My initial idea was for a character who buffs and then runs into melee, but after realizing that telekinetic projectile does more damage without having to move, pull out a weapon, or decide if it was better to attack or raise my shield, I just started attacking from afar.
My experience has been kinda similar to yours, but I'm not gonna lie this has frustrated the hell out of me. Feels like no matter how much I invest into weapons the best I really get is something that makes an okay third action after a two action spell, building a 'battlemage' type character is a really steep uphill battle right now.
Abandoning that and just playing a more traditional spellcaster has felt fine.
TBH I'd like to see two kinds of Int based rogue racket. A mastermind like has already been described that can leverage society.
But I'd also really like to see an arcane trickster flavored racket that gets in-class spell proficiency and some more mystical debilitating effects. Rogues can already pick up cantrips and sneak attack with spells, but you need to MC to make that work long term and I think it'd be cool to have more internal support for that build.
Er... except the thing similar to your idea is a class feat and the thing we're talking about changing is a purely punitive weapon property.
Going from "Here's a penalty" to "Here's a free bonus feat" is a pretty massive swing.
The PF1 Witch was not even close to that to me.
The PF1 witch did have a pact-themed feature (even if it was just flavorless bonus spells) and had a strong emphasis on all-day, at-will utility with a much more limited spell list than other full casters. It didn't have a blasting hex, but there are definitely some noticeable parallels there.
Of course, in 2e every caster has fallback options via cantrips and spell lists are standardized, so that aspect of the Witch won't really exist to the same degree.
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I'm not sure we really need prepared any and to be honest the idea of just checking off every box for the sake of checking it off sounds.. not great. We don't really need ten flavors of 10th level spellcaster just to check off boxes.
Not to say that more casters aren't bad, but they should have some really strong thematic thing tying them into the game, not just exist to fill an arbitrary niche.
Like, Wizards and Arcane Sorcerers already feel really similar. Throwing a third caster in there feels like it would be pretty suffocating unless it has something really compelling to set it apart, which is in and of itself hard to do with how minimalist full caster class features actually are.
Regarding Witches, while I don't think it's necessary for Patrons to define spell lists, I would still like to see them be a lot more meaningful than 1e Patrons. The fluff of the Patron is really neat, thematically... but in practice there just isn't much there.
I like Hexes as a combination of cantrips and focus spells like the Bard has... maybe we could even get a damage dealing one so I can snag a patron and a big nuke and pretend to be a D&D warlock.
Yeah I feel like this is a necessary change on both accounts.
Comparing basic spellcasting between the Druid and the Sorcerer, they effectively have the same casting mechanic, except the Druid can freely retrain their one spell slot every day.
I like the Dedication change too. As written right now you can't pick up your bloodline's cantrip if it's not on your list and that feels really weird.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The rules are unclear on the matter of whether not giving a damn about a certain enemy (which was probably on purpose) plays a key role in determining if flanking applies.
No, the rules are pretty straight forward. The rules tell us how flanking and feinting work mechanically and information within the creature's stat block will inform us of anything that changes.
In the case of feinting, we know it doesn't work in this case because of the traits it possesses. In the case of flanking, there's no specific trait that inhibits its function and nothing within the stat block that explicitly blocks flanking, so flanking works.
The ambiguity is something you're adding in yourself. If flanking undead doesn't make sense to you (I'm still not entirely clear why it doesn't, but to each their own) you can houserule it away, but it's unequivocally a houserule to do that.
My interpretation was that Volley was intended to represent the idea that the longbow's size made it unwieldy to quickly maneuver at close ranges compared to smaller weapons, while the shortbow's smaller size made turning and repositioning easier to do. YMMV on whether or not that makes sense or isn't super arbitrary.
TBH my biggest problem with it is the name. 'Volley' sounds like a cool, good thing you want to do, not the name of a penalty.
So, I'm trying out a "firing this weapon reduces your movement speed by 5 for every shot fired this round" type penalty. Still working on it though.
That seems like a pretty nothing penalty. As it is ranged characters are the ones most capable of and best incentivized to turret and if you are in a position to move, you're probably best off doing it at the start of the attack.
I can think of a few situations where this penalty would be a pain, but they're all very specific ones.
FWIW I would play a heavy crossbow user as a switch hitter. Take one shot with your heavy crossbow then grab a melee weapon and wade into combat. Voilà! no reload problem.
Pretty logistically terrible though, since then you're investing resources in upgrading two weapons, one of which you shoot once then drop.
The fundamental problem with the heavy crossbow is just that its design suggests really big numbers, because you either shoot it once and dump it or spend a lot of time reloading it and... it doesn't actually have numbers that are all that big.
It's only one damage more than a regular crossbow and composite bows only need a small amount of strength to eclipse it. Striking runes widen the gulf, but only slightly and require a lot of money to be thrown into something you can't really rely on to define your build.
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Do you automatically learn your signature spells or do you need to pick one you already know?
As written? Neither. You can pick any spell as your signature spell, but you can't do anything with it if you don't have the ability to cast that spell. This is pretty self evident, there's nothing in the rules to suggest that you can cast spells that aren't part of your repertoire without specific, explicit permission to do so.
This is a relevant choice for Sorcerers with Arcane Evolution or Sorcerers who want a specific Signature spell for a certain spell level but don't want to learn that spell right away or Sorcerers who want a signature spell they can't normally access but are planning on learning later.
Chances are the errata you're asking for will just end up taking that option away instead of giving you the extra spell slots you're looking for.
You can't say we can't cast it when we don't know the spell when that's literally the issue signature spells has.
Uh, why can't I? You say it's ambiguous. I say it's not. Saying I'm not allowed to disagree with you is... a pretty weird stance to take.
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You can pick spells you don't know as signature spells, but you can't do anything with them because you can't cast them at all in the first place.
Will Magaambya only offer options for Wizards or can Sorcerers find some sort of guidance in the form of Feats and class options to learn from that hallowed institution?
The feats as listed don't have any class requirement, even fighters could go train there and pick up a few spells.
Did anyone say that?
The issue is less that Pathfinder should be a survival game and more that spells that trivialize access to basic resources from a narrative standpoint should fundamentally redefine the entire game world in a way that's wholly inconsistent with the stories that settings like Golarion, Forgotten Realms, Eberron, et al. try to tell.
People keep talking about changing spells breaking the setting, but the hard mechanics of spells never lined up with the setting. The setting willfully ignores the mechanics of the game whenever necessary in order to preserve the narrative being told.
I get that some people might not like that, but to paint it as something PF2 caused is misleading. PF1 was inconsistent with itself to begin with. So was 3.5, for that matter.
Which is why for some of us it's hard to really buy into the argument that the numbers on a specific spell changing fundamentally breaks the setting, because the specifics have never added up and never will.
The problem with armor is right now the only way to gain Expert in armor is Champion, which has thematic baggage attached to it (unless you agree with my weird interpretation that you can simply fail to qualify for a cause and ignore that part of the dedication).
The new Lost Omens book has Hellknights gaining armor scaling, but that also has thematic baggage attached to it (and costs four feats instead of two).
Warpriests are best at casting spells that aren't offensive.
The real drag is that because proficiency is so compressed in 2e, Warpriests are only ever better at swinging weapons than Cloistered Clerics for a few levels. So they do end up feeling kind of lacking all around as a result sometimes.
The main draw of playing a Warpriest, despite its name and connotations, is easy access to medium armor and the better fort saves.
Yeah, while I think it's about off topic from the main thrust of the OP, the discussion of tactics is less about "don't let these enemies use optimal tactics" (especially since, as established, this isn't even a very good tactic most of the time).
It's more about adding layers of verisimilitude to a setting by translating the personality of enemies into fighting styles. It's just like in a video game, there are enemies that are more aggressive, more defensive, suicidal, enemies that work together and so on.
You could figure out the best strategy that every enemy could employ, but that would be... kind of boring.
I just feel like this is far too fragile of a stance to take when we're dealing with a game. Because if that's the case, then any sort of errata or update or even new splatbooks are all potentially setting annihilating too.
Some posters here believe that if you already have a focus pool, you don't gain that version of the refocus action.
Super lame might be a misstatement but... I would agree that focus spells are all over the place in terms of interest and usability.
It's not really a wizard specific thing though.
There are focus spells like elemental toss or lay on hands that provide meaningful fallback tools that help pad out someone's kit in a really good way early game (and of course LoH enables large amounts of out of combat healing, yay).
And then there's stuff like the celestial sorcerer's angelic halo or the conjuration wizard's augment summoning that not only don't do anything on their own, but don't even feel like they add a lot to what you follow them up with.
I also want to second what the last poster on the previous page mentioned in that the Wizard's feats aren't very interesting. Contrast all the work that went into giving Fighter's multiple types of actions and unique attacks and... Wizard feats are astoundingly bland.
Staffan Johansson wrote:
Generally speaking I think divine sorcerer is the only one that's a big problem. Arcane, primal and occult sorcerers all work really well.
But the Divine list was clearly built with favored weapons and divine font in mind and sorcerers flounder by not having that backbone.
Doesn't help that Divine has some of the worst initial focus spells, either.
Not especially. I like setting lore, but trying to wrangle gameplay changes into setting logic either forces developers to create sacred cows by not changing certain abilities because of how they influence the narrative, or create incredibly hamfisted narrative cataclysms that explain away the changes.
Both usually end up making the game worse.
Druids are the shapeshifters. That is their thing. Of course they'd get better stuff there.
Why are druids 'the' shapeshifters? It's hardly the only thing they can do. It's not even the main thing they do, depending on your build choice.
It seems weird to have two classes that can buy into a certain concept and just declare that one of them owns it. Especially when a recurring theme of this thread up until now has been the opposite point.
I think it kinda depends on your emphasis. Int can be selectively useful for gaining trained in another skill, but Trained has a lot of limitations that make Int kinda worse than it was in 1e.
You also can't really build something out of Int. Recall is nice, but that's all it really is while Demoralize and other face actions can make a whole playstyle.
To be honest, I've had more characters where I've thought about putting more points into Strength because of bulk restrictions that I've had characters that felt like they could really use more Int. It's just not that great in 2e.
Even ignoring the issue of versimilitude though, this seems like a tactic that requires a lot of specific scenarios to go right to work. You need the orcs acting consecutively, a lot of open space and PCs with limited defensive, control or ranged combat options at their disposal to really make it work.
It's kind of strange that encounters with all of those conditions and roughly the same enemy composition happen often enough to even establish a pattern here for the OP, honestly, but that's another topic.
I've always really wanted like, a magic bandolier or quiver that is enchanted like a weapon and temporarily imparts those enchantments to thrown weapons, so you could have a quiver of javelins or pouch full of shurikens that all get the magic buffs when you throw them.
Returning works great in PF2 mechanically and has good flavor for weapons you use as both melee and ranged weapons like hammers or whatever, but it is really goofy when instead of throwing a volley of shurikens you're just throwing the same shuriken over and over really fast.
There's lots of fun applications of Transmutation, and the transmuter wizard should lean towards those instead of being a buff bot.
I mean, why not have both be options depending on how you specialize?
Spells like 'form of X' and 'transformation' are transmutation wizard staples, they've just traditionally been kind of a joke because of the way the underlying mechanics of 3.5 and PF play out. It seems a shame that now that we have a system that could handle those mechanics to just dump them.
Yeah you're right, I was thinking Signifer and not Champion.
Champion dedication doesn't need general feats, but does need Charisma and a good alignment, which could be problematic.
Also I was wrong on another note: It's only 5 feats and level 14 for expert/expert if you're a half elf.
The other big issue here is speed. The earliest you can get trained in both martial weapons and heavy armor is 3 if you're a versatile human or 7 if you're not, which means our wizard spends a potentially significant chunk of the campaign not actually using the gear they want too.
I like the idea of them being more setting rooted. PF1 called them patrons, but they were really just a word that grouped together bonus spells along vaguely thematic lines and there was no real connection between what you picked and what your witch represented.
So I'm really excited at the prospect of them being more meaningful.
Those are both pretty significant restrictions, especially since double prey is a level 12 feat and, as SuperBidi points out, rangers don't have much innate support for traditional reach weapons.
Letting Wizards excel at melee combat is a very slippery slope to the PF1 situation of the Wizard being the ultimate class.
I mean, there's a lot of grey area between "ultimate class best at everything" and "if you invest a lot of resources into something you can actually make it work pretty well." It feels almost insulting to pretend like one must naturally lead to the other.
Like, yeah sure, we can vaguely talk about hypothetical super OP wizards who fulfill all roles simultaneously, but that's not the reality and not what anyone's ever suggested. The reality is that a wizard can throw a significant amount of investment in terms of ability scores and feats into being better with weapons only to end up maybe slightly better off and possibly even worse off than if they had just stuck to cantrips.
Just to be clear, our heavy armor and longsword wizard is eight feats (three general, five class) and fourteen levels in just to get expert in both and is investing in strength beyond what a traditional wizard would too (which means less of something else). This doesn't even get them any special abilities related to their armor and weapons mind you, this is just proficiency (plus some extra skill training from dedication feats). Is that not enough of a buy in to make something work in your opinion?
More important than choosing how you cast Halcyon spells is the fact that you pull from both traditions when choosing spells. Being able to pick from both the Arcane and Primal lists is significantly broader access than a traditional spellcaster dedication would give you.
Whether or not that ends up balancing itself out in the long run is still up in the air, of course.
Thinking about it, I feel like Gorum would work better as an N deity with LN, N, CN and NE followers.
Just as CG isn't really supportive of violence for its own sake, the emphasis on some modicum of honor in combat is kind of at odds with the basic tenants of unrestrained chaotic evil (not to say you couldn't make the concept work, but it's a borderline one). NE has more flexibility inside it and I can imagine an LN mercenary or gladiator type character venerating those aspects of Gorum.
Ed Reppert wrote:
What do you want? Sounds like you want 1st level PC wizards to have the same powers as Tar-Baphon.
It seems more like he just wants more flexibility and options. There are notable gaps in what Wizards can do in 2e compared to 1e, not just in terms of power (which was obviously necessary) but in terms of themes and capabilities.
This is more speaking for myself but:
Some of this stuff will improve as we get more spells, but some of it feels intentional and takes away from thematic options that have existed in the past (like how interacting with extraplanar creatures is now kind of outside their sphere of influence despite arcane demonologists being fantasy staples).
Personally, I also feel like while there are a lot of improvements, some of them feel like half measures. PF2 narrowed the gaps when it came to attack bonuses between classes, which should make fighting wizards and wizards leveraging transformation spells much more effective, but the support still isn't quite there.
Sword-wielding wizards in particular struggle to stay competitive with their own spellcasting when it comes to damage dealing and have to invest an enormous amount of feats to conceptually enable themselves for returns that don't really match up to the investment.
There are lots of little things that aren't game breaking but still feel bad too, like how even though familiars have no stats and have nebulous abilities you pick each day, you can no longer have an imp familiar in PF2. Just because.
And while the ship has sailed, I feel like Schools are an underutilized mechanic. PF1 schools were worse, so I appreciate the improvements PF2 made, but one fundamental problem that we've had since before PF1 was even a thing is that Wizards always felt like generalists. There aren't enough spells and aren't enough strong thematic options to build really tightly themed wizards. More fleshed out schools could have been a way to address this and make Evokers feel more like Evokers and less like generic wizards that had a few minor perks when it came to Evoking.
As an aside, the comparison to Tar-Baphon is kind of an amusing choice because sort of yes, honestly. Tar-Baphon is one of the most visible necromancers in Golarion and he's a wizard, and right now necromancer wizards feel a little flat.
Luke Styer wrote:
I know, I'm agreeing with you. I'm saying I think thenobledrake's position is a reasonable one, but that I think it's strange to characterize not letting the player choose as giving them more freedom.