Given that's the kind of stuff 1e archetypes could do, it'd be a really weird step backwards to take that option off the table for 2e (then again, I'd say the same thing about archetype stacking).
There's also the option of doing things like taking away your school, which would drop them down to 3 spells per day and open up room to add more class features like a bard or cleric.
The problem I have with Magus as an archetype is that, as it stands right now, you need too much to build a Magus out of an existing class:
A Wizard who wants to be a magus needs weapons, armor and some sort of unifying mechanic to blend their swords and sorcery together.
A Fighter who wants to be a magus needs real spellcasting and that unifying mechanic too.
That's just the bare minimum, too. Not talking about actually replicating Magus class features, just the most basic concepts the magus represents... and each one of those things is worth a feat or more (a single first level spell is two multiclass feats and that's not enough for our prospective fighter!magus... you're probably looking for a mechanic more robust than bespell weapon for our blending ability too).
But if you want to be a true successor to the Magus class, you need to get that stuff up and running at level 1.
I don't see any way to fulfill all of those criteria with a class agnostic dedication feat.
I don't think it's ultimately really productive to try to assign essences exclusively to particular spells.
For one, the essences most associated with a school or tradition aren't exclusive. The text says things like "tends to" or "especially attuned to", not "divine casters can't manipulate Matter." Primal is more attuned to Matter and Life than other essences, but the book goes out of its way to avoid ever ascribing any exclusivity to that relationship.
For another, essences are described as, well, essence of reality. Magic is the act of manipulating that essence. That suggests to me that two spellcasters doing similar things along different traditions might be able to manipulate different essences in order to accomplish their goals.
Two posts up, Queaux argues that Magic Missile should be a Divine spell associated with the Spirit essence... but looking at myself I can't really figure out how to make that connection at all. I think this shows there's some pretty significant ambiguity, intentionally so, baked into the relationship between essences and other spells.
Generally I just think people have been fixating too much on trying to nail down essences and essence combinations. They're a tool, an explanation and provide some basic guiding principles, but I don't think they were ever intended to be the hard lines some people are trying to make them.
I’d like to see more archtypes than full class revivals because dedicated archtypes are better for blending into a a greater number of options for any given character.
I used to think this way, but feats are too much of a limited commodity.
You could turn some of them into archetypes, but then you end up in a scenario where the things that class got within the first few levels in PF1 have to be spread out across two or three or four feats. Not only does that turn a level 1 or 2 concept into a level 6 or 8 concept, but it severely limits how much you can customize your own character too, by devoting a significant chunk of your resources just to enabling your concept.
We've already seen it with certain Hellknight builds and it's pretty bad.
I just don't think the way PF2 does feats makes this practical.
while I agree it's not generally a huge problem, it does feel to me like the Divine list really was built to be the Cleric list.
There aren't a lot of good fallback options in the spell list. You can specialize pretty hard in buffing or condition removal but when you don't need those it can be hard to find a reasonably ubiquitous option.
For the Cleric, that's fine, because they get better weapons than most casters via favored weapon, the ability to cherry pick a focus spell via domains and bonus top level spells via Font.
But for classes like the Sorcerer or Playtest Oracle, it can end up feeling like they're floundering a bit with their spell list because they don't have those alternate options to the same extent.
In fairness, this is apparently something they grappled with internally as well, with Mark mentioning that he wanted to prune back the Arcane list more heavily to better match the essences thing, and keep hitting the wall of another designer or developer going "This spell is really cool, why can't my wizard cast it?"
This is sort of why I think the emphasis should be less on what a spell list should be allowed to do and more how they should accomplish it. Otherwise we run the risk of shutting down concepts just for the sake of niche protection and I don't think that really helps long term.
I think that the outwit ranger probably stacks best with a snares and traps build, probably with a high INT and possible MC into Alchemy or even wizard.
Trap build works okay, but outwit is kind of tight on skill increases. You really want to leverage Dex/Wis/Cha and investment in Nature/Intimidation, which makes it kind of hard to really squeeze in Crafting and Int too.
The obvious counter-argument is that you can use those bonuses as a substitute for proficiency, but I haven't found that to be a very satisfying option, because you end up no better at the thing you sacrifice your combat capabilities for than someone who just gets it incidentally. You sort of feel like a budget rogue at that point, since rogues get bonus proficiencies and still have a combat feature. You really need to stack modifiers to make Outwit shine.
The other big problem Outwit has that people don't talk about enough is that everything is circumstance bonuses. You get an AC bonus, but you can't use shields (or similar mechanics). You can't benefit from a lot of buffs, or Aid. The book encourages GMs to hand out circumstance bonuses depending on how scenarios are roleplayed and you can't participate in that aspect of the game at all either. Depending on how available these various mechanics are, your Edge might end up not doing much of anything at all.
Paizo made sure that Precision and Flurry (along with things like Rage, Sneak Attack, etc.) didn't overlap with other abilities so you never felt cheated out of your combat bonus and it's a big issue that Outwit didn't get the same treatment.
And, of course, all of this is on top of being a martial who essentially no longer has a damage enhancing combat mechanic.
My experience playing and playing with Outwit rangers is that you have a character who's really good at identifying monsters (and maybe Demoralizing) but doesn't actually have a lot of ways to contribute outside of that (and it's JUST monster ID you excel at, so you still need other people to invest in RK skills anyways).
It compares pretty unfavorably to Investigators and Rogues as far filling the niche of a martial with reduced combat potential in exchange for better skills.
Good things can only exist if there are bad things to compare them to.
Eschew Materials doesn't "need" to exist in order to make the other feats look better.
The game wouldn't somehow be worse if Eschew Materials didn't suck.
Some of them are always going to be better than the others.
So because there might always be an optimal option, trying to give players good, varied and effective options is a completely pointless endeavor?
That would be a horrible way to design a game.
There's no reason to take any of them over the other level 1 Feats available, which is the same as being useless. If Nimble Dodge triggered on being hit, it would be good. But it doesn't.
I'm still not sure what the argument is here.
Other bad feats exist... so we shouldn't talk about any of them?
That doesn't make sense.
False Faith does not appear to be a 2E feat.
False Faith is from Age of Ashes book 4. It's a level 1 cleric feat that allows worshippers of the evil dwarven god Droskar to use the holy symbol of another deity as a focus and make fake prayers to that deity that work as if you're praying to your own actual deity.
It's absolutely super niche and only useful for very specific characters in very specific circumstances, but it's also a feat made for an AP and not a core rules thing. Plus, as Corwin pointed out, still probably more impactful in the circumstances you would use it in than Eschew.
making the hard choices like not letting wizards summon imps willy-nilly anymore.
I feel like this is one of my least favorite decisions. Wizard messing around with otherworldly stuff is a pretty classic fantasy trope and making that entirely the purview of the cleric destroys a ton of character concepts for no real gain.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
It's certainly possible, and there's evidence on both sides, so you'll have to make a GM call.
I don't agree. Mark's quote here is pretty definitive and doesn't necessarily contradict the linked text in the first example.
There's a difference between multiple instances of damage attached to a single attack and a single instance of damage dealing multiple damage types, which is what the language in that link is describing.
I agree with some of the above, the only real solution is to talk to the person playing a paladin and figure out what they're going to do to make their character work with the party.
It shouldn't be on the Necromancer to adapt their character to the new player, especially if before that everyone else was fine with what they were doing.
In Golarion, creating mindless undead is evil for the same reason doing anything with a high risk of killing innocent people as collateral damage is evil
There are lots and lots of spells that have a high risk of killing innocent people if used incorrectly. Almost none of them are intrinsically evil, though.
In any case, it doesn't really matter. Whether the reasoning is logical or arbitrary, it's evil because the writers say it's evil.
But even that doesn't actually matter, because this isn't an issue of in-world justification or mechanics in the first place. It's an issue of whether a new character is going to be appropriate for a party or not.
That's it. That's all it does. That's all it was ever meant to do. Try not to overthink it.
I don't think anyone's confused about the RAW of the feat right now.
It's just astoundingly situational (and just generally not that great) which makes it kind of at odds with the design principles the developers were talking about when PF2 was being put together.
Away and Apart are two completely different words
They're synonyms, at least according to the thesauruses I was looking at.
Just to be clear:
And if you're five feet away from me we're zero feet apart.
And we really can't figure out why this might throw some people off?
I can see why someone might get thrown off. 5' reach is adjacent. Moving 5' is moving to the adjacent square, whereas moving the next square over would require 10' of movement.
Makes sense to me that someone might have those ideas internalized and see 'no more than 5 feet' as no further than opposite edge of the adjacent square, even if that's not correct.
I guess that's another ambiguity here. There are two ways you can read Fly's ability
One is that "Fly speed equal to its speed" is an effect that checks once and applies a flat modifier. If your speed is 50, you get a fly speed of 50 and that's that.
The other is that it literally sets your fly speed to "equal to its speed", so at any given moment, your fly speed is whatever your normal speed is. Under this interpretation, long strider and any other buff or penalty to your fly speed would dynamically change as well.
I mean in fairness, there's a difference between asking someone to open settings and that person asking for help because they don't know how and asking someone to open settings and them insisting that opening settings requires too much tech savvy and is therefore impossible and beyond consideration for the average user and that you're an ivory tower elitist for even bringing it up.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Spellcasters might as well surrender because they can't realistically face off against it.
That really depends on the type of golem and spellcaster, doesn't it?
My primal sorcerer can reliably trigger weakness with cantrips on every type of golem except Alchemical and will often be doing comparable damage to what they'd be doing against a normal enemy when spending spell slots.
Storyteller (world of darkness) RPGs have a lot of evil characters. Why doesn’t it work in Pathfinder?
I don't know if "I don't think of myself as evil" is workable in a setting where we can just point a Paladin at someone and they can say "yup, evil" or where "evil" is a tangible, real force in the outer planes which are generally much, much less pleasant than the ones which are not evil.
Sort of, but I think it's workable in the sense that someone who believes Asmodeus is correct might be Cosmically Evil, but still believe that their actions are morally justifiable.
All we've really done is reframe the discussion and created a disconnect between objective morality and a person's subjective perceptions of that morality.
That morality is kind of not subjective in Pathfinder is kind of the big, big, big problem for doing something like the Storyteller games (where morality is absolutely subjective, and the games are about what concessions you're willing to make with your nominal morality system and the consequences that follow from that.)
See, ironically I guess I actually find morality more comfortable to do in a setting like D&D. Storyteller encourages players to toe the line, but it can also be hamfisted at times in how some of its morality systems aggressively punish characters for behaving incorrectly.
To an extent, a system like that encourages gaming it because of those tangible metagame consequences to your actions. The fact that you can be rewarded or punished (up to and including outright losing your character) offers a perverse incentive for players to sometimes take actions that might run contrary to how that character would otherwise act.
So, what this means is that you can freely choose ANY creature form you like
This is, unfortunately not true RAW. The general rules on familiars in the CRB specifically call out that you pick a tiny animal, unless the feat you take specifies otherwise (with the druid's leshy familiar as an example, note that the text of leshy familiar explicitly calls out that you get a plant instead of an animal).
Why that's they decided to write that rule in when familiars have no stats to speak of innately is anyone's guess. Spite, presumably.
Obviously DM can just handwave that away for their home game, which would be the easiest solution to the OP's problem.
This is probably too vague to be helpful but it's probably best to look at specific features of a creature that you consider important and turning them into buyable familiar abilities that they can slot in, too.
rather than informing the player that their character has a unique and powerful skill or ability.
A powerful skill or ability like being able to ignore components?
I know you're trying to be glib but this is sort of self defeating, because you're talking about abilities being expressly defined, yet have yet to point to a single piece of text that expressly defines the ability for innate spells to do what you say they can do.
You can't say "the text is explicit for a reason" on one rule and then handwave that away for another.
Well, thanks, but it doesn't really explain why it wasn't deemed enough to ask the delaying player to simply skip his turn and act on his initiative the next turn.
It seems pretty self explanatory why asking someone to forfeit their turn doesn't feel particularly great.
Whether you act on initiative 11 in round #1 or on initiative 21 in round #2 does not change the number of turns you get to make relative to the monster. You still go from acting before the monster to acting after it.
That's assuming the only choice you're making is whether to act before or after the monster. So, yeah, that's true in a one-on-one fight I guess.
But there's a pretty significant difference between the fighter choosing to delay until the end of the Wizard's turn so the Wizard can throw up a buff or debuff or cast an AoE without risking hitting the Fighter and the Fighter completely forfeiting their turn.
as I'm sure many will disagree despite the evidence.
This is kind of a loaded way of putting it. The problem is the arguments generally revolve around inferring meaning from other, unrelated rules and trying to extrapolate something out, rather than a clear indication of anything.
If there were definitive, clear-cut evidence one way or the other, these threads probably wouldn't exist.
5e rangers aren't super terrible, but they do have a lot of the "Why did they do this?" type moments in their class features. An over reliance on concentration spells (or, one spell) that unnecessarily limits their options, class features that feel either too niche to use properly or simply don't work well at all.
Some real similarities to the alchemist there.
I find it odd to include an ability with a potential huge value for close to no cost. Meaning that PF2 is in nearly every other regard a game where bonuses come with costs, where you are always asked to choose. In comparison Delay comes across as a free lunch.
IMO, don't think of it as an ability with no cost. Think of it as a benefit of rolling high on your initiative check. Beating your opponents in a check and getting a benefit for it isn't weird, it's the most basic rule of the system.
A game without delay on the other hand, is one where succeeding too well at your initiative check can, circumstances depending, be actively detrimental. The notion that you can be punished for rolling too well (by being made to waste a turn if circumstances prevent you from operating normally) is pretty at odds with the game's basic mechanics.
That doesn't really address fixing your problem, but I think that is kind of the 'why' behind delay.
Storyteller (world of darkness) RPGs have a lot of evil characters. Why doesn’t it work in Pathfinder?
Storyteller is a system fundamentally based around politics. So those internal conflicts are something the system expects and is built to manage.
PF is built more around a group adventuring against a threat, which means it's less designed to manage that kind of thing.
That said I question the premise of your thread. If everyone is on board with playing backstabbing monsters, there's no reason you couldn't do that in PF.
Even ignoring the specific circumstances here. Codes of Conduct and anathema are about a character holding themselves to a certain standard and striving to behave in a certain way.
"Roll a d20 to see if you fall" is pretty much completely against the spirit and design of that and probably rarely a good direction as a result.
The Raven Black wrote:
So, likely I am missing something here.
Well, for one those don't really strike me as specific concepts so much as mechanical features. Like, is +2 to attack rolls really a character concept in and of itself?
For another, the comparison was to Wizard specializations and feats and of your three examples only one of them is actually about choices you make while playing a class.
It's a fitting one though, because while a Thief gets Dex to damage you can also play a Ruffian who has an entirely different stat spread, an entirely different set of weapons to choose from and likely will approach the game in a new way as a result. That's a choice that matters and ends up having a significant impact on how your character feels as a result.
PF2 made a big deal about that. Robust choices that matter. Meaningful options, not math fixers or things that are so niche you can't actually even tell when they're useful.
And yet in this thread, time and time again we keep getting told that none of those philosophies apply here. That this is how you play a Wizard, specializations and choices be damned... and if you want to do something different? Sucks to be you.
I feel like the biggest 'problem' isn't the spell itself being weak, just the niches they fill.
Heal is one of the best ways to provide meaningful combat healing and one of the only sources of strong AoE healing. If you want to heal in a fight, you're probably going to be playing a Heal cleric (battle medicine has limited uses, chirurgeon potions have their own issues, and those are pretty much it for your combat-centric alternatives).
Harm meanwhile is a respectable burst damage tool or AoE nuke... but it's a respectable damage option in a game where literally every single class has multiple options for dealing damage.
I wouldn't even say Heal is so much a power house itself as that the cleric's font is. Casting a naked, unaugmented heal as a Druid or Sorcerer at low levels when you have like, 3 whole spell slots doesn't always feel that great unless you can hit a bunch of allies with the AoE.
See, I feel like your post arguing that the Wizard is fine does a really effective job highlighting why the Wizard isn't.
You talk about the correct way to play a Wizard, describing a specific kind of playstyle with a specific approach to the game. You talk about having to make specific choices. You talk about the choices suggested by your specialization basically being a smokescreen you don't really pay attention to in the long run.
That's a pretty damning indictment of the class when it comes to living up to PF2's design philosophies of not boxing players into specific concepts and making their choices feel meaningful and robust. Yet somehow the takeaway is supposed to be that this is a healthy place for the class to be in.
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Regarding how weakness works, yes. Regarding how 'damage instances' interact with the rest of the system isn't really touched though and like I said, has some pretty significant implications for the rest of the game depending on how you rule them.
Temperans, you forget that the PF2 alchemist can make two bombs per reagent.
That said, you're also right that Watery Soup omitted that PF2's alchemist pulls all of their resources from the same pool while PF1's tracked bombs, mutagens and extracts separately.
Regardless, it's kind of a meaningless point to make anyways. PF1 Alchemists having issues with resources at low levels is pretty immaterial to PF2 Alchemists having issues with resources at low levels.
It would need errata to work like that.
Both in that thread and the other ones on the topic the ultimate player consensus seems pretty inconclusive. I generally agree with you but given how much contention there was last time this came up and given how significantly problematic all (because there are two or three) readings can potentially be, I think it's maybe a bit unwise to be this definitive in our statements around it.
While I've made it clear I'm not a huge fan of the class as it stands, I feel like one of the most glaring aspects, and something that stands out the most as something that could be fixed and generates the most animosity, is how the class functions at low levels.
An alchemist gets only a few more reagents than a spellcaster gets spells, but alchemical items aren't really designed to be used like spells and there's no equivalent in their kit to a focus spell or a cantrip.
Both just looking at the numbers and from play experience, it's really easy to end up in a scenario where the Alchemist can do a handful of things and then abruptly turns into the closest thing PF2 has to a commoner because their only class feature at that level bracket runs dry. The alternative being that the Alchemist tries to ration their alchemical items like spells, but they just don't really have the oomph that spells do so that doesn't quite work.
Mutagenists can stretch their resources out a bit better, but end up running into other problems that people have already talked to death.
As they level up this particular problem becomes less and less of an issue, but those low levels are pretty egregious.
1d6 Fall Damage wrote:
I don't really have a problem with the abilities they need for bombs being feats, because giving too many bomb related class features would make the class appear too bomb focused. However... see above.
While I get where you're coming from. One of PF2's big design paradigms was that it was trying to shift away from feats that existed just to adjust your math and toward feats that changed or enhanced the way you played.
And so it feels pretty jarring to internalize that idea and then look at some of the feats riddling the Alchemist's list.
It also tempers some of that 'we just need new content' stuff, I think. Math fixers tend to stick around as albatrosses around a class' neck. This was basically PF1 in a nutshell. It was really hard to design cool feats that did new things that people wanted to take because they had so many other feats they were expected to take for math purposes (more or less depending on build, ofc). So unless the stuff in the APG power creeps the CRB, I fear that some of these options are just going to forever be something the Alchemist has to deal with.
Something I'd like is more support for sorcerer bloodlines.
One of my big hopes before PF2 launched was that they'd make Sorcerer Bloodlines and Wizard Schools as interesting and involved as Oracle Mysteries were in PF1.
Obviously they didn't, but here's hoping for more support down the line.