Ssalarn's page

455 posts. Alias of Michael Sayre (Design Manager).


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Paizo Employee

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Norade wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

If you're looking for shonen characters, a few possibilities-

Natsu Dragneel from Fairy Tail

That's a Great Value(tm) Natsu at best. They never get fire immunity which Natsu has from scene one, nor can they match the RAW power output or versatility of what Natsu can manage.

There's no point to making a character as close as you can in a system if they can't actually replicate the feats from the show.

Natsu takes fire damage several times over the course of the series, most notably when trying to use Igneel's much stronger flames to incinerate his brother. He doesn't have immunity by Pathfinder standards, just very high resistance (as evidenced by him being canonically a higher level than basically every fire mage he ever encounters until Igneel's return.)

Natsu also only has like four moves across the entire first three cours, all of which the build can emulate, and is obviously a higher level character than the starting character, Lucy, as evidenced by both his international reputation when she meets him and various flashback arcs. That was part of why I noted "as long as you're not trying to jump to a mid-series protagonist level of skill and versatility at 1st level, there's actually a ton of possibility". Most shonen protagonists start as approximately 5th-level characters in a world where most people are 1st-3rd level, then meet "the real badasses" who are 8th level and up.

To break Pathfinder down into "genre by level" categories, it's something like-

1st - 5th level: Conan, Lord of the Rings (not including immortals), etc. Your closest shonen protagonists are going to be things like still-working-on-graduating-from-the-academy Naruto or flashback-only-Natsu

6th -10th: Captain America, Teen Titans Zatanna, Naruto around Forest of Death arc, Lord of the Rings (immortals only), etc. This is the level range where they have left "Earth physics" behind but still have clear boundaries, weaknesses, and other limitations that are consistent regardless of plot. You'll never see a Justice League member here other than Batman, but you might see Avengers and X-Men (not including alpha mutants) in this range

11th - 15th: This is where your non-deity-level Justice Leaguers, your post-chuunin but pre-shippuden Naruto protags, most Fairy Tail members for the last two story arcs, alpha mutant X-Men, and the majority of your established Avengers who are explicitly stronger than Captain America but aren't Thor or Scarlet Witch hang out. Regular humans shouldn't even hang around unless they want to get the "Doug trying to do a field mission with the New Mutants" treatment just by being in the vicinity.

16th - 20th: Thor, Hercules, Scarlet Witch, Naruto and Sasuke when they fight their first giant space flea, Guy Sensei with all gates open, Wonder Woman, most mid-to-late-series shonen protags, etc. These are your god-killlers, your Cu Chullains, your "people at the peak of their legend" shonen types. They fight other beings that can destroy nations and actively shouldn't show up for street-level adventures lest they make things worse by attracting beings of their level.

The kind of character you seem to want is a higher level character by PF2 standards, so you're going to struggle to achieve a full simulation unless you either start at a higher and appropriate level or use generous subsystems like Dual Classing to juice your character's power and options. Hope that helps you align your expectations to the type of game you're looking for!

Paizo Employee

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If you're looking for shonen characters, a few possibilities-

Natsu Dragneel from Fairy Tail

Yuffie Kisaragi from Final Fantasy 7

Kagome from Inuyasha

Generic JRPG Protagonist

There's a lot of shonen influences in PF2, so as long as you're not trying to jump to a mid-series protagonist level of skill and versatility at 1st level, there's actually a ton of possibility (when the skeleton ancestry drops with Book of the Dead, I'm looking forward to completing my "all core" One Piece crew with Brook the skeleton bard, my last missing piece.)

For something like Rand Al'Thor, you probably want to go magus multiclassing wizard, something like-

Rand Al'Thor:

Human Magus/Wizard
2 Wizard Dedication
4 Basic Wizard Spellcasting
6 Spell Parry
8 Fused Staff (this lets you effectively use a "Callandor" type weapon)
10 Arcane Breadth
12 Expert Wizard Spellcasting
14 Arcane Shroud
16 Dispelling Strike
18 Master Wizard Spellcasting
20 Versatile Spellstrike

That'll let you cover your bases on the early swordsmanship front and do a lot of the mid-series stuff where Rand still leans on his swordsmanship while integrating it with his channeling and giving you a really robust and expanding selection of spells to dive into as your skill with channeling grows.

When the SaGa Frontier Remaster dropped, I started putting together a one-off for a group of my high school friends that we played recently as some of the protagonists from that game: Asellus = changling magus, T-260G = automaton inventor, Red = Monk/Vigilante/Bullet Dancer, Gen = Champion (Liberator, Blade Ally), Lute = Bard/Shadowcaster.
As to a "smite first, ask questions later, melee divine beatstick", it depends on the particular flavor you're looking for. Cleric (warpriest) / Sentinel is a pretty decent buff and bash, though it's routine is more "cast and single Strike", so if you're going for something that still has lots of divine casting but also hits like a beast without needing to plan ahead, Champion (blade ally) / Cleric or Fighter/Cleric are probably closer conceptually.

For a weirder and more complex build, you could take something like this Cloud from Final Fantasy 7 monk build, choose Divine as your monk casting tradition, and then drop the Talisman Dabbler feats and maybe one or two others for Cleric multiclass feats. If a sword isn't really that essential, there's also something more like this Dragoneagle Disciple build.

Some other genre variety stuff-

We've currently got a Strange Aeons game converted to PF2 where the party includes a Nidalese rogue, an Andoran thaumaturge (with rapier pistol), a con-man investigator, and a few other characters. We've referred to it as "Golarion by Gaslight" and it's got a great vibe bordering on modern horror during our current adventures in Thrushmoor.

There's some fun "fantasy street level heroes" potential in the game with options like a Red Hood alongside e.g. a tonfa-wielding monk to cover your Nightwing.

Classic D&D/Pathfinder novel adventures are the low-hanging fruit from the CRB.

Fighter/Marshal is a pretty straightforward build for doing characters like Sergeant Whiskeyjack or Dujek Onearm from Malazan Book of the Fallen (also good for your Bruenor Battlehammers and other warleader types).

You can make a pretty solid witcher using either fighter or magus with an alchemist multiclass.

Paizo Employee

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Secret Wizard wrote:
Kalderaan wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
Territory Master

Ssalarn, what stats would you use for this build? I assume 18 STR to start.

Also, if you can't use Orc, what race(s) would you recommend out of Core?

I'd say 18 STR, 16 DEX, 12 CON is standard for Monks, and you have a +12 to go around.

Orc is not particularly necessary for that build, and you can really go Half-Orc if you really like those feats, or otherwise just go Human to get the same survivability from picking up Toughness and such.

Yeah, that!

Paizo Employee

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Build 11: Arcadian Beast Gunner:

A pretty straightforward build for creating an Arcadian beast gunner.

Ancestry: Human (skilled)
Background: Hunter
Class: Gunslinger (spellshot)
Primary Skills: Arcana
Secondary Skills: Crafting, Survival

Feats by level
1 Munitions Crafter, General Training (Toughness)
2 Spellshot Dedication, Arcane Sense
3 Fleet
4 Alchemical Shot, Recognize Spell
5 Sense Allies
6 Beast Gunner Dedication (arcane), Magical Crafting
7 Expeditious Search
8 Basic Beast Gunner Spellcasting, Assured Identification
9 Hardy Traveler
10 Call Gun, Experienced Tracker
11 Supertaster
12 Expert Beast Gunner Spellcasting, Terrain Expertise (forest)
13 Bounce Back
14 Fulminating Shot, Quick Recognition
15 Incredible Scout
16 Controlled Bullet, Rapid Affixture
17 Heroic Presence
18 Black Powder Embodiment, Planar Survival
19 True Perception
20 Phase Bullet, Unified Theory

Key Gear
1st - 4th level: Firearm of choice; Thoughtful Reload + Energy Shot and Munitions Crafter means you've got some particular facility with hitting weaknesses, so an air repeater is a solid choice for you.

6th level and up: Our beast gun is going to be the drake rifle since that's the easiest beast gun to take full advantage of regardless of level. Since we already have acid, cold, fire, and electricity in our repertoire I'm going with a poison-based drake rifle to expand the array of weaknesses we can trigger but it's a risky move since a lot of creatures have immunity to poison; if your campaign features a grab-bag of monsters or a lot of undead/constructs, you probably want to look at acid or electricity instead. You're also going to want to load up on good bombs (and their formulas!) and talismans to expand your options, abilities, and damage profile. You'll also be picking up some spells; true strike is your only must-have and there are worse cantrips than shield, but otherwise you can tailor your spell selection to your playstyle.

Basic Tactics by Level Range
The tactics from lower level ranges are still viable at higher levels since feats are additive and this build doesn't require retraining, so I won't be repeating tactics from earlier levels in the higher level entries.

1st - 4th: Pretty straightforward at this point.

Round 1: Energy Shot, Alchemical Shot, Thoughtful Reload

Successive Rounds: Apply your Alchemical Shot, energized shots, and alchemical bombs/ammunition as best capitalizes on the monster weaknesses and positioning.


5th - 11th:

Round 1: Energy Shot, activate Drake Rifle to open with a bang

Round 2: Thoughtful Reload, true strike, Alchemical Strike

Round 3: Thoughtful Reload, [spell or Strike as appropriate to current circumstances]


You've got a lot of tools for keeping your damage up, applying persistent damage, and inflicting conditions while targeting weaknesses, which is going to be your primary role in combat. Your reload action is going to help you with narrowing down which energy types you should be deploying. Outside of combat you've got a good balance of magic detection and Survival tricks to help watch for traps and hazards or serve as the party scout. Remember to update the fundamental runes on your drake rifle!

Paizo Employee

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Build 10: Orc Lawbringer:

This is an orc vanguard using a gun sword. You'll likely want to start with a musket and reinforced stock for your initial loadout, and you'll be pumping Strength every time you pick up your ability boosts, so 18 Dex, 16 Str, and 12s in the tertiary stats of your choice (we're going to go with Charisma and Wisdom for Intimidation and Nature for this build since his orc ancestry and hold-scarred heritage are packing in some extra Hit Points up front and we'll be expanding that toughness with some of the ancestry feats).

Ancestry: Orc (Hold-Scarred Orc)
Background: Sheriff
Class: Gunslinger (vanguard)
Primary Skills: Athletics, Intimidation
Secondary Skills: Nature

Feats by level
1 Cover Fire, Beast Trainer
2 Defensive Armaments, Titan Wrestler
3 Toughness
4 Running Reload, Quick Coercion
5 Orc Ferocity
6 Phalanx Breaker, Intimidating Prowess
7 Ride
8 Stab and Blast, Bonded Animal
9 Undying Ferocity
10 Grit and Tenacity, Terrifying Resistance
11 Prescient Planner
12 Unshakable Grit, Battle Cry
13 Ferocious Beasts
14 Blast Tackle, Powerful Leap
15 Incredible Scout
16 Instant Return, Express Rider
17 Rampaging Ferocity
18 Final Shot, Terrified Retreat
19 True Perception
20 Perfect Readiness, Scare to Death

Key Gear
1st level: musket, reinforced stock
2nd level and up: titan's grasp, gun sword, large bore modifications, silencing shot, scope of limning, underwater firing mechanism - You're looking for tanky stuff that will limit your enemies' ability to evade you or slow you down, as well as standard upgrade items for your gear.

Basic Tactics by Level Range
The tactics from lower level ranges are still viable at higher levels since feats are additive and this build doesn't require retraining, so I won't be repeating tactics from earlier levels in the higher level entries.

1st - 5th: Pretty straightforward at this point.

Round 1: Living Fortification (draw weapon), Cover Fire, Running Reload (Stride towards nearest enemy), Parry

Round 2: Strike (ranged), Clear a Path, Parry

Round 3: Player's choice. You've got a loaded gun sword and should be up in the thick of things, so start focusing on damage or use Clear a Path to control the positions of your foes.


6th - 11th: We've got a lot more options now, including a bonded animal, which we're going to assume is the sheriff's trusty "horse". You'll want to keep your eyes open for newer and stronger animals to form bonds with as time and level allow.

Round 1: Living Fortification (gun sword), Command An Animal (move towards enemy), Stab and Blast, Clear a Path

Round 2: Spinning Crush (your mount is increasing the number of squares that are potentially adjacent to you since you occupy every square your mount does)

Round 3: Reload, Command an Animal (move into most advantageous position), Stab and Blast (or Cover Fire depending on enemy positioning)


These combinations are going to keep expanding with possibilities as you go up, so the main trick from here on out is just maximizing your actions. Your mount is going to die, though that'll stick less often as you level up. Make sure to keep seeking out stronger bonded animals! Whenever you're sitting on an action that doesn't quite have a "best" use you can see, remember that you can always end on a parry, and the best time to use Clear a Path is always going to be right after your last ranged Strike to mitigate MAP penalties.

Paizo Employee

Build 9: Jinin Ninja:

This elven warrior achieved enough renown to recieve a prized mithral tree and even retained their reputation long enough to have the weapon reforged into a three-peaked tree, but then something went wrong. Now they wander far and wide, putting their killing skills to work for anyone who'll pay their fee. The Jinin ninja can track their foe down, strike from hiding, and then relentlessly control the pace and distance of engagement. (Note that Sniper's Aim and Blood in the Air also work with the trident function of their three-peaked tree, for those situations where one more attack right now is going to be more valuable than reloading.)

Ancestry: Elf (Whisper Elf)
Background: Hired Killer
Class: Gunslinger (Sniper)
Primary Skills: Stealth
Secondary Skills: Acrobatics, Survival

Feats by level
1 Blast Lock, Nimble Elf, Terrain Stalker (Underbrush)
2 Defensive Armaments, Terrain Stalker (Rubble)
3 Fleet
4 Rogue Dedication, Shadow Mark
5 Forest Stealth
6 Sniper's Aim, Experienced Tracker
7 Toughness
8 Sneak Attacker, Survey Wildlife
9 Elf Step
10 Stab and Blast, Foil Senses
11 Diehard
12 Blood in the Air, Terrain Expertise (Forest)
13 Ancestral Suspicion
14 Headshot, Swift Sneak
15 Incredible Initiative
16 Fatal Bullet, Planar Survival
17 Woodcraft
18 Piercing Critical, Legendary Sneak
19 True Perception
20 Perfect Readiness, Cat Fall

Key Gear
three-peaked tree, leather armor, anklets of alacrity, boots of elvenkind, cloak of elvenkind

Paizo Employee

Build 2: Dwarven Gun Tank:

This is basically a theme build for a dwarf who can craft anything and who likes big guns and heavy armor, an armored combat engineer. You give up a bit by going for the full plate since you're a Dex-focused character, but you can easily make up for that in your increased durability, crafting versatility, and alchemical tools.

Ancestry: Dwarf (Anvil Dwarf)
Background: Gunsmith (you already have Crafting and you'll get Athletics from your way, so both primary skills are covered; pick whatever appeals to you most here. I'm going with Thievery and adding locksmith to our resume')
Class: Gunslinger (Way of the Vanguard)
Primary Skills: Athletics, Crafting
Secondary Skills: Thievery

Feats by level
1 Munitions Crafter, Dwarven Weapon Familiarity
2 Sentinel Dedication, Titan Wrestler
3 Toughness
4 Defensive Armaments, Hefty Hauler
5 Unburdened Iron
6 Munitions Machinist, Quick Repair
7 Fleet
8 Armored Rebuff, Magical Crafting
9 Demolitionist
10 Sacrifice Armor, Wall Jump
11 Keen Follower
12 Precious Munitions, Wary Disarmament
13 Mountain's Stoutness
14 Blast Tackle, Concealing Legerdemain
15 Prescient Planner
16 Greater Interpose, Impeccable Crafter
17 Forge-Blessed Shot
18 Fatal Bullet, Rapid Affixture
19 Prescient Consumable
20 Perfect Readiness, Craft Anything

Key Gear
Dwarven scattergun, eroding bullets, exsanguinating ammunition, formula book, glue bullets, heavy armor (full plate when you can get it), large bore modifications, magnetite scope, reinforced stock, waterproof firearm carrying case

Paizo Employee

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In the spirit of previous 101 XX threads, I thought I'd start a 101 Gunslingers thread! I'd been thinking quite a bit about what concept I wanted to start with, and I've decided to go with my personal favorite DC comic character, Red Hood.

Build 1: Red Hood:

Ancestry: Human (Versatile)
Background: Revenant
Class: Gunslinger (Way of the Pistolero)
Primary Skills: Acrobatics, Intimidation
Secondary Skills: Deception, Stealth

Feats by level
1 Hit the Dirt!, Natural Ambition (Dual-Weapon Reload)
2 Quick Draw, Quick Coercion
3 Fleet
4 Paired Shots, Steady Balance
5 Clever Improviser
6 Pistolero's Challenge, Lasting Coercion
7 Toughness
8 Leap and Fire, Terrifying Resistance
9 Incredible Improvisation
10 Trick Shot, Cat Fall
11 Breath Control
12 Grit and Tenacity, Kip Up
13 Bounce Back
14 Two-Weapon Fusillade, Terrified Retreat
15 Prescient Planner
16 Hair Trigger, Scare to Death
17 Heroic Presence
18 Piercing Critical, Terrain Stalker (rubble)
19 True Perception
20 Slinger's Reflexes

Key Gear by Level Range
Some items are good at any level, so I only repeat equipment that gets a specific upgrade you need to acquire at the higher level ranges. For example, concealed holsters are always useful and stack with the benefit from the concealed weapon trait, but I only list them in the 1-5 block since you don't need new versions at higher levels.

1st - 5th: adaptive cogwheel, air cartridge firing system, leather armor, coat pistols x2, concealed holsters x2 or immaculate holsters, reinforced stock(s), silencers

6th-11th: +1 resilient leather armor, +2 striking dueling pistol, dagger pistol, blazons of shared power, indomitable keepsake, peacemaker, underwater firing mechanism

12th-17th: +2 resilient leather armor, +3 greater/mighty striking dueling pistol, anklets of alacrity, dagger pistol, greater blazons of shared power, scope of truth, shrieking skull

Basic Tactics by Level Range
The tactics from lower level ranges are still viable at higher levels since feats are additive and this build doesn't require retraining, so I won't be repeating tactics from earlier levels in the higher level entries, just noting what new kinds of routines have opened up.

1st - 5th: Pretty straightforward at this point.

Round 1: Ten Paces (draw 1st pistol), Strike, Raconteur's Reload (Demoralize), Quick Draw (2nd pistol; Strike demoralized target)

Round 2: Dual-Weapon Reload, Strike (demoralized target if standing), Dual-Weapon Reload

Round 3: Paired Shots, Dual-Weapon Reload


6th - 11th: We've got a lot more options now, so I'm going to stick with a pretty simple routine that lets you use more of your new abilities.

Round 1: Ten Paces (draw 1st pistol), Pistolero's Challenge, Strike, Raconteur's Reload (demoralize challenged target)

Round 2: Quick Draw (2nd pistol, Strike challenged and demoralized target), Dual-Weapon Reload, Pistolero's Challenge (assuming 1st target is dead by now, which they generally should be) - End turn with loaded weapons for Leap and Fire or Pistolero's Retort

Round 3: Trick Shot (grouped enemies or visible objective) + Dual-Weapon Reload (if AoE damage or objective manipulation is most useful) or Dual-Weapon Reload (if reaction was triggered) + Paired Shots


These combinations are going to keep expanding with possibilities as you go up, so the main trick from here on out is just watching how you're deploying your actions to stack the most damage on each target and try to end on a reload so you can use your reactions. You've got multiple defensive reactions to use with your Slinger's Reflexes capstone to stay up and fighting longer, and you might consider swapping out your coat/dagger pistol for an air repeater if you want a less potent option for your off-hand weapon that'll be a bit more reliable for Leap and Fire and Pistolero's Retort, trading the bigger punch for more Strikes.

Paizo Employee

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TwilightKnight wrote:

Retailers have a very legitimate complaint. Not that Paizo is wrong for their methodology. The subscription model was inventive when it was started and certainly provides revenue stability, but let's face it, Paizo gets the bonus of offering a free PDF that the retailers cannot match. That means your FLGS has to either depend on the altruism of their customers or they have to discount from the retail to compete. Its why there is a very large number of retailers who dislike selling Paizo products and many refuse to stock them at all or only doing on-demand ordering. We can certainly argue about those actions being ideal or even reasonable, but we cannot dispute the fact that Paizo has set up a competitive relationship with the retails whom they want to distribute.

I'll note from a personal perspective, shipping costs for books can be prohibitively expensive unless you're an all-in subscriber. When I was on a tight budget and wasn't getting an employee discount on my Pathfinder books, I had basically three tiers for purchasing Paizo products (and one business-related "4th tier")-

1) "No overtime, no sales bonus, standard release timing."- I buy from Amazon because between their day 1 discounts and free Prime shipping, this was the only affordable option for me if I wanted a new book close to release.

2) "Standard release timing but I just picked up a little unexpected cash in royalties off an old product." - I buy the book from Amazon and the PDF from Paizo so I can support the company directly. This almost always still came out to be cheaper than buying the book at cost or even with the 10% game night discount because Amazon's day 1 discounts are often 25% or more for hardcovers.

3) "Flush from a big job that paid enough I had an entertainment budget." - I buy from the FLGS to support my friends and local businesses.

4) "None of the local FLGSs have a book I need and if I don't have that book to reference during this project, it will take significantly more effort to produce." - I buy it from Paizo directly, paying more in shipping than I would have spent on the PDF, and foregoing the PDF for the time being (I just work faster when I can keep a real book open next to me, though I like PDFs for tablet reading and table references.)

Times (and Amazon) are rough on FLGSs, and as someone who's spent a lot of time in FLGSs, met my wife in a FLGS, and played some of my most memorable D&D and Pathfinder games with the staff of an FLGS, I don't begrudge them doing what they can to protect their interests, profits, and employees (unless they're protecting their profits at the expense of their employees, which I only mention because of seeing it happen before and not wanting those affected employees to see this post and think I'm telling them to "suck it up".)

Paizo Employee

Derklord wrote:
Wrong. If you had bothered to actually read the rules, you would've seen that this is false. Talking about something and allowing something are not the same thing. The CRB does not "specifically describe [AoOs] as being able to be taken off turn." They way they're described and talked about leaves no doubt that you can do that, but it's not actually said - because as not-actions, it doesn't need to be said. If they were free actions, it would need to be said.

Page 180, CRB-

"Sometimes a combatant in a melee lets her guard down or takes a reckless action. In this case, combatants near her can take advantage of her lapse in defense to attack her for free. These free attacks are called attacks of opportunity. See the Attacks of Opportunity diagram for an example of how they work."

Like most of these assertions, the problem here is you trying to read one thing that regards a rule instead of taking it in in context with the rest of the applicable rules. It's easy to do, PF1 is super dense and used splatbooks and preceding hardcovers to patch a lot of things that wouldn't fit copyfit in the CRB. Speaking of which....

Derklord wrote:
Wrong again. Another statement that you could've seen to be false if you had only bothered to look at what the book says. The literally first entry in the actions of combat list is the attack action.

Oof, double literacy fail there. Let's start with posting my whole quote- "Attack actions aren't listed in the CRB either, and were defined in a softcover after only existing in FAQ form for years, too."

You see, what is listed in that table and described in the first entry are attacks, which are not the same thing as the attack actions. See the Vital Strike FAQ- "No. Vital Strike can only be used as part of an attack action, which is a specific kind of standard action."

So as the FAQ notes, and as you can see by reading things like the Natural Attack, Attack of Opportunity, Multiple Attacks, and Full Attack entries, Attacks can be made as a standard action but not all attacks are attack actions and the only places clarifying that for years, as I noted, were the FAQ and the softcover release that took the time to actually define an attack action separately from attacks. You'll notice that "attack action" isn't listed anywhere in that table, just "Attacks (melee)" and "Attacks (ranged)". If that were referring to attack actions specifically, as you suggest, then it would mean that making a ranged attack as part of a full attack doesn't actually provoke an attack of opportunity, because that section, in your version, refers to attack actions which attacks made as part of a full attack are not.

It can be a tricky distinction, especially if you're only using d20pfsrd since it compiles information from a lot of the sources to the same page and isn't always great with its attributions, but if you look at where attack action is described on that page, you'll see the source is not the CRB, it's Melee Tactics Toolbox. And if you actually open up a CRB, you'll see it only defines attacks but not attack actions.

(Melee Tactics Toolbox is really worth picking up. That table in the back goes a long way to clarifying rules that were not fully explained in the CRB, not just the action type of AoOs and the difference between attacks and attack actions.)

Paizo Employee

Derklord wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
If you look at the combat options overview table from that same page I linked, you'll note it lists attacks of opportunity as a free action (as published and clarified in Melee Tactics Toolbox), which is defined as an action within the Readying an Action text.
No, that entry is simply erroneous. You can only take free action when it's your turn unless something says different, and no part of the AoO rules in the CRB does so.

Uhhh..... Lemme just quote your next sentence.


Since the CRB explicitly talks about making AoOs during other characters' turns,

Right there. Right there is where it says you can make an attack of opportunity on someone's turn, satisfying the requirement. It is a free action (as clarified in a published source) that is specifically described as being able to be taken off turn. Check. The sources don't contradict each other, they support each other.


AoO is not listed as a free action on the table on pg. 183 of the CRB, and the respective rules make no mention of it being any kind of action at all.

Attack actions aren't listed in the CRB either, and were defined in a softcover after only existing in FAQ form for years, too. PF1 is a big messy pile of rules, but they do mostly work if you actually dig into them. For example-

Ssalarn wrote:
It's not debatable, rules do what they say.
Again, no. They should, but there are many rules where you can't use them as written, or otherwise the game stops working. For example, the polymorph rules clearly say that they apply only to polymorph spells, so as written, Wild Shape wouldn't use them.

No they don't. They're written in the context of spells but nowhere do they say they only apply to spells. Beyond that, wild shape specifically says "This ability functions like the beast shape I spell, except as noted here", so anything that would be true of beast shape I (like it's polymorph status) would apply to wild shape. No contradiction or going outside of the rules required.

As written, Simple Weapon Proficiency removes all penalties for any attack with such a weapon.

That's why you read the whole feat. Because it describes what the normal status is in the next line so you know what the feat is changing.

RAW is also style feat stances lasting indefinitely,

It actually says "Although you cannot use a style feat before combat begins, the style you are in persists until you spend a swift action to switch to a different combat style."

So you always know that when combat starts, you can't already be using a style feat because you cannot use a style feat before combat begins.

I'll also note at this point that there's a huge difference between "this could be worded better" and "the rules don't mean what they say they do". Nothing you've mentioned so far has anything to do with attacks of opportunity being explicitly defined as free actions you can take off turn and thus canceling out a readied action if you take them.

polymorph effects which state granted attacks adding them to the creature's attacks (e.g. Form of the Dragon can grant up to 11 natural attacks),

Uhm, no? The polymorph rules state "In addition to these benefits, you gain any of the natural attacks of the base creature, including proficiency in those attacks," so it's clearly in the context of being affected by a polymorph effect, and "While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. " And then form of the dragon says "You also gain one bite (1d8), two claws (1d6), and two wing attacks (1d4)." If there's some weird assertion here about the natural attacks not going away after the spell, you'll note it's a spell with a duration and the rules on durations say "When the time is up, the magic goes away and the spell ends."

Same vein, you'd have to actively not be reading eagle's splendor to miss the part where it says " Bards, paladins, and sorcerers (and other spellcasters who rely on Charisma) affected by this spell do not gain any additional bonus spells for the increased Charisma, but the save DCs for spells they cast while under this spell’s effect do increase." Like, that's right there, in the spell.

You have to read all the rules. And they're not perfect and sometimes they need clarifications, but that's a far cry from rules not doing what they say do. Most of your examples weren't even unclear rules, they were explained literally right in their own text or in the text for a pertinent trait or keyword. You have to actively ignore quite a bit of rules text to come to some of the conclusions you tried to champion.

Paizo Employee

bbangerter wrote:

1) Attacks of opportunity are not an action, and thus do not cancel a readied action. They are just a thing you get to do when a certain condition is met.
2) This is debatable, but I take that text to mean before your next turn. eg, if I ready an action, I don't lose it if I choose to speak, or take an immediate action. My readied action is only lost if my turn comes up again and it has not triggered.

1) They are, in fact an action. It's even called out in the Readying an Action text. "Readying an Action - You can ready a standard action, a move action, a swift action, or a free action." If you look at the combat options overview table from that same page I linked, you'll note it lists attacks of opportunity as a free action (as published and clarified in Melee Tactics Toolbox), which is defined as an action within the Readying an Action text.

2) It's not debatable, rules do what they say. They don't say "before the start of your next turn" they say "before your next action". That means you absolutely do lose your readied action if you take an immediate action or choose to speak (though I'd expect most GMs to be more lenient on the speech part depending on how stringently they enforce IC/OoC speech at the table.)

Paizo Employee

Pizza Lord wrote:

It's also entirely possible that the two events trigger separately. For instance, if the giant's action was to move 5 or more feet north (not using a 5 foot step), possibly because he was moving to attack one of the rogue's allies, then as he moved he'd provoke for leaving a threatened square. The rogue would become visible. At that point, maybe the giant decides that instead of using his remaining movement to continue where he was going, he opts to use it to move back south next to the rogue or beyond him. At that point, since he's moved south, that triggers the rogue's stated Readied action and the rogue may attack (assuming the target can be reached).

Not quite. As soon as the rogue takes his attack of opportunity before the readied action triggers, he loses the readied action. When you ready an action, it can only be taken any time before your next action. As soon as you make an attack of opportunity, that is your next action and you can no longer use a readied action. The only way to use a readied action and an attack of opportunity during the same round is if the readied action is taken first.

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Captain Morgan wrote:

It also had dozens of new Gods. And frankly, I think gods are closer to what other class paths are than doctrines. They grant spells, your only weapon proficiency that advances to expert, domains, and more. There are very few class paths outside of doctrines that impact base proficiencies. And the RP consequences of a god are also a rather important choice.

Yup. Doctrines are a toggle for whether you want to play a "classic" D&D cleric with shield who stands next to the fighter or the robed clergyperson from other portrayals.

Compare what a bloodline grants to what a deity grants-

1) 2 Bloodline skills (clerics already start with one more than sorcerers because they always use Religion; this is actually a wash between the classes since they both end up with the same number of skills. If every sorcerer was arcane, they'd only get one bonus skill and Arcana would be front-loaded like the cleric front-loads Religion, but since their bloodline determines their tradition, they get the knowledge skill for that tradition as part of the bloodline.)
2) 10 granted spells 0-9 (that any other sorcerer of the same tradition can learn, and in the case of a divine sorcerer vs. a cleric, which the cleric just gets entirely for free since they have access to the entire CRB divine spell list as prepared casters.)
3) 1 Bloodline focus spell and access to two more via feats.
4) A Blood Magic ability/bonus that works with the spells from points 2 and 3 (not including the granted cantrip).


1) Divine font type
2) Favored Weapon
3) Deity Skill
4) Deity spells at 3 levels as determined by deity (these are off-list spells, and thus potentially more potent and build defining; there's nothing stopping any other sorcerer from taking the same spells as another sorcerer with the same tradition. This is arguably a stronger gain than what the sorcerer gets from their bloodline spells because it's actually adding spells to your options, rather than predetermining which spells from a list that everyone that gets the tradition has access to are going to work with your blood magic.)
5) Edicts and Anathema (mechanically this is a net neutral; if you're playing a deity with a strict anathema, you've chosen to do so. There are literally scores of deities whose anathema are unlikely to ever be relevant to an adventure other than as a roleplaying hook to hang some personality on.)
6) Access to multiple domains (instead of just one bloodline) and up to 1 focus spell plus access to 7 more (potentially more than 7 with Expanded Domain Initiate.)


So a bloodline and a deity carry pretty similar mechanical weight, and there's even an argument to be made that deities are providing more "oomph" than a bloodline (YMMV).

Sorcerers- 16 bloodlines
Clerics- 4 pantheons that act as deities mechanically, 190+ deities

Clerics literally have more than 10x as many "subclasses" as sorcerers, who in turn have more "subclasses" than most other classes. There's just a misidentification happening with the assumption that the doctrine is the "subclass", rather than the deity (which is the thing that actually has the equivalent mechanical weight of a bloodline, thesis, hunter's edge, etc.)

TheGentlemanDM wrote:

I think that we'll only see new Doctrines as part of Class Archetypes. Specific Doctrines that come locked with a more martial archetype and make it a little smoother to cover all the associated proficiency changes.

That's a lot more likely, yeah. Doctrines don't actually really do anything other than set the order of your proficiency increases and determine which 1st level feat(s) you're getting for free (Shield Block and Deadly Simplicity or Domain Initiate), so a class archetype that gives a specific custom doctrine built around the archetype's theme or which jettisons the doctrine completely in favor of a different style of class feature and modified starting proficiencies has a much higher chance of fitting the game's framework.

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Squiggit wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:

What if they already are?

The design team has already put their best effort into the game, and you find it incomplete and/or ambiguous. What's to say that any effort made to complete or clarify beyond this point isn't going to produce similarly ambiguous results?

Okay, so I agree with you that the issue is generally overstated and there are ways to work around it and that it's not the end of the world either way.

But to suggest that it's somehow implausible or impossible for Paizo, at some point in the future, to answer some yes or no questions about how certain abilities interact or that them doing so would make those rules more confusing by some strange magic is a stretch to be mild.

Not at all. Organized play VOs have sent screaming messages to the OPM at 3am because a designer gave a casual answer to a question in a forum that wasn't the one they preferred. PF1 suffered for years from people pulling out old Jacobs and Brock off-the-cuff forum rulings that didn't end up being consistent with the rules or later errata. It's also not exactly uncommon for it to turn out that the people who were getting all indignant and offended that their rules questions weren't answered have really been talking about something else that they wanted to extrapolate the ruling to, but didn't want to ask directly because they knew they wouldn't get the answer they wanted there while they might by asking it this other way (I can think of at least 5 occasions just that I've been witness to where I watched exactly this play out across multiple forums as a poster got into an argument on e.g. Discord and then jumped over to ask the question one way on Reddit and a different way on the Paizo boards, fishing for the answer that backed their assertion).

Then on top of that, a lot of the questions that are getting "ignored" really aren't that common as questions, they're just 10 really passionate people arguing back and forth for page after page when there are quick and reasonable rulings that may not be what one side wants but are still pretty straightforward. Dhampir under undeath's blessing? They get bonus healing from harm and are still screwed by heal because a living dhampir still has negative healing and nothing in the spell changes that. Grasping Reach and fatal weapons? There's a clear order of operations here because you can't make a Strike at reach until you've used Grasping Reach, so your greatpick's damage drops to d8s and when fatal triggers they bump up to d12s because nothing in Grasping Reach says it modifies fatal and you already activated it earlier. Battle forms? Is the number you're looking at granted to you by the spell? Then it can only be affected by circumstance bonuses, status bonuses, and penalties. It doesn't matter what the thing you're trying to add is, only that it's not one of those things. Is it a number you got from somewhere else, like your normal AC or attack modifier? Then it can be affected by the things that normally affect those statistics, including item bonuses from handwraps of mighty blows and whatever other effects you have that normally change that number or are called out in the effect that let you take on the form. Half the confusion on this front is specifically because Mark gave an "unofficial" answer outside of the FAQ and errata process that ended up being thrown around to muddy the waters, which is exactly why official answers like that are kept to FAQ and errata releases by policy.

Then there's the other questions that do have answers and people just don't like them. What's the range of leshy seed pods or can half-elves take Ancient Elf? It's noted in the org play clarifications and on AoN, with the rulings specifically saying they were arrived at in consultation with the design team and tagged for errata under the Rulings and Clarifications. These are official answers, not "semi official answers", and logged in multiple locations; the Ancient Elf one is even cited as an unanswered question in this thread despite the fact that it's been answered for over a year and is clarified on both the Rulings and Clarifications page and Archives of Nethys. So that's also kind of an indicator that a forum ruling isn't really going to solve the situation or change the impression that questions aren't getting answered, since they have been and people are still saying they haven't.

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breithauptclan wrote:
Samir Sardinha wrote:
Yes, I want the rules as complete and unambiguos as possible. I know that will take time and many things are corner cases that usually only happens at theorycraft should have a low priority, but my main concern is the valid options at PFS be clarified somehow.

Pathfinder Society does actually have its own rulings that are used for society play.

They're even listed by book here under the Rulings and Clarifications for each sanctioned book.

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Stereofm wrote:
Why is it unaivalable now ? I would understand a physical product, but a .pdf ??

Legendary Games delisted their entire Far East product line. Blog explaining the situation here.

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Aw3som3-117 wrote:
3. I hate to use this as evidence, because the rules often forget this, but I swear I have something to back it up in a second, so keep reading. With that out of the way: "wielding" isn't capitalized in the quoted sentence,[...]

Only direct actions, feats, and actively managed resources (Bulk, Focus Points, etc.) are capitalized in running text, not all game terms. Class names, class features, monster abilities, monster names, conditions, etc. are not capitalized in running text except at the start of a sentence, since otherwise it would make things tricky to read and undermine the functionality of capitalizing important key terms to begin with.

A kind of quick and dirty way to know which is appropriate is that if you can say "I am XX (confused, wielding, stupefied, etc.)" then it won't be capitalized. If you can say "I XX (Strike, Leap, Demoralize, Power Attack)" then it's probably capitalized. Similarly, "I spend a Focus Point" and "I drop a unit of Bulk" are correct, but since your focus pool isn't directly managed and is just a term for your collective Focus Points, it is not capitalized.

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Themetricsystem wrote:

Molemen (Rare Ancestry)

Earthling (Rare Human only Heritage)

Awakened (Rare with Familiar(Tiny), Animal Companion (Small or Medium), or Construct (Medium or Large) Heritages)


One of these is a joke, the other three I am serious about, can you guess which is which?!

I'm really curious as to whether it's the one that has a 3pp write-up already.

Paizo Employee

Aw3som3-117 wrote:

Giant Eagle:

Not an animal. It's a beast. Nothing stopping you from picking an eagle, though. As for the reason for this, I'm not sure.

It's Tolkien's fault. Anything above a certain intelligence threshold is a beast, not an animal, and Tolkien established giant eagles as beings of human-level intelligence, a characteristic and distinction that was also present in PF1 (where giant eagles are magical beasts and still not animals). If you want an enormous bird that's still an animal, you actually want a roc.

Paizo Employee

7 - 11 for me. Far enough in that your build is fully online and you've picked up any prestige class you might have been interested in, but prior to the game's math breaking down and spells reaching the level of complexity where the majority of battles are won based on initiative and preparation rather than what happens at the table.

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Luminalle wrote:

According to rules, the special statistics can be adjusted only by circumstance bonuses, status bonuses, and penalties. This doesn't really exclude any of the above, since they aren't really item bonuses.

The rule is "If you take on a battle form with a polymorph spell, the special statistics can be adjusted only by circumstance bonuses, status bonuses, and penalties."

Whether or not they're item bonuses is irrelevant to the point. The rule doesn't say "Can't be affected by item bonuses" it says "If you take on a battle form with a polymorph spell, the special statistics can be adjusted only by circumstance bonuses, status bonuses, and penalties."

So the series of questions is "Is this a statistic gained from the battle form?" If the answer is "yes" then we know that the only things that can modify it are "circumstance bonuses, status bonuses, and penalties". It doesn't matter what else it is, only that it isn't one of those three things.

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graystone wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Not everyone takes Nimble Shield Hand. For all those who don't, the difference is very real.

Not everyone takes the feats to get proficiency in the repeater either. It's not really a fair comparison is one character is spending feats in a comparison and the other isn't: the one that blew a few feats should be the better option.

Ssalarn wrote:
It takes 0 feats to wield and Raise a shield.
You said it was Factually incorrect that "Shortbow wielder still can't use a shield": that was Factually incorrect.

Once the argument in favor of shortbows is that they can do one of the things a repeating hand crossbow can do as long as they take three feats to do it, I think we've crossed the line into "functionally pointless arguments". It's like arguing that all crossbows deal 1dx+2 damage because the Crossbow Ace feat exists; that's a property of the feat, not the weapon. Shortbow wielders can't use a shield, characters who spend three feats on a shield-wielding archetype can use a shortbow (maybe). Trying to add build functionality as a weapon characteristic is a poor argument that doesn't establish anything.

If the shortbow wielder is getting credit for being able to wield a shield because they spent two class feats and a general feat, then let's just assume that every repeating crossbow wielder has Drow Shootist, Repeating Hand Crossbow Training, and Toughness. Now it's irrelevant that the repeating hand crossbow is an advanced weapon since it auto-scales to your best proficiency so we should evaluate it as a martial weapon, you can Strike and stow or draw and Strike as a single action (so you can have two hands free while climbing or go from Picking a Lock to shooting with no action economy loss and easily switch between primary and backup weapons), you have free critical specialization, and you have more Hit Points than the shortbow wielder.

The whole "But with XYZ I can do a thing I normally can't do" is a recursive argument that never establishes anything because you've gone from talking about the merits of the weapon to the merits of builds, and it's all but impossible to establish a clear winner between different builds.

Squiggit wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
It takes 0 feats to wield and Raise a shield.

Yeah, but it takes more than 0 feats to properly wield a repeating hand crossbow.

Someone taking Repeating Hand Crossbow Training is spending the same number of feats as someone taking Nimble Shield Hand, so imo the comparison is valid.

Then the evaluation of repeating hand crossbows should credit them with the benefits of three feats and include the fact that they have better action economy, free critical specialization, give their wielders more Hit Points, and aren't actually advanced because they autoscale to your best proficiency. If the goal posts are going to shift, they need to shift equally for both sides of the debate.

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graystone wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
Factually incorrect. It covers a small portion of 1/3 of the pros in that list. Shortbow wielder still can't use a shield, can't use reactions with their weapon while they have something in that hand, etc.

Nimble Shield Hand solves this. They can interact so they can reload, can use reactions, ect.

Ssalarn wrote:
If a mobile martial enemy gets up in hand crossbow wielder's face, they have more options to deal with that enemy than a shortbow wielder does (higher AC, off-hand melee options, or even just activating an item you held onto throughout the fight just in case you needed it).
You can get the higher AC [Nimble Shield Hand], off-hand melee options [Nimble Shield Hand/shield bash/spike/boss] and activating an item is easier to do than having a normal weapon/item in the off hand. With feats required to use the repeater, it seems fair to compare it to a character using a 2 feats for a shield in comparison.

It takes 0 feats to wield and Raise a shield.

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Alchemic_Genius wrote:
It's also worth noting that this isn't a true 1h vs 2h debate. 1+ hands still lets you carry a wand, potion, or what have you to use turn 1, and it still lets you draw them mid combat, which is a lot more than what 2h allows, and covers most of the benefits outlined by ssalarn said in the crossbows "pro" section

Factually incorrect. It covers a small portion of 1/3 of the pros in that list. Shortbow wielder still can't use a shield, can't use reactions with their weapon while they have something in that hand, etc. And if you're starting with a shortbow and wand in hand, once you've used the wand your choices are to drop your expensive loot or spend an action stowing it and give up one of your advantages (damage) by sacrificing action economy. You're also more limited in wands; anything other than a self-buff or single-target effect is going to be more hindrance than help unless the enemies have all conveniently formed up in the right AoE formation.

1+ is better than 2 for options but it's still not equivalent to 1. A character with a hand crossbow and a staff of evocation can fling lightning bolts and Strike with a crossbow bolt in a single turn; a shortbow wielder can't without dropping valuable loot on the ground and then needing to pick it up later, actions which suck up the shortbow's advantages. If a mobile martial enemy gets up in hand crossbow wielder's face, they have more options to deal with that enemy than a shortbow wielder does (higher AC, off-hand melee options, or even just activating an item you held onto throughout the fight just in case you needed it).

None of that is to address whether the repeating hand crossbow is undertuned or not, but just to note that the idea that any 1+ bow is basically the same as a 1-handed weapon isn't remotely correct. A more accurate comparison would be to compare it to a sling, standard hand crossbow, or shuriken and say "Compared to these much more equivalent weapons, does the repeating hand crossbow justify being an advanced weapon?"

It certainly beats out the hand crossbow and the sling on action economy alone, so it's at least a martial weapon. Shuriken require a 14 Strength to reach an equivalent damage profile to the hand crossbow, which is an easy pickup but not an automatic one and might be a harder ask for a character who wants to add spellcasting to the mix. Shuriken also have 1/3 of the range, more barriers to enchanting them efficiently, and get progressively less competitive as striking runes come into play and alter the damage profile in favor of the repeating hand crossbow.

So up until the point in time where you have to reload (which for many builds won't actually happen in the majority of combats), the repeating hand crossbow is better than the other actual 1-handed weapons in both the simple and martial categories, which is a reasonable argument for it falling where it has.

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Alchemic_Genius wrote:
Unicore wrote:

because it is a one handed weapon with a lot of range and the ability to be fired multiple times without reloading. We haven't gotten a lot of classes that will exploit those features yet, but the gunslinger in particular is looking at this as the best pistol option they have right now.

Functionally, it's a shortbow; same damage and range, trading deadly d10 in exchange for going from 1+ handed to 1 handed.

This is an assessment that gets thrown around a lot in these kinds of comparisons while really missing out on the value of a hand. A shortbow takes two hands to fire, so you can't dual-wield a pair of them, wield it alongside a melee weapon, or wield it with a shield (or dual-wield it and use a shield by applying a shield boss). The game state of having a true free hand is better than the game state of having an occasionally free hand with a 1+ weapon. What you really have is-

Shortbow pros
*Better crit profile
*Propulsive option for compound variant

Shortbow cons
*Cannot be dual-wielded
*Cannot be wielded with a shield


Repeating hand crossbow pros
*Can be used while keeping a free hand open
*Can be used with a shield
*Can be dual-wielded

Repeating hand crossbow cons
*Weaker crit profile
*Requires feat expenditures for on-track proficiency scaling and propulsive equivalents
*Potential action economy imposition for long-running fights


So a character with the repeating hand crossbow has the potential for more damage types, higher AC, more potential options for reactions, better adaptability against mobile or aggressive foes, and various permutations of the former, like being able to shoot and activate a wand without spending actions to draw and stow.

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Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:

One of the implied questions is: "Is 2e as popular as 1e was." and the answer to that question is a resounding no. Which is unsurprising as 1e was born out of a dissatisfaction to its largest competitor (4e).

Now the scary question is: "Is 2e as popular as 1e is." and after more than a year on the market, all signs point to a resounding no. Roll20 is the de facto VTT of choice in the current era, while other solutions exist, they don't have the market share of Roll20, and their data shows that 1e games outnumber 2e games by over 2 to 1. You can even corroborate this with looking at the ratio of 1e discussion to 2e discussion on other sites.

Neither of these assertions actually have much backing them up, and they're probably wrong. PF1 at its height didn't sell as many books per print run as PF2 does now. And you can look at the company dynamics as well- The design team is bigger than it's ever been, with 4 designers plus a director of game design. A far cry from the days of three designers including Bulmahn. The customer service department has almost doubled in size since the release of PF2. The editing department has almost doubled in size since the release of PF2. The organized play team has added 2 new members since the ramp-up to PF2 began and has retained those positions through multiple promotions and shifts in the department.

So if you're talking about popularity as a percentage of all TTRPG players everywhere in the year 2015, then yeah, PF2 isn't as popular as PF1 by that metric. But if you're talking about things like sales metrics, media engagement, actual number of consumers, etc. then PF2 is very much more popular than PF1. The difference is that PF2 is in a robust and healthy gaming market while PF1 was stepping into a split market that was abandoned and reworked just a few years in, with little competition and no big movers and shakers making significant plays beyond Paizo themselves.

"But I'm on Facebook and Reddit and it doesn't get nearly as many posts as PF1 does" you might say. Turns out, there's a reason for that. It's not that PF2 is less popular by number of players, it's that a small handful of "PF1 Forever!" gamers are so toxicly obnoxious that new people join the communities and then immediately leave to find more hospitable climes. So even as PF1 is dying off, it seems stronger to the people who are most invested in it because the shrinking communities become more and more insular and devolve into echo chambers that don't get exposed to what's happening in the broader world of games and Pathfinder in particular.

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YawarFiesta wrote:

It really depends on Paizo meeting their sales targets and being profitable. Since we don't have access to Paizo's financial information it's really hard to speculate about it.

Personally, roll20's clunky UI is better suited for a math light game like 5E so that may skew the numbers.

Additionally, if Paizo's goal for Pathfinder 2E was to surpass D&D it clearly failed by most market measures. However, if wanted to capture a market niche, then it was clearly more succesful.


Paizo never has and never will surpass D&D when WotC is actually trying. Even the window during which Pathfinder was the #1 RPG on icv2 happened during the timeframe where WotC had already announced 5E, was winding down 4E, and was in the middle of restructuring their distribution network to start doing direct distribution to Amazon.

PF2 reaching even a fraction of the sales of 5E can still be a wild, mind-blowing success because 5E has the benefit of 50 years of name recognition and a multi-billion-dollar division of the most powerful toy company in the world backing it. Paizo is still barely more than a mom & pop shop transitioning into its second generation of leadership, with less than a hundred employees and exactly one leased physical location that houses all of the offices, server room(s), and warehouse for the entire company.

A 3pp company might have 1 or 2 full-time employees (who still have day jobs) and an average product sale for a well-known 3pp company is equivalent to about 2% of the people who have registered organized play characters for PFS. WotC is as much larger in scope than Paizo as Paizo is larger than one of those 3pps. And just like how a 3pp can be successful with a tiny fraction of the sales that Paizo has, Paizo can be successful with a fraction of the sales that WotC has, because the size of the market is so large and the scope of the two are so different that any direct comparison misses the point.

D&D and MtG combined make more money than Transformers, Power Rangers, My Little Pony, and Monopoly combined, as was revealed in recent shake-ups following WotC's last earnings call. That's ridiculous. That means that 5E isn't just a juggernaut in the market, it is now the engine that generates the market that every other game exists within. And that's not unusual, D&D has long been the centerpiece of the TTRPG world and is really the thing that opened the door for everything that's come since.

PF2 has been consistently blowing past benchmarks established by PF1 and Starfinder, which themselves were record-setting product lines for Paizo. That's really the only metric of success that's truly relevant, and outselling every product line the company produced prior to it at unheard of speeds definitely checks that "success" box.

Paizo Employee

Ultanemesis wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

So, the monk is pretty much my favorite class for PF2 from Paizo, and one of the things I really like about it is how there are so many different interesting and unique possibilities for characters. Since I see lot of requests for monk builds, I figured I'd start this thread by sharing a build of my own and see if we can hit 101 unique builds!

** spoiler omitted **

Hello Ssalarn,

I was wondering if you could help me understand this build a little. I am relatively new to playing Monks, however, I typically play Rangers in D&D/PF then prestige in Arcane Archer/Eldritch Archer. So my question comes regarding Damage output for this build.

Hypothetically, if I were at level 1 using this build and I performed Flurry of Blows on a target within range and line of sight while in Monastic Archers Stance with a longbow, what would my damage output be if I hit (not crit) on both attacks? Would I use..?

a.) Unarmed Attack Damage only? So...
1d6 + 4 (str bonus)

b.) Weapon Damage only? So...

c.) Both Unarmed Attack Damage & Weapon Damage? Since technically I am using arrows. So...
1d6 + 4 (str bonus) + 1d8 (seems a little OP at lvl 1 tho)

I am assuming it's option a.) and long story short Monastic Archery Stance just adds range to my monk feats and abilities that use unarmed attacks while also using up an arrow. If that's true though, would a Longbow +1 have an affect on my attacks? I am assuming no. I was planning on using a similar-ish build but as a DEX based Half-ling Monk/Eldritch Archer and I want to make sure I fully understand the way damage works for this build before I spend a few hours researching and planning.

So, you don't actually use your unarmed attack damage at all here. You use the bow damage but can use it with abilities that normally require an unarmed attack.

So say that you're 2nd level and you use flurry of bows while in Monastic Archer stance with a composite longbow (which has the propulsive trait adding half your STR mod to damage) and a 14 Strength.

You'd deal (1d8+1)+(1d8+1) with that flurry.

If you also used Ki Strike for your flurry you'd deal (1d8+1+1d6)+(1d8+1+1d6)

You never add your unarmed attack damage to the bow, you just add things like Ki Strike that normally only work with an unarmed attack.

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Dargath wrote:

Do y’all reckon a Monk or a Rogue would make a better base for a ninja assassin style character.

I mean the classic TV Tropes anime style, I guess Naruto included but I never saw it. Just you know, semi-magical in nature, teleporting, I suppose even the 5e Shadow Monk does a good job more or less.

Probably monk, possibly multiclassed with rogue or alchemist.

This Splinter build minus the ratfolk stuff has most of the classic ninja package (water walking, wall running, eastern weapons), so depending on your ancestry it should be pretty easy to plug in any particular elements that you think are missing.

Paizo Employee

I figured I'd go with a themey azarketi build for the next entry.

Build #90: Seaweed Style:

This spined azarketi doesn't have his land legs yet, but Stumbling Style makes it look intentional, and if you run into him in the water, he's got a lot of ways to keep you from getting back to land.

Class and Ancestry feats by level
1 Hydraulic Deflection, Stumbling Stance
2 Crushing Grab
4 Flurry of Maneuvers
5 Drag Down
6 Stumbling Feint
8 Mixed Maneuver
9 Riptide
10 Sleeper Hold
12 Improved Knockback
13 Hydraulic Maneuvers
14 Stance Savant
16 Flinging Blow
17 Underwater Volcano
18 Swift River
20 Impossible Technique

Stumbling Style seemed like a fun fit for a creature that spends a lot of time in the water instead of on land, though it won't be compatible with your ranged unarmed attacks from your heritage so you'll want to be smart about when and where you deploy it. Drag Down and Riptide give a cool way to force opponents into an environment that favors you, and you've got a lot of options for utlizing combat maneuvers in unique and effective ways. If you can get somebody under the water, they probably aren't coming back up.

Paizo Employee

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Tangled Forest Stance when you literally occupy someone else's space seems really amusing.

I like to imagine you're zipping around unlacing their britches and tying their shoelaces together.

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SheepishEidolon wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

Not as much as you might think. Average it with the Amazon reviews and you've got-

13 5-star Reviews
5 4-star Reviews
5 1-star Reviews

Hrm. Did you check out the descriptions of the Amazon ratings? I'd rather stick with the Paizo ratings. Well, actually got a chance to skim the book, and compared to the excellent first book it seemed mediocre. The end could be changed with limited effort, though, and IIRC Paizo even provided a sidebar to let the heroes live on.

There is a sidebar for the heroes surviving yes (and they're brought fully into the loop about the fact that Book 6 will kill them in Book 5). Given that and the fact that some of those reviews on the Paizo site were created by spam accounts with no posts before or since, I kind of view them the same way I look at Yelp reviews from people who drop a 1-star and then never do another review again, but everyone's got to make decisions they're comfortable with.

I actually tweaked the ending myself last time I ran it, and instead of being destroyed I had the PCs each get their own "rebirth" montage as their souls were rescued by servants of Pharasma and given a new chance at life in the bodies of some of Absalom's fallen defenders with their memories of the conflict rapidly fading. That became their direct link into the characters they're now playing in Agents of Edgewatch. Since half the party was excited about a heroic death and the other half didn't like hearing that their bodies and souls would be destroyed utterly, it seemed like the right move to split the difference and use it as a segue into the next game.

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Lunch time and the release of the new Ancestry Guide seems like a great time to add to this list! I believe we're on build 89?

Build #89: Though She Be But Little, She Is Fierce:

This draxie sprite does not appreciate it when people refer to her as a "fairy dragon".

Class and Ancestry feats by level
1 Ki Strike, Sprite's Spark
2 Stunning Fist
4 Guarded Movement
5 Evanescent Wings
6 Abundant Step
8 Tangled Forest Stance
9 Energize Wings
10 Winding Flow
12 Meditative Focus
13 Fey Skin
14 Stance Savant
16 Quivering Palm
17 Hero's Wings
18 Meditative Wellspring
20 Impossible Technique

Using flurry of blows to fight from range with your euphoric strike unarmed attacks is step one of the build. We don't take any of the low level stances since most of them lock you into one type of unarmed attack and the ones that don't aren't finesse, so instead we're using ki powers like Ki Strike and Quivering Palm to spike our damage up a bit and Stunning Fist to make up in control what we lack in DPR. At 8th, we get Tangled Forest Stance which gives us a higher damage attack option that we can freely intermix with our euphoric strikes. Keep in mind you'll be using it very differently given your lack of reach as a tiny creature; it's more for locking down one enemy than controlling the field.

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SheepishEidolon wrote:
Reksew_Trebla wrote:
I believe there is an AP where this happens, but I don't know how people felt about it.

According to the reviews they HATED it. Capital letters are barely enough. It was:

** spoiler omitted **

Not as much as you might think. Average it with the Amazon reviews and you've got-

13 5-star Reviews
5 4-star Reviews
5 1-star Reviews

So there were significantly more highly positive reviews overall than negative reviews. The real moral of the story here is- have a session zero with your players and make sure they're bought into the game's expectations. I've happily ran characters whose careers ended with scripted deaths, and I've played with people who instinctively rebel at the very idea that anything that happens to their character might be influenced by anything other than their decisions and the dice rolls. You've just got to make sure everyone is on the same page about what the deal is.

Paizo Employee

Matheren wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
I love the concept of this Laxus build, but I feel like I'm missing something: how does a monk take Jalmeri Heavenseeker at level 4 if they don't meet the expert unarmed requirement until 5th?

Having written the original draft of the archetype, I didn't notice when I first posted the build how it had changed :P

I've updated it accordingly to swap in Guarded Movement at 4 (representing Laxus's lightning speed), shift everything forward one notch, and drop Meditative Wellspring.

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"Megalixir Syndrome" is a thing for sure, and it ties into the way that people interface with games. One of the best ways to make sure players are using the consumables and gadgets they find is to present them with situations where said consumables or gadgets are going to be useful.

For example, don't put the golembane scarab into a chest you only find after you've beaten the golem, put it somewhere the PCs are highly likely to find it before the golem fight so they can see it in action. If there's a bandoleer of alchemist's fire vials in a chest, put an encounter somewhere nearby with a high AC creature that is weak to fire.

The longer that you let the game run between the PCs finding a useful consumable and that consumable actually being useful, the less likely the PCs are to use it instead of selling it. Once the habit's formed, it's much harder to break. So start out by sprinkling them around where they'll be useful or even straight up having an NPC say "Yo, that white dragon wight will get absolutely torched by fire, so stock up." People do whatever the game leads them to believe is the best thing to do, whether it's actually the best thing to do or not, so make sure the game is telling them "You want these things and you should use them." And be open to the idea that if the treasure drops less than a day's walk away from a fence who can help the PC convert it into a new magic weapon and there's nothing between where they find it and said fence that it's going to be useful against, then they're probably just going to sell it.

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The Raven Black wrote:

I believe that each time Paizo considers a new Class-like concept, they assess how to best implement it : a new Class, new feats, a new archetype dedication (ie, open to all Classes) or a Class archetype.

Up til now, all these innovations have been better designed and released as something other than Class archetypes. Usually because the devs prefer a design that can benefit as many builds as possible.

This does not mean we will never see Class archetypes, but they (rightfully IMO) favor other, more open, types of implementation.

This is all pretty insightful and accurate. A class archetype is one of the narrowest possible options to include in a book: it's only useful to one specific class, and even then only to players who are willing to make whatever trades the archetype is set up to make. Meanwhile, archetypes like those in the APG are much more versatile and valuable. Something like the sentinel has the impact of at least (X-1) class archetypes, where X is the total number of classes currently available in the game (and -1 because champion doesn't get a lot of use out of taking sentinel, though there is some stuff there if you want to pay the price for it).

So when you're looking at what gets to go in a book and what doesn't, there's always more ideas that are appropriate for a given concept than there is room for those ideas. Making one archetype that takes 1 or 2 pages and will grow more valuable over time as more classes are added is pretty much always going to be a better investment than using the same amount of space to create a class archetype that will only become more niche as the game grows around it.

If you're going to do a class archetype, it has to be a concept that only makes sense for that one specific class and which is so iconic or necessary that it's a better investment using the page space for that concept than for a different concept that more people will want to engage with. Those concepts certainly exist, but so do a lot of other, broader concepts that will appeal to more people.

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Most such abilities also already say something along the lines of "when you roll a success/failure/etc. on XYZ, you get a critical success/success/etc. instead" and won't interact anyways. If you roll a 15 and that's a failure, then you rolled a failure and get a success instead. If you have another ability that says when you roll a success on the related check you get a critical success instead, it wouldn't interact with that roll again because you didn't roll a success, you rolled a failure. You just got a success instead of the failure you rolled.

So in the case of an oracle with resolve, it says "[...]When you roll a success on a Will save, you get a critical success instead." You have to actually have rolled a success. If you rolled a failure and got the benefits of a success instead, you still don't qualify for the benefits of resolve because you didn't roll a success.

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Deriven Firelion wrote:

1. Ranger mark, move up, and trip. Round done.

Worth keeping in mind that at 19th level, Hunt Prey is a free action and at lower levels there's lots of ways to have it already active before the fight starts.

The most relevant is probably Survey Wildlife, a ranger-appropriate skill feat you can gain from a background and use while another party member is Treating Wounds. Then you can start tracking one of the creatures you learn about, which both makes it pretty likely it'll be the next thing you encounter and is enough to enter the fight with Hunt Prey already activated. YMMV, but I've found it pretty rare to actually be using Hunt Prey on round 1 of a fight unless there's back-to-back encounters involved.

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Rysky wrote:
Also MMOs, even outdated or "free" ones, make a F*%#TON more revenue than the TTRPG industry.

Historically, FTP MMOs are actually more lucrative than subscription-based ones. When Turbine moved a failing Dungeons & Dragons MMO to free-to-play, the massive increase in profits they saw led them to turn around and make Lord of the Rings Online, which was currently very successful under the subscription model, free-to-play as a way to boost their earnings. That doesn't work nearly as well with a TTRPG, particularly one which is already free to play, however.

The consumer scale is also very different. A successful MMO like say, World of Warcraft, has about 5 times as many active players as D&D 5E has. D&D in turn claims to have a consumer base somewhere in the realm of about 4,000 times the size of the average sales of a given Dreamscarred Press product.

So, DSP's customer base is about .00005% the size of a successful MMO's consumer base, and that's a difference in scale so significant that things that are true about one just cannot be true about the other. Even an extremely dated MMO like Final Fantasy XI still has around 400 times the number of consumers that a company like DSP has. Now, add to that the fact that much of the costs involved in running an MMO are sunk; you don't need to release new product every month in order to keep your fanbase hooked, you can just program a calendar year's worth of recurring events into things and spend a whole year making money while you work on the next patch, update, or expansion. The window of meaningful profitability for a TTRPG product is much smaller; you might have residual sales for years if you're lucky and made a good product, but the bulk of your profit is going to happen in the first three months of the product being out, and after that all of your stuff is free on the internet anyways, so there's no way to timegate or otherwise manage your profitability.

On top of that, TTRPG products have razor thin margins and many products simply fail to recoup their costs during their most profitable window, which then makes it hard for the next book to get off the ground. If TTRPG products were sold at a cost that's actually commensurate with what they cost to produce and set at a pricepoint that guaranteed all the contributors who put in the equivalent of a full time job's worth of work could make a living wage, a book like the PF2 CRB would cost $100 and the average price of a 3pp PDF would be $19.99. Since no one will pay that, most companies need to try and make a profit on volume. Since the audience size for 3pp TTRPG companies is so incredibly small, they have to achieve volume by creating as many products as possible, hoping that the successful ones outnumber the unsuccessful and that the totality of sales across the year are enough to turn a meaningful profit and finance the next year's endeavors.

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Personally, while I do think not using a god caller would be a missed opportunity, I actually have a different take on teen/tween iconics and their suitability in the game world.

I had a lot of moments in my own childhood where things like constantly moving from one bad neighborhood to the next, never having the same friend group for more than a couple years, etc. was really hard for me. Depictions of people the same age as me overcoming hardships and obstacles that adults struggled with helped me out a lot. We live in a country and age now where most kids between the ages of 12 and 17 have metal detectors in their schools, active shooter drills, and classmates who didn't come back after a summer break because of a completely preventable disease. They live in a world where the last 4 generations of humanity have all failed to provide good stewardship of the environment, and many of them know that they will have the monumental task of cleaning up a world on the brink of ruin.

Kids aren't stupid, they just lack experience and context. Thousands of kids in this country have already lived through events that would break many adults. I, personally, think they deserve representation and opportunities to see people like them overcoming challenges too great for the people who look like the people that have failed them. Tweens/teens are already a massive portion of the market for this game anyways, it's strange to me for them not to see themselves in the game and for them not to be allowed to portray themselves in events like organized play.

Obviously some adventures have events that aren't appropriate for portrayals of tween/teen heroes, but in PF2 those adventures have pretty clear and concise content warnings on them about those issues.

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XP is based on encounters, not creatures, so as long as the encounter ends with pretty much anything other than the PCs running away or being TPK'd, they get the full XP in my game (assuming I'm using XP at all and not just using milestone leveling).

Frightened away the dragon and two kobolds for at least a day while killing the remaining three kobolds? Full XP for completing an encounter that included a dragon and five kobolds.

Talked down the orc warband presented as a combat encounter and turned it into a social event that involved trading goods and information before partying through the evening and parting ways the next morning? Full XP for completing an encounter against an orc warband.

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Doc Midnight wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
Thematically cool, but not sure this works. For access to dragon disciple: “You are a kobold with the dragonscaled or spellscaled heritage, a dragon instinct barbarian, or a draconic bloodline sorcerer.” APG p.168

Access is different than a prereq. Anyone can get access through the story and the story of all the dragon magic users from Fairy Tail is that they're raised by dragons (thus fulfilling the requirement). For PFS you'd need the charity boon that says you were adopted or trained by a dragon to gain access to the archetype, but for anyone else who doesn't automatically clear the access conditions, it's just clearing the story requirements with the GM.

Paizo Employee

One of the potential benefits of two-weapon fighting is having a wider variety of traits and damage types to draw on. People tend to only use a single weapon type so that they don't have one of their weapons lagging behind in proficiency, but there's a couple ways around that that can be interesting.

For example, if you want to go "sword and board", you could choose shields as your Fighter Weapon Mastery / Weapon Legend option, then pick up the Bounty Hunter Dedication and Tools of the Trade. Since Tools of the Trade says "Whenever you gain a class feature that grants you expert or greater proficiency in a given weapon or weapons, you also gain that proficiency in the weapons listed" you can can now two weapon fight with a shield and whip while having both at Master/Legendary proficiency with the critical specializations unlocked, as well as opening up a neat ranged option in bolas that will also be hitting at Master/Legendary proficiency with the crit-spec unlocked. So now you've got a Master/Legendary option for all three damage types, lots of useful weapon traits available, and your ranged attacks are hitting at the same proficiency level as your melee options (though your main agile weapon is the sap, which is less sexy for a TWF).

You can do similar things with Gladiator Dedication + Performative Weapons Training, Mauler Dedication (good for TWF with a shield and bastard sword, staff, gnome hooked hammer, katana, or dwarven waraxe, but none of the other feats will be useful to a TWF character so don't do this if you're eyeing any other archetypes), Pirate Dedication + Pirate Weapon Training, Viking Dedication + Viking Weapon Familiarity + Viking Weapon Specialist (less efficient than other options but not a bad archetype if you want to TWF with a shield anyways), and Weapon Improviser Dedication.

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Cordell Kintner wrote:
Any update on when these options will be sanctioned for Organized Play?

Looks like right about now (or rather, a couple hours ago).

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Cordell Kintner wrote:
Currently there is no wat to see into or effect the Ethereal plane, outside of going there yourself.

It's uncommon, but there is the ethersight ring from Sixty Feet Under which allows you to see into the Ethereal Plane. Still need to lure the creature out or chase after it, but the ring will let you know it's there.

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Rysky wrote:

It all comes down to the fact that immortality itself is more or less flavor as far as the game’s concerned, there’s no mechanics that interact with age, nor games outside of home ones that last more than a few years.

Ergo it’s something you earn as part of the story, not spend a feat for.

Or by taking a rare feat you gained access to through the story that has some other elements to it, which is really kind of the bucket for things like agelessness outside of well-established story niches like the monk and druid with their mastery of the physical form (which, just to mention it again], is not the same as immortality; lots of ageless people still die for a variety of reasons.)

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It's very intentionally a super rare thing, I believe,, even moreso with PF2 being more focused on Golarion's lore than trying to ensure that it can still support e.g. Forgotten Realms games.

In Golarion, immortality is pretty rare and there's only a couple well-known ways of achieving it: regular doses of the Sun Orchid Elixir or passing the Test of the Starstone and becoming a deity. And the lesson there is that immortality isn't really; Aroden was a god who died and he's far from the only one. We also know contextually that some of the Golarion deities aren't around in Starfinder, which implies that there were some more divine deaths or abdications between the two settings (or that they're actually parallel universes with numerous similarities but key differences).

Even monks and druids can only achieve agelessness, not immortality; sooner or later they die when another monk or druid challenges them for their position or they just get tired of the mortal realm and willingly discorporate or adventure into the planes beyond.

Widespread access to immortality is actually really bad for storytelling and creating a game world unless the story is specifically about the journey to immortality; just look at how the Forgotten Realms had to be blown up on multiple occasions to deal with its overpopulation of immortals. There's a point where too many immortals in the setting just erodes the feasibility of a lot of stories that are otherwise worth telling. Similarly, it puts a cap on the ambitions of the PCs; how many people are going to dare the Test of the Starstone when they're already immortality? Godhood is demanding and all indicators are that you lose some of your mortal self and free will when you become a deity, so maybe if you're afraid to die then it's better to devote yourself to monastic study or primal communion and hope you can dodge the attention that comes with your achievement (though the longer you live, the more likely that powerful and unsavory types will come looking to test your immortality, and eventually they'll prove once again that agelessness and immortality are not the same thing.)

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Captain Morgan wrote:

Yeah, free archetypes or double class feats are great if you like getting into the weeds and having lots of mechanical options. But I've found a lot of players don't necessarily care about them, and then it just causes unnecessary complications and character creation steps.

Player preference is a huge part of whether the free archetyping is a good idea, yeah. The baseline sits at kind of a natural accessibility point, where it's significantly more customizable and with more build choice and variance than liter games like 5E or Cypher, while still being vastly more accessible to new players than PF1. If you were a hardcore PF1 who's made the jump over to PF2 though, you might find that you want a little more variety and don't mind tracking the additional options, so free archetype variant rules are a really natural fit for what you want out of the game.

That's pretty much exactly the experience I had with my home groups; the 5E players and newer players preferred the base system, while the PF1/3.X players felt like they weren't getting quite enough and discovered they liked the game a lot more with the free archetype variant. I use both and really the only metric that seems to be consistently in the games is how happy the players are. I don't really make any significant changes to the experience the free archetype players have vs. what the other group experiences, so it's really just about what's making the players happy and how many options they're comfortable tracking.

I'm actually thinking for our next set of games the players who haven't been using the free archetype system might get to try it out again with everyone getting a free Pathfinder Agent archetype, to see if the archetype being something granted directly through their storyline and the experience they've had playing through their first AP has affected their stance at all. The other group just started Agents of Edgewatch so it'll be a while before they try new characters, but I've been thinking it might be fun to see how they react to no free archetype as a "hard mode" challenge that makes them more reliant on each other.

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