect place to do so. Regardless, I rolled well on initiative and went before the elementals when they appeared. My first shot was just barely a hit, but those still count. 13 damage, thanks to One Shot, One Kill. I then reloaded and hid, this time getting a nat 20. As there wasn't really any cover anywhere else in the room besides the stairwell I was crouched in, I didn't wind up moving much at all and my routine was planned to be shoot, reload, Hide - although it didn't quite work out that way. The second round, the brine shark had critted and Grabbed the rogue, so I popped out and critted it this time, for 35 damage (and a dead shark), then hid again. Round 3, with no targets all that close to me, I decided to forgo hiding to actually take two shots at the sod hound, hitting once for 10 damage and missing (by 1! man I should have used that mutagen) with the other. On round 4, another brine shark spawned, so I reloaded, shot it and reloaded, hitting for a near-max 17 damage on a regular hit. Unfortunately, the shark then bit (non-critically, but they still pack a huge punch) the rogue again, putting her back down to single digit hp. On round 5, I took another shot, landed a nat 20 crit, and did 36 damage, killing it once again. I then reloaded and fired at another sod hound, missing. Had there been a 6th round I had intended to actually try using Risky Reload, but the fight auto-ended at the end of that round. I wound up doing 111 damage across 5 rounds and 7 attacks.

The rest of the mod was more skill challenges and not especially relevant to the playtest. I'll just note that the RNG was not on our side.

After-Action Assessment: All in all, I was definitely contributing to the party, albeit not necessarily as much as I would have liked against on-level enemies. The swinginess of the damage is difficult to overstate: it was kind of insane going from 45 damage on one attack to 6 on the next. If I hadn't had the fighter-level proficiency to help trigger those crits, I would have been completely useless.

In the end, the decision to use the musket over the arquebus wasn't really borne out by the way the encounters played out - I wasn't able to leverage my mobility in either fight, and in both cases probably would have been better off with the longer range and opportunity to try to get some use out of the sniper trait. In the first fight, I could have moved to the higher ground I eventually wound up on anyway on the very first turn, dropped my tripod, and fired from well out of range of the monsters for the rest of the combat without risking getting slowed. In the second, I found myself setting up a sniper position and basically never moving anyway, but had chances to Hide and maybe get that extra point of damage. (Also, if the fatal d10 crits were good, the fatal d12 ones... Mmm. Yummy.) Whether that might apply over a wider range of encounters, I'm not sure, but it's incontrovertible here, I think.

One Shot, One Kill felt fragile and not meaningful enough. Completely losing my subclass bennie in an ambush situation would be terrible, and the bonus damage on just one shot of a combat didn't seem to completely make up for the overall weakness of having to reload and no/minimal static bonus to damage. I also didn't really feel like there was any reason to actually play like a sniper - that is, shooting from a concealed position with single, powerful shots. If I'd had access to Vital Shot and/or Ghost Shot, obviously that would be different, but 9 levels is a very long time to wait for your class to start working like it should. I was struck by how badly I wanted to take Rogue Dedication and Sneak Attacker to actually make all my hiding and sniping pay off in a meaningful sense, as well as help address the swingy damage a little.

I admit the sniper trait might have helped, but I'm not convinced +1 damage would utterly change my outlook here. I'll say this, though: I was thinking at one point about whether I might have gone for the assassin archetype in a non-PFS context, and though I decided I wouldn't (too melee focused), a sniper-trait version of Expert Backstabber would have gone a long way to making me change my approach to the character.

In the end, my experience with the sniper was passable but a whole lot less fun than my martial artist/drifter. Although I was making real contributions to the fights, I just felt unstable (ha!) and precarious, dependant on luck and GM mercy to do what I wanted to do.

*I initially forgot to give him his 5th level ancestry feat, so in addition to the listed stats he also had Natural Skill (Arcana and Occultism).

Liberty's Edge

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I keep seeing people mention multiclass archetypes into other casting classes when they describe their magus and summoner builds. I assume this is driven by the lack of spells below your highest two levels. Even in my own playtest, while I didn't multiclass, I did take the medic archetype as a means to do healing beyond what my spell slots would allow.

How many people are actually building straight, no-archetype characters for this playtest?

My instinct is to suggest that if the class design is driving people to "fix" it by archetyping, that's a problem, but I also recognize that archetypes are part of the core assumptions of the game in 2E. Maybe it's okay if players feel like they have to archetype - after all, isn't that what archetypes are there for? To be bolted onto the class so it actually fits your personal vision?

Maybe so. If that's the case though, I don't personally care for it much. Feeling like I had to pick up that medic dedication was my least favorite part of making my summoner.

EDIT: I'm not taking "everyone feels like they have to archetype" as a given. I'm feeling that pressure, and I feel like I see it mentioned a lot, but I am familiar with the concept of confirmation bias.

Liberty's Edge

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This past weekend, I participated in a combat-focused playtest with a 5th level angel summoner. The playtest consisted of four PCs - a sustaining steel magus, a poisoner rogue, and the 5th level Valeros pregen - and spanned four encounters of increasing difficulty (at least, in theory; didn't actually turn out that way). We faced off against, in order: two frost trolls, two winter wolves, two ice golems, and two young white dragons (one spellcaster, one not). We were assumed to have enough skill-based healing to get back to full hp between each fight.

My build was a hillock halfling with the field medic background and the medic archetype. He was trained in the halfling sling staff for use in extremis, but the sling staff was mostly there as a vehicle for the eidolon to get potency runes. I chose the medic archetype because I wanted to try out a summoner-as-healer concept, given that I was already using the divine spell list; in addition to heal and restoration, my repertoire included heroism and searing light. Literally, the only non-focus spell I cast throughout the entire test was heal. Didn't even cast a non-focus cantrip.

I took the medic archetype because I knew that I wouldn't have the spell resources to heal from magic alone, and by Sarenrae I was on the money there. In fact, without the master Medicine ability from Medic Dedication, I was pretty much tapped for magic and skill-based healing both by the end of the third encounter. It's worth noting, in fact, that I spent both of my class feats on the archetype, partly because medic is really good and partly because there just wasn't much up through 4th level that interested me.

For the most part, the eidolon was extremely effective at its job of making the bad guys' hit points go down. My accuracy was solid, and every hit counted; boost eidolon pushes the damage floor up so far that any hit counts, even off of a d4 weapon. According to the notes we took, the eidolon actually did the most damage across all four fights, even eclipsing the fighter, albeit not by much. It's not hard to put out a ton of damage when even your weak agile attacks have a floor of 11 damage, and your heavy d8 ones can max out at 25 without critting. (As 75% of the enemies we faced were evil, the angel's good damage did not go to waste in the slightest.)

The struggle of the action economy is real. At least once in each fight but the first, there was at least one turn where I simply could not afford the actions to have the eidolon attack because I had to cast a spell or lose a party member. In one fight, in fact, there were two such turns in a row - although technically I could have given the eidolon an action on the second of those turns, but only to walk up next to a bad guy and stand there, waiting to get hit. I opted not to do that.

The shared hp wasn't the issue I was afraid it would be. I'm not sure how much of that was the fact that I did have a lot of healing available to me - and used it on myself when I needed to! - how much was the GM not focusing on me the way I kind of expecting, and how much that I did prioritize hp quite a lot in my build. I think I had the highest hp total in the group? (Valeros doesn't have Toughness.) The eidolon did take some hits, but I guess between the fighter's more-frequent crits and the magus dropping produce flame against fire-weak enemies, I wasn't generating the aggro I might have been. YMMV, without question.

All in all, the experience was better than I was afraid of, but it was definitely frustrating in both character building and action economy. Class feats that are more attractive and perhaps some way for the eidolon to do something when spellcasting has to take priority, kind of how mature animal companions can Stride or Strike even without a command, would be the biggest items on my wish list at this point.

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I don't know if this is linked to whatever caused the scenario-release delay, but when I did finally get my subscription for the August Org Play scenarios, only the SFS ones were in the order. Could the PFS ones get added to my library please?

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Payment methods have been updated, so please ship these orders ASAP. One of them is almost literally two months overdue at this point; I would like it as quickly as I can get it. Thank you!

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Spell Blade (Cantrip 1)
ATTACK, CANTRIP, EVOCATION, FORCE
Traditions arcane, divine, occult, primal
Cast [one-action] somatic
Range touch; Targets 1 creature

Forcing raw magical energies into the form of a weapon for just an instant, you lash out at your foe. Make a melee spell attack against your target's AC. On a successful hit, the target takes 1d6+1 force damage (double damage on a critical hit). If you cast this spell as an arcane or primal spell, you can instead deal acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage, giving the spell the appropriate trait. If you cast this spell as a divine spell and have a deity, you can instead choose an alignment your deity has and deal damage of that alignment type (you cannot choose this option if your deity is true neutral); the spell gains the alignment trait you chose. If you cast this spell as an occult spell, you can instead deal mental damage, giving the spell the mental trait.

Heightened (+2) The damage increases by 1d6+1.

Comments? Criticisms? Thoughts?

Liberty's Edge

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One of my players has an alchemist PC who would like to be able to deliver their elixirs via a dart gun. After considering the options, I decided that a feat that would allow elixirs to be applied as though they were injury poisons made the most sense for accomplishing this. Would anybody be willing to give me some feedback on this?

INJECTION SPECIALIST (Feat 2)
[Alchemist]
You can apply your elixirs to your ranged weaponry. This gives the elixir the Poison and Injury traits. Activating the elixir is a two action Interact activity. If you attack a willing ally with one of your elixirs, that ally is flat-footed to you and you can choose to deal minimum damage (as though you had rolled a 1 on all damage dice). An unwilling target may make a Fortitude save against your alchemist class DC to negate the elixir's effects.

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Is there a non-magical way to do so?

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Anybody got any guesses?

Last time Paizo did something like this, it was the Oblivion Oath announcement. Is Paizo's Twitch channel getting an in-house Starfinder game?

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...I have many questions.

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I seem to have gotten skipped for two months' worth of Society subscriptions (August and September for Starfinder Society, and September for Pathfinder Society). Can these be added to my account please? Thanks!

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Here's mine:

Spoiler:
Arazni.

Anyone got any others?

Liberty's Edge 2/5 5/5 **

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Is there any word on if or when Plaguestone will be sanctioned for Society play?

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I'm just trying to get a good timeline in my head for when the Tyrant uses the Radiant Fire, because I've decided to have each use act as a mythic trial for my PCs. (I believe this will put them at tier 3 by the adventure's end.) If I'm doing my math right, the timeline looks like this:

Roslar's Coffer: Day 0 of the AP
Vigil: toward the end of Book 3
Gallowspire: about 5 minutes later
Renchurch: very end of Book 4
Hammer Rock: sometime in Book 5?

And then, of course, Sun Scarab's Keep: very end of book 6.

Does that look right?

Liberty's Edge

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A thread to discuss the 2E reveals from the Oblivion Oath stream! (SPOILERS LIKELY)

So far: three new heritages - dwarf (death warden), goblin (unbreakable), gnome (chameleon)

Confirmed backgrounds - street urchin, guard, field medic

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One of the things I am most excited about with Attack of the Swarm is the opportunity to learn how the Pact Worlds set up their military structures. Is there a Pact-wide military force, a la the UN Peacekeepers, or NATO's integrated multinational units? Do individual planets have their own navies, which might or might not offer units "on loan" to coordinated commands?

This is particularly interesting to me because the first adventure's title, "Fate of the Fifth," suggests that the PCs will be part of the Fifth, presumably some kind of military unit designation. Will there be rank and issues of command/promotion? A typical modern fireteam is composed of four members, just like the typical size of a role-playing group, but fireteams are not generally as widely-specialized as a RPG group, with medics and technical specialists part of the same group as the infantry. Will we see a description of military doctrine in the Pact that suggests that PC-styled units are widely used, or will the PCs be assembled from more disparate units that follow a more traditional structure, but have been decimated until only the PCs are left?

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I need to make some modifications to this order, please. I'd like to remove the Bestiary and the Lost Omens World Guide from it. (I will be getting both via subscription and don't need two copies.)

I do want to leave the Deluxe Core book in the order, but I am curious - is there any way to get that version to substitute in for the regular version I would get via subscription otherwise? If not, it's fine, I'll get both.

Liberty's Edge

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As much as starting the game off with, "You wake up in a coffin," sounds appealing in its way, I really think that Part Two will be much more impactful if there's a scene beforehand where the PCs get a chance to interact with the people of Roslar's Coffer. Shall we put our heads together to see what we can come up with?

Liberty's Edge

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I just completed a SFS playtest session with a melee-spec'd kasathan biohacker. First, my build, then my report.

The character:
Maedren Echo Depending Insiah Contelesh
Male kasatha biohacker 4
LN Medium humanoid (kasatha)
Init +0; Perception +3

DEFENSE HP 28; SP 24; RP 5

EAC 17; KAC 18
Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +4

OFFENSE

Spd 25 ft. (30 ft unarmored)
Melee ghoulish painclaw +8 (1d8+6 S&P)
Ranged yellow jacket wraith-sting rifle +4 (injection only) or
medic injector pistol +4 (1d6+2 P&F, injection DC +2 or knockdown)
Offensive Abilities biohacker theorems (quick load, treat condition 3/day), injection expert +1, injections 7/day (counteragents -2 AC, -5 DR, -5 resist, vulnerability to energy type; restoratives +1 AC, +2 skills, +10 speed, blindsense), spark of ingenuity 1/day (counteragents add dazzled; restoratives remove dazzled, fascinated, shaken)

STATISTICS

Str 18 (+4), Dex 10 (+0), Con 10 (+0), Int 10 (+0), Wis 16 (+3), Cha 11 (+0)
Base Atk +3
Feats Armor Proficiency (heavy), Weapon Proficiency (advanced melee), Weapon Specialization (simple melee, small arms)
Skills Acrobatics -1, Athletics +3, Computers +7, Culture +10, Diplomacy +7, Life Science +10, Medicine +10, Physical Science +10; armor check penalty -3 Racial Modifiers +2 Acrobatics, +2 Athletics, +2 Culture
Languages Akitonian, Brethedan, Castrovelian, Common, Eoxian, Kasatha, Shirren, Triaxian, Vercite, Ysoki
Noncombat Abilities custom scanner, desert stride, primary field of study (genetics), scientific method (instinctive)
Theme Tempered Pilgrim
Gear ghoulish painclaw, basic formian hide, synaptic accelerator I (Strength), yellow jacket wraith-sting rifle, medic injector pistol with 50 explosive darts, serum of healing mk 1 (x8), 435cr

We playtested using SFS adventure Duskmire Accord 9, but I don't expect to have any major spoilers in this report. There were two combats, but due to blowing a Will save (not an indictment of the class' Will save, because I rolled a 3), I only really participated in one of them. During that fight, though, I felt fairly effective - I was able to hit reliably at this level, for palpable (if not amazing) damage, and it was really useful to have rider effects on those attacks. I attempted to use my genetics counteragent, but unfortunately the target was poison immune, so that failed. Afterward I stayed with reducing the target's AC with the basic counteragent. I was successful 3 times over one combat, which felt very satisfying. I only used one restorative, but it was also useful to be able to increase my speed to help offset my armored speed reduction.

Out of combat I was much less impressed with the class, unfortunately. I was far from unable to contribute, at least, but it was frustrating to realize that my 4th level character's Medicine, Physical Science, and Life Science scores were matched by the 3rd level operative sitting next to me, who also had ranks in almost literally every other skill in the game. I was still the party face, essentially because no one else had invested in Diplomacy at all, but I was very aware of how little the class gave me a reason to buy my Charisma.

All in all, considering I was building for a character version that has been roundly criticized as the worst biohacker option (melee bad, instinctive bad, melee instinctive THE WORST), I was pleasantly surprised by how useful I felt at this level.

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Can anyone think of examples of these classes in sci-fi or sci-fantasy?

Some of my thoughts: Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite is clearly a witchwarper. Considering how often he gets beat on, I kind of like the idea that Worf is a vanguard. I haven't come up yet with a good biohacker example though.

What you guys got?

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At first glance, it looks like the vanguard has the same MAD problem, at least at low levels, that the solarian has. Like the solarian, you have a non-attack key stat, so you need both Con and either Strength or Dexterity, and unlike the solarian, you've got several reasonably good in-class reasons to want Con as high as possible, so you can't just dump it and live off of Extra Resolve.

Given that and Starfinder's very tight point-buy*, trying to raise both Dex and Str just isn't feasible - and frankly, right now Dex looks like the clear winner. The only thing you get for going Strength over Dexterity is a better add to your entropic strike damage at 10th level, but until then there's no benefit at all. On the other hand, Dexterity gives you better AC and initiative, and more importantly makes you not completely useless in starship combat or in skirmishes that require any sort of ranged attacks.

So tell me what I'm missing. Where's the hidden gem of a Strength build that sorts this question out for me?

* Please, please, please consider making PF2-style ability score generation an optional system in the ACOM. It makes solarians and vanguards so much less painful at 1st level.

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I cannot figure out how this feat works. The failure result doesn't really explain how you get frightened, and the critical failure result seems to duplicate the regular result. Can anyone help me out?

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I've got a few questions around Leaps and the associated High Jump and Long Jump actions.

1) Thanks to Powerful Leap and boots of bounding, my 9th level monk can Leap 20 feet horizontally. Because of the way Powerful Leap and the boots are written, though, I have absolutely no idea how high he can Leap. Do they somehow stack for vertical Leaps? Shouldn't they?

2) Although I have Quick Leap, neither Powerful Leap nor my enhanced movement seem to interact with the Long Jump or High Jump actions, so while I can High Jump or Long Jump as a single action, I need to make a roll to use them - and they don't actually seem to make me go any further than my regular Leap does; this is basically explicitly true for High Jump, where I would have to critically succeed on my Athletics check to go higher than I can do automatically thanks to Powerful Leap. Is this intentional?

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Right now, I am in general very pleased with the basic structure of PF2 as the playtest seems to be trending. The action economy, leveling feat slots, TEML, even the magic baselines I'm pretty happy with.

The question, though, is what is going to go into that structure between now and next August - what feats (class, skill, general) are going to be available once the developers add that extra 150 pages of content? The reason why I think this is "the" question is because my largest complaint still remaining, and that of several posters I have noted on the most recent playtest blog, is that there aren't currently enough feat options for weird, out-of-the-box concepts inside each class or the general feats that everyone has access to. I don't feel the sense of a straitjacket that I have seen others comment on, but I don't blame them for feeling it.

A couple examples.

* There are, speaking in very broad terms, roughly half a dozen common "fighting styles" that martial characters use, such as unarmed, two-weapon, sword and shield, heavy two-hand melee, reach/"battlefield control," or archery. In the playtest doc, only the fighter has ready access to even a majority of these, and no class can do all of them without a multiclass archetype. While I understand and even kind of approve of the class siloing, it would be really good if all or almost all the martial classes had some variant on each of these available to them.

* Right now, no proficiency except skills can be raised above Expert outside of class features or class feats. I would like to see the ability to use general feats or generically-available class feats permit any proficiency to be raised to Master, should the player's concept so require it.

Right now, the developers' approach to these issues seems to be via archetypes, whether multiclass or otherwise. ("Mounted Combat" is basically an archetype right now, for example, and Jason mentioned in another thread creating an archetype for two-handed weaponry.) I don't think that's necessarily a mistake, but I do think it's limiting in its own right, since archetypes are exclusionary. That leads back to the sense that the character space is too tight and there's not enough customization possible. There's also the "pick your feat as though you were an X of half your level" complication, which locks out any multiclass option higher than 10th level.

If the plan is to allow these kinds of customization options via archetype, then I would strongly urge the developers to consider making only the multiclass archetypes exclusionary, or at least reducing the minimum feat obligation to just one more feat on non-archetype Dedications. If that's not the plan, then please find some other way to give us the tools we need to color at least a little outside the lines in the PF2 Core.

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Requests for the Skills chapter in the final version:

1) Please move all the actual Skill Feats into the Skills chapter, next to the skills themselves.

2) Please provide proficiency-gated uses of as many skills as possible, from Untrained all the way up through Legendary.

3) Please give at least 2-3 Skill Feats for each level of proficiency for each skill.

Proficiency gating is really the raison d'etre of the entire proficiency system as it applies to skills; it's the only real justification for the small size of the proficiency bonuses as compared to the level component of skills modifiers. I also happen to really like the potential development space. So please, please take advantage of it!

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As written, "I ready a lightning bolt for as soon as he comes around the corner!" appears to be an illegal choice. Is this intentional? Is there some way around it short of Quicken Spell?

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The various class kits from Ultimate Equipment were some of my favorite parts of that book, because it made covering the adventuring basics incredibly easy to do. I thought I might not be the only one, so I went ahead and did some conversion, adapting the contents of the UE kits to their PF2 counterparts where possible, then adding up the cost and Bulk. (Unlike the UE versions, there's no "package deal" discount.) If anyone's interested, here's the list:

Adventurer’s Kit
a backpack (1 sp, -B), a bedroll (1 cp, LB), a belt pouch (4 cp, -B), cookware (10 sp, 2B), a flint and steel (5 cp, -B), hemp rope (1 sp, 1B), rations (5 days; 25 cp, 5LB), torches (10; 1 cp, LB), and a waterskin (5 cp, LB). Total: 16 sp; 3.6 Bulk

Alchemist’s Kit
alchemist’s tools (60 sp, 2B), a backpack (1 sp, -B), a bedroll (1 cp, LB), a belt pouch (4 cp, -B), cookware (10 sp, 2B), a flint and steel (5 cp, -B), hemp rope (1 sp, 1B), rations (5 days; 25 cp, 5LB), torches (10; 1 cp, LB), a waterskin (5 cp, LB), and a writing set (15 sp, LB). Total: 91 sp; 5.7 Bulk

Bard’s Kit
a backpack (1 sp, -B), a bedroll (1 cp, LB), a belt pouch (4 cp, -B), cookware (10 sp, 2B), a flint and steel (5 cp, -B), handheld musical instrument (8 sp, 1B), hemp rope (1 sp, 1B), rations (5 days; 25 cp, 5LB), torches (10; 1 cp, LB), a waterskin (5 cp, LB), and a writing set (15 sp, LB). Total: 39 sp; 4.7 Bulk

Cleric’s or Paladin’s Kit
a backpack (1 sp, -B), a bedroll (1 cp, LB), a belt pouch (4 cp, -B), candles (10; 1 cp, -B), cookware (10 sp, 2B), a flint and steel (5 cp, -B), hemp rope (1 sp, 1B), rations (5 days; 25 cp, 5LB), religious text (10 sp, LB), torches (10; 1 cp, LB), a waterskin (5 cp, LB) and a wooden religious symbol (1 sp, LB). Total: 27 sp, 1 cp; 3.8 Bulk

Druid’s Kit
a backpack (1 sp, -B), a bedroll (1 cp, LB), a belt pouch (4 cp, -B), cookware (10 sp, 2B), a flint and steel (5 cp, -B), hemp rope (1 sp, 1B), holly and mistletoe (free, -B), rations (5 days; 25 cp, 5LB), torches (10; 1 cp, LB), and a waterskin (5 cp, LB). Total: 16 sp; 3.6 Bulk

Rogue’s Kit
a backpack (1 sp, -B), a bedroll (1 cp, LB), a belt pouch (4 cp, -B), caltrops (3 sp, LB), chalk (10; 1 cp, -B), cookware (10 sp, 2B), a flint and steel (5 cp, -B), a grappling hook (1 sp, LB), a mirror (10 sp, -B), pitons (10; 10 cp, -B), replacement lockpicks (5; 30 sp, -B), thieves’ tools (30 sp, LB), torches (10; 1 cp, LB), and a waterskin (5 cp, LB). Total: 91 sp, 1 cp; 3.9 Bulk

Wizard’s Kit
a backpack (1 sp, -B), a bedroll (1 cp, LB), a belt pouch (4 cp, -B), cookware (10 sp, 2B), a flint and steel (5 cp, -B), hemp rope (1 sp, 1B), material component pouch (5 sp, LB), rations (5 days; 25 cp, 5LB), torches (10; 1 cp, LB), a waterskin (5 cp, LB), and a writing set (15 sp, LB). Total: 36 sp; 3.8 Bulk

Liberty's Edge

I'm building a halfling ninja for my main PC in DD - that is, a halfling monk (Pathfinder Hopeful) who will be multiclassing rogue - and most of my build is already more or less picked out. Str 14, Dex 18, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 10 (I will be grabbing Toughness ASAP, but I need those skill points...); trained in Acrobatics, Deception, Thievery, and Stealth (plus Pathfinder Society Lore and another Lore I haven't picked yet); Tiger Stance; and....

Yeah. No idea which ancestry feat to take.

Lucky Halfling? If I don't take it now, I don't get it at all, but not terribly on-theme.
Distracting Shadows? Fits the ninja idea, but I don't plan to do a lot of sneaking in crowds, more solo-y.
Sure-Footed? Also ninja-y, but is it worth taking? Also, can't afford Athletics training yet...
Unfettered? Fits his escaped-slave background, and I don't think I have any other reactions, but it's super niche.
Weapon Familiarity? Boring, but I could definitely use a ranged option, especially since I expect I won't have a spare feat for Monastic Weaponry.

Anybody got a suggestion or make an argument?

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I ran the complete Rose Street Revenge this past Saturday for a group of 6 reasonably-experienced Pathfinder players. This was my first time GMing the new system, and their first times playing it. The party makeup was as follows:

Gnome ranger (two-weapon focus?)

Halfling cleric of Calistria

Half-orc monk (Tiger Style)

Half-elf sorcerer (angelic bloodline)

Goblin fighter (greataxe)

Elf bard (lore muse?)

I was extremely intrigued to note that no one played a straight human. This has matched my Starfinder experience, which is that humans are just not as interesting as the other races these days. The player of the half-orc monk found the entire character creation system frustrating, and she struggled with how the multiple attack penalties worked to some extent as well, but my impression was that she had gotten a grip on everything by the end of the session. A couple other players had smaller issues with character creation – the player of the ranger found the design of the character sheet very unintuitive and lacking enough space for all the things she needed to write down, and the fighter’s player misunderstood the mathematical relationship between Trained and the actual proficiency modifier (he thought Trained gave a +1 and all the higher proficiencies were one higher as well) – but those were less of an obstacle and were resolved before play started. (See Recommendation 1 for ideas for the character sheet.)

All in all, we spent somewhere between 1-1/2 and 2 hours on character creation.

Part One: Dragons

The players elected to begin with the kobolds. The exploration modes made a great deal of sense to the players, and everyone but the cleric chose to operate in searching mode once the tactics were explained to them. The trapdoor was a bit confusing – the Disable a Device action seems to suggest that any trap should have a minimum number of successes needed to disable it, but none of the traps had that information listed, so I just let it ride with a single success. The PCs had no trouble spotting the trap, and the Thievery-trained bard easily disabled it. I was even more confused by the slashing blade trap, although I didn’t realize it until I took the GM survey, because apparently there are two of them? I had absolutely no idea. I really thought the mod was written oddly, and there was a single trap just before the Dragon Sharks’ lair, which was strangely referenced a page before its stats were presented. Still, the PCs found and disabled that trap easily as well, but since no one was sneaking, I started the encounter as soon as they made their first attempt to disable the trap. The combat itself was pretty intense, with the monk being knocked out but a nasty pick crit and the Dragon Shark sorcerer making great use of the three-action magic missile option. This was our only experience with the dying rules, and it came as quite a surprise to the PCs that healing the monk didn’t immediately wake her up as well. The monk’s player wasn’t completely thrilled about that, but most of the group seemed to recognize that it was a change intended to stop the “weebles wobble but they don’t stay down” nature of magical healing in PF1. I couldn’t get a good read on whether they thought that goal was a positive one; some seemed to like the idea, others – particularly the angelic sorcerer, who healed the monk and was then afraid he’d just wasted the spell and the action – were less visibly enthusiastic.

I did note that there didn’t seem to be any minimum damage on a successful attack, and one of the kobolds did manage to crit with their pick and still deal no damage (2d8-2 is still zero when you roll snake eyes). Not sure if that’s a problem per se, but it definitely felt bizarre.

This was by far the longest of the first three sections in terms of time, which I rather expected, given that it was also the first one, and everyone was still getting up to speed. Puddles and Snippets seemed to run much more smoothly.

Part Two: Puddles

The players chose Puddles next, and this one was incredibly short. The PCs quickly found the Muckraker and handed over the donation to get her information; the Frog’s Tongue prompted a little bit of roleplay (the sorcerer decided that fried fish sounded good, and ordered some fish and chips), but that section didn’t last long either. Being able to Recall Knowledge untrained helped the group overall, but I did have a little fun describing termites as jungle-based insects that swarm their prey like piranhas and then scatter, because other than hunting they are very solitary. (Two crit fails on that check!) When they reached the mansion, most of the group chose to use the fighter’s grappling hook and rope to climb up to the second floor (used the rules for climbing with a rope in the adventure), but the cleric, who had also succeeded on the termite roll, used Acrobatics and made it up the stairs just fine. The bard actually did fail the climbing roll, and I described a section of balustrade breaking free and knocking her on the head.

I had a weird ruling I had to make when we got to the fight. The cleric was the only PC to win initiative over the ooze and the bats, and he used his very first action to make the Nature roll to calm the bats. He critted, so they were immediately taken out of the fight, and since they never moved, I decided that the ceiling didn’t start crumbling either. In retrospect, I maybe should have gone the other way just to test out hazards, but it seemed like a just reward for winning init and getting that crit on the Nature roll. Regardless, with no bat swarm and no acid splashes, the ooze was not much of a challenge – it opened with the acid wave, swung and missed with its pseudopod, and then got the snot pounded out of it by the PCs. The monk in particular was really effective, as four attacks that all connected took out a hefty chunk of even 60 hp. Total combat time was less than one round.

The “forensic” part of the exploration seemed to happen quite smoothly, especially since the major clues didn’t require any roll to find. The swarms of corpse flies and death’s head moths were nicely creepy, and the cleric recognized their significance (after the goblin ate some and then made his Nature roll to recognize the species, apparently by their taste). I have seen a “Forensic Examination” use of the Medicine skill suggested on the forums, and I thought it was an excellent idea; I had it in mind when I was describing the results of the PCs’ rolls on the body in the attic.

Part Three: Snippets

Snippets was the only one left, which made the decision-making process pretty straightforward. Figuring out how to set up the initial inquiries was a bit tricky – although I have good players who are self-motivated and instantly suggested a few ways they could go track down some leads, things like Merchant Lore or Religion don’t immediately leap out as options for “where do I find a thieves’ guild?” So I decided to just read off the list of options and let them decide what they wanted to roll. One of the players did ask if the Bloody Barbers had their hands in illegal gambling or fighting rings, and if so could they use their Gladiator Lore to roll. I thought that was an excellent idea and allowed it, giving a few random locations in the Docks, Puddles, and Precipice District where such things might be found. The PCs rolled 3 successes and 2 failures, so they just barely made the cut (no pun intended).

Then they reached the Smiling Cut, the players were much more focused on the Rose Street Killer than on the Barbers, so the conversation stagnated almost at once. The PCs immediately took a shine to Snips, especially after he was bullied, even to the point where they offered him a job at the Grand Lodge. Snips demurred, however, saying he had “prospects” at the Smiling Cut, but it wasn’t until the bard flat out asked him, “Are those prospects with the thieves’ guild?” that things moved forward. One Perception check later, to recognize the lies behind his frantic denials, and the bard hit him with a charm person. He then became quite helpful (I decided he had a Will save of +1, and did not roll well), cheerfully informing the group about the meeting of Barbers out behind the shop. The PCs sent two flankers out to circle the building, and the rest just stepped out the back door. Combat immediately ensued.

This wasn’t a terribly difficult fight for the PCs – Barbers weren’t in particularly strong position to get into flank, and even when they did they didn’t do a whole lot of damage. I did manage to crit the monk once (again!), but 4d4 still isn’t that impressive damage-wise. By comparison, most of the PCs dropped their targets in one hit, and the greataxe was especially nasty in that regard. The cleric critted on his Pain domain power, meaning that one of the Barbers died really really badly. The PCs didn’t keep any of the Barbers alive, so they were forced to get the information from Snips only.

Part Four: Haven

The PCs were initially confused about where they should look once they found the sinkhole, especially since the bottom is shrouded in fog, so I let the one PC who made the Perception check to find the sign for the Sanguine Thorn also note signs that people had been climbing in and out of the sinkhole. One PC crit-failed the climb down, but did make the Catch Ledge roll to halve the damage. Once down, the PCs chose to forgo the main entrances and walk in through the holes in the walls. (The mod said something about some of them being hidden, but none of the holes are marked with an S.) We went straight into combat.

The goblin fighter won init, so he rushed straight in and took a swing at Wennel. Unfortunately, 5 damage with a greataxe meant no damage to the skeleton with resistance slashing 5. The first round of zombie attacks were pretty effective, ending up with three people grabbed and one person bitten as well. Conversely, however, two 3-action castings of heal from first the cleric and then the angelic sorcerer fixed almost everyone and basically nuked all the zombies, all at the same time. Wennel was largely unaffected, but even on a save the zombies took 7 damage, and the one that crit-failed took a whopping 13.

Heal... is really strong.

With the adds out of the way, the PCs focus-fired on Wennel, and he went down without seriously threatening anyone else. Ironically, the goblin was immune to goblin pox, so I had to switch Wennel's target to the ranger; unfazed, she proceeded to pummel him with a table leg, even despite taking a ray of enfeeblement to the face as well. This was the only fight where the fighter really had a chance to use his AoO, but alas, Wennel's high AC, especially with the shield up, meant it didn't do any good. Finally, the monk - sans her usual Tiger Stance - moseyed over and punched Wennel in the face, and that was that.

General Impressions:

It flowed well. Combat seemed to move more cleanly than I am used to, with everyone, good guys and bad guys both, being more dynamic. The initiative change didn't have the impact I was hoping for, other than making the cleric suddenly the speed demon of the game, which I'm not sure is necessarily a good thing. Maybe higher levels will see it have a stronger impact? The spellcasters seemed to feel like they had lots to offer in general, although there were some concerns about offensive options for the sorcerer. The monk and fighter were both very strong frontliners, the monk because she always had two attacks and the fighter because, well, d12s hurt when they land. The ranger seemed less effective, but I think she was still waiting for her two-weapon fighting to really come online. The ranger's player seemed to be content with it, though, even to the point of suggesting she'd rather level the ranger up for the next PFS playtest over making a new character.

The ancestry choices seemed to make no difference whatsoever, with the sole exception of the goblin - only PC with darkvision, and he kept eating things with his Eat Anything feat. Beyond that, though, the whole group could have swapped ancestries and I would have never noticed. I don't believe that anyone at any point ever used their Background skill feat, but they were free, so...?

In general, it was a good experience, at least for me, and I'm looking forward to starting Doomsday Dawn on Wednesday!

Recommendations:

1. Two ideas were presented with regard to the character sheet to make things more clear. One was to separate out Trained/Untrained (since currently, no basic uses of most skills care about anything other than trained or untrained) and the higher proficiencies, so the +1/+2/+3 for expert/master/legendary would be more intuitive. The idea here would be something like a checkbox labeled Trained, and then just off to the side the E/M/L dots would be waiting, possibly with the actual modifiers printed there as well. The second idea was to include the proficiencies chart from page 291 of the PF2 core directly onto the character sheet so it could be updated by the player as the character levels, sort of how old charsheets had BAB which you changed as you leveled and then you changed everything else that BAB affected.

2. Whether there was one trap or two in Dragons, it was weird and inconvenient to have the trap stats show up later than the first mention of the trap. That’s never happened in a PFS mod before, so I assume that was a weird editing artifact of the playtest and not the usual plan going forward, but regardless, please don’t do that again.

3. I would strongly suggest a Diagnose and a Forensic Study action be attached to the Medicine skill.

Liberty's Edge

This is a simple question: do sorcerers really start out with 9+Int trained skills?

Liberty's Edge 2/5 5/5 **

DRAGONS

Liberty's Edge

Can someone update me on this order? It's been pending for almost two weeks, and although one piece has already arrived, it's still showing as "pending."

Liberty's Edge 2/5 5/5 **

One of my regular SFS players has such an abiding hatred for Zo! that I am completely incapable of not giggling whenever I think about this mod...


I like Simar!

No idea who she is or how she factors into the AP but I like her :3

Liberty's Edge

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There's always a danger when you try to apply too much real-world science to science fiction, let alone fantasy. Still, I'm curious about how people plan to approach the hard science, the physics and cosmology of reality, to their Starfinder setting. Will you be limiting two-way interplanetary communication, because Castrovel and Akiton are 20 light-minutes apart? Will your planetary systems never include blue giant primaries, because those stars are far too young to have developed a solar system? Or is all that too much to worry about, and not any fun besides?

Liberty's Edge

1) I have the accessories subscription, but my Subscriptions page only seems to be showing the GM Screen, and I am also hoping to get the Core Book Pawns and Pawns Bases as well. Can you confirm that's going to happen?

2) I see that there is supposed to be a free SF Society subscription if you subscribe to the other four subscriptions. Do I need to add that subscription myself and expect to see the cost go to zero, or will it be added to my account automatically on account of me having the other four?

Liberty's Edge

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A couple months back, I found myself wondering whether it would be possible to build a single character that, with an adequate number of mythic tiers, could solo an Adventure Path. I put the question of how many tiers to the forums, and in the short thread that followed, the answer seemed to be "no amount of tiers would be enough." That seemed unlikely to be true, so I decided to test it.

The parameters of the test are these: a single character, using any Paizo material I feel like using, built with 20 point buy and 10 mythic tiers. Two traits, one of which would have to be a RotRL Campaign Trait, and the option for a Drawback to get a third. I will level when the AP assumes the level will happen, and I will be using the Automatic Bonus Progression system to limit how much extra money I will have to play with - both of these should keep the fact that there is one player instead of 4 from power-leveling or over-equipping the PC.

I will be both player and GM, although for the sake of narrative I might pretend to divide the two. I will only be presenting the mechanical challenges, but any skill check that someone might need to roll I will roll, to establish success or failure on.

The character I decided to build is Atalanta, a human Unchained monk (no archetype) || champion.

Atalanta
Female human Unchained monk 1 || mythic champion 10
LG Medium humanoid (human, mythic)
Init +12; Senses Perception +9

DEFENSE

AC 19, touch 19, flat-footed 15
(Dex +2, dodge +2, monk +5)
hp 61 (1d10+51)
Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +5
Defensive Abilities hard to kill, immortal, mythic saving throws, pure body, pure destiny, unchanging, unstoppable; Immune non-mythic curses, compulsions, disease, petrification, poisons, and polymorph

OFFENSE

Spd 60 ft.
Melee unarmed strike +9 (1d8+11, 20/x2) or
flurry of blows +9/+9 (1d8+11, 20/x2)
Ranged shuriken +3 (1d2+6, 20/x2) or
flurry of blows +3/+3 (1d2+6, 20/x2)
Special Attacks aerial assault, champion’s strike (fleet charge), critical master, fleet warrior, flurry of blows, force of will, ever ready, impossible speed, legendary champion, perfect strike, shatter spells, stunning fist 1/day (DC 20), surge +1d12

STATISTICS

Str 23 (+6), Dex 14 (+2), Con 13 (+1), Int 10 (+0), Wis 21 (+5), Cha 8 (-1)
Base Atk +1; CMB +7; CMD 26
Feats Dodge(M), Improved Unarmed Strike(M), Stunning Fist(M), Titan Strike(M), Weapon Focus (unarmed)(M)
Skills Acrobatics +7 (+19 jumping), Disable Device +9, Diplomacy +3 (+5 gather information), Knowledge (local) +4, Perception +9.
Languages Common
SQ amazing initiative, dual talented, legendary hero, mythic power 23/day, recuperation
Traits Affable, Monster Hunter, Wisdom in the Flesh (Disable Device); Drawback Pride
Combat Gear flask of acid (x2); Other Gear shuriken (20), monk’s kit, 3gp

Obviously, spoilers for Rise of the Runelords follow.

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*slow clap*

Liberty's Edge

Given that we're starting a whole new game system here, I don't suppose you guys included pregens in the back of the book like you did with Pathfinder originally?

Also, akatas. Grrrrrr...


Hello everyone, and please check in so I know you got your PM! Gameplay thread is already up next door if you'd like to start wandering around the lovely village of Phaendar!


The morning of the Spring Market Festival dawns grey and cool, the last clouds from yesterday’s rains still wandering slowly eastward, but the golden sun creeping over the horizon promises warmth and light in the hours to come. The small village of Phaendar wakes with the brightening morning, its small handful of streets beginning to fill with merchants, travelers, farmers, and all the many tradesfolk who have assembled to sell and buy, swap and bargain. The large oval that is the Market Green in the town’s center – fully half the size of the entire town, close to 75 yards across its longest stretch – quickly accumulates wagons, tents, carts, and stalls of all shapes and sizes, along with food vendors, entertainers, shouting children, strolling sweethearts, bemused grandparents, and more.

This is the raucous setting in which you find yourselves on this Starday, the first day of Gozran. As you too walk the streets and alleys of Phaendar and its market festival, you see old friends, long-standing rivals, and strangers aplenty, all going about their lives in this sudden bloom of prosperity. While commerce aplenty happening in the Market Green, the festival events in the surrounding town are largely focused on four locations: the Phaendar Trading Company, which seems to be acting as a central clearinghouse of information on who and what can be found where in the festival and the Market Green, in addition to doing a brisk business in its own right; the Taproot Inn, which has offered its hospitality to many of the town’s visitors, and which is currently hosting an outdoor stage where a Varisian woman in exotic-looking silks and shawls is singing and dancing before a rapt audience; the Riverwood Shrine, where the faithful can offer their prayers to Desna, Erastil, the Green Faith or any other good- or neutral-aligned deity, and where the well-known Caydenite priestess (and ex-Chesnardo Ranger) called Aubrin the Green is demonstrating her archery skills to an ooh-ing and aah-ing crowd; and Oreld’s Fine Shop, an otherwise unremarkable alchemist’s shop that is home – today and tomorrow only! – to local celebrity Wee Patterson, the Tiniest Aurochs, a miniature aurochs the size of a large dog who acts as the Market Festival’s pint-sized mascot. A sketch artist sit nearby, charging 1 gp for a ten-minute charcoal sketch of you and Wee Patterson together, a memento you will no doubt treasure forever!

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