Valeros

Ssalarn's page

275 posts. Alias of Michael Sayre (Organized Play Developer).


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Paizo Employee

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Sin_Dark wrote:


Once more I waited and today finally got to see the LOCG! Very quickly it became abundantly clear that not all feats and heritages are created equal. A level 9 Goblin feat lets you spit fire for a whopping 1D6, and you have to be on fire to do this, yet a level 9 human feat lets you take a Multi-class dedication feat.

It helps a lot when evaluating mechanics to look at the actual context they're used in. Scalding Spit requires Torch Goblin, which lets you set yourself on fire and gain a protective aura of flame and adds fire damage to your melee attacks. Since you're a charhide goblin, there's no downside to being on fire since you resist all or most of the damage. The spit is also an unarmed attack, so it benefits from things like handwraps of mighty strikes. If you're playing e.g. a charhide goblin monk, what Scalding Spit actually just gave you is the ability to make a ranged flurry of blows with your fiery spit, which at that level is probably going to deal around 3d6+2 (5d6+6 with ki strike and Burn It!) per attack. Since it's energy damage, it automatically bypasses any physical resistances and can trigger weaknesses for additional damage (though granted, 9th level is a little rough since there's a bit of a cluster of fire immune/resistant monsters at that level, despite resistances and immunities being less common overall in PF2 and weakness/vulnerability being more common). A turn of combat can easily be:

Action 1: Activate fire aura, protecting you from combat maneuvers, boosting melee damage, and activating your ability to use Scalding Spit.

Action 2: Ki strike and flurry for 5d6+6 x2 against an enemy within 30 feet, adding both damage values before applying any resistance.

Action 3: Literally whatever you want; could be another ranged Strike, could be movement, etc.

A goblin fighter with Scalding Spit could Double Shot for 3d6+3 per hit, or drop into Point-Blank Shot stance for 3d6+5, and with each round of combat the effectiveness and options available increase. Optimization in PF2 is split more between character building and play at the table than PF1, where optimization primarily happened during the character creation phase, so sometimes even things that don't seem super powerful on paper are actually quite good in practice.

Paizo Employee

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deuxhero wrote:
Dead God's Hand Description wrote:
Based on Pathfinder Publisher Erik Mona's multi-year, multi-group office Pathfinder campaign, The Dead God's Hand takes new players and Game Masters on a deadly adventure filled with dungeon exploration, ancient mysteries, and phantasmagoric tests that see them reliving events from the life of Aroden, the dead god of humanity whose murder triggered the beginning of the current age!

(On a side note with Dead God's Hand and the descriptions of the second 2E AP, it looks like we'll learn more about Aroden. Neat.)

Who do you think did it? Why then?

Aroden had a lot of deities who would benefit from his death and many enemies of deity power. Asmodeus gained the most from his death. The Aboleth still have a grudge against Azlant as far as I know. Do they have a deity?

For why then, I think it's just that a god could be literally anywhere, but this time they knew where Aroden would be.

My elaborate personal theory is that Aroden is responsible for his own death, and his "murder" was in fact a carefully considered suicide.

Once upon a time, Aroden ran all over the Inner Sea Region messing with whatever he felt like messing with, completely unaccountable for his actions in a way the gods have never been since. He punched demon lords in the face, shared Azlanti secrets with the new scions of humanity, and at one point even personally killed a wizard. That wizard was the mortal Tar-Baphon, and I think the moment Aroden killed him he also sealed his own fate.

Tar-Baphon had sacrificed thousands of undead legions to the Cenotaph for reasons before coming out with tons of power and immediately picking a fight with Aroden. It's heavily implied that even though Aroden won that fight, that was Baphy's plan all along- to die at Aroden's hand so he could become a special lich. But what was so special about him, really? We've seen a few Tar-Baphon write-ups and it could be that it was simply a way to gain mythic power, or it could have been something else entirely. What if Tar-Baphon, being a wizard who was powerful enough to fight Aroden one on one, was already mythic? What did he get from the Cenotaph, and why did he pick this fight?

The Cenotaph was created by, or at least controlled by, the Runelord Zutha. Zutha was a special type of lich who could power himself indefinitely by devouring mortal life-force. What if the secret inside the Cenotaph was something Zutha had discovered but could no longer take advantage of because he'd already transformed into a lich? What if it was a ritual that could create a lich who could devour a god and steal his power, as long as certain conditions were met?

So convincing Aroden to kill him transformed Baphy into that type of lich, and that's why Aroden never fights him face to face again. Aroden had already stomped Baphy once, but the next time Baphy comes looking for trouble Aroden loses a herald and an artifact to the lich and still refuses to face him head on. I think that's because Aroden knew that Baphy would kill him and claim Aroden's godhood for himself.

So what does Aroden do? He spends a few centuries pondering things and comes to an inevitable conclusion: now that Baphy has reached this point in the process, the outcome is inevitable. Sooner or later, Baphy will break free, kill Aroden, and become a new dark god ruling over humanity. But since the ritual Baphy performed required him to be personally killed by the same god he intended to devour, Aroden had an out- if he died while Baphy was still locked up and burned up all of his godly energy in the process (creating things like the Eye of Abendego and setting the stage for the Worldwound), he'd create a world where the heroes and deities left behind could deal with any of the remaining threats. So Aroden destroys himself to save humanity and thwart Baphy. Sure, it creates a massive fallout and suddenly the world is at risk from all these emergent threats, but they're also freed from the bonds of fate, free to carve their own path to the future.

Tyrant's Grasp spoilers:

I think this also why Baphy takes the time to build up an army and commence this giant war effort in Tyrant's Grasp instead of just throwing a cloak over his shoulders and using a few illusions and enchantments to walk through Absalom while no one was looking and claim the Starstone that way. He wasn't really after the Starstone, at least not until the very end, he was trying to draw Aroden out, because he couldn't believe that Aroden was really dead.

Baphy is arrogant enough that he could have legitimately believed that Aroden's death was a ploy by Aroden to throw Baphy off his trail. The whole time Baphy is tearing up the Inner Sea, he keeps waiting for Aroden to show up so he can claim the god's divinity for himself, like a proper tyrant. It's not until his last failed assault that he thinks he's actually going to need the Starstone to become a god, and he's so distracted by his frustration and fury over being thwarted by Aroden again that he leaves himself open to a counter-nuke he should have totally seen coming.

Paizo Employee

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DanyRay wrote:

I have seen 2 or 3 Paizo books printed in Canada, I don't know if it's possible to do it on a regular basis and don't know the financial of that… I'm sure it's not as cheap than printing in China... but don't know by how much.

A bonus of printing in North America, as the books transit in Paizo warehouse, is that they don't cross half the planet before being shipped again to customers. So probably less shiping polution.

Unfortunately, the Canadian printers are both significantly more expensive and they don't have the capacity to handle Paizo's standard print runs (they're used primarily for fast turnarounds on products printed in more limited quantities). It would likely require another country or large corporation putting significant investment into printing infrastructure at a point in human history where print publishing is on a distinct downward slope to make moving printing somewhere other than China feasible.

Given that right now Paizo has lowered the overall cost per page of their product lines to the consumer and is still being met with pretty vocal accusations of making their products unaffordable, it seems like it could be pretty questionable as to whether the company could use a different printer if they wanted to, though I expect they'd be as happy as anyone if there were a plausible alternative.

Paizo Employee

Aservan wrote:

[...]

1d4+4 (a 1st level rogue with a dagger) is better than 1d8 (a first level ranger with a long bow). It's 6.5 expected damage vs. 4.5. The rogue can do this at 10 feet vs. 100 feet for the ranger. So it depends on the expected range to decide the superior weapon. Indoors the dagger wielding rogue is the clear winner, however.

At higher levels the math gets a bit more interesting. The rogue with 24 Dex is 3d4+7 (14.5 expected) while the ranger is 3d8+2 (15.5 expected) with her composite long bow and 18 Str. The ranger is 1 point higher, at this point, but the rogue is hopefully getting sneak attack on a consistent basis. This is countered by the ranger's Hunter's Edge. In the end it ought to be comparable.

My non-counting vote is to let rogues keep the Dex as it makes things more interesting. More interesting is better.

There's actually even more variables at play than just those. For example, the longbow has the volley property, so Thief daggers are largely a wash within the first 20 feet of engagement compared to the longbow (stronger in the first 10 feet, 1 point variance in the second 10-foot span). Shortbow is probably a better point of comparison given how often combat takes place on a flip-mat and that those dimensions mean it's highly unlikely that a fight will start being tracked when the PCs and their opponents are more than 100 feet apart. Very much a "YMMV", but the longbow's enforced engagement range of 30-feet+ is a significant factor, and when you lower those d8s to d6s (or modify for a variable percentage of the longbow attacks having a lower to-hit and crit range than the daggers) the narrow lead on the bow end actually drops and the daggers are the superior ranged weapon in a broad swath of circumstances, and not even by a particularly narrow lead (for example, the daggers dealing 1 less damage than the longbow at 14.5 suddenly becomes the daggers leading by 2 points when you shift to a shortbow and the bow average damage becomes 12.5).

The comparison to melee attacks is also relevant because the difference is almost always going to be in the instances when you couldn't make a melee attack; the difference between a thrown weapon attack and no attack at all is the entirety of an attack. So if a swashy rogue is using a rapier and main-gauche, a "thrower" rogue is using thrown daggers, and the enemy is trying to use kiting tactics, the difference might be as much as "the thrower rogue moves and attacks" compared to the non-throwing rogue's "the rogue moves adjacent and tries to block the enemy's egress with their body", which means the difference between their damage was an entire attack's worth, and that lead only builds by a factor determined by how often the thrower rogue manages to attack an enemy the non-thrower rogue wouldn't have been able to reach.

Like a lot of interactions in PF2, the real test is something you can speculate about on a whiteboard but the actual performance at the table when you start bringing in the variables is where you find the answers to questions like "Is this balanced?" That's also a difficult one to find a solid answer to without some kind of established baseline of challenges and dungeon types. If there are multiple shut doors, or doors that can be opened and closed, in an encounter area and there's a running fight of some kind a la Inigo Montoya and the six-fingered man, then the thrower has an edge over both longbow combatant and reach-weapon combatant (unless the reach weapon is a flickmace) since they have a hand free to open and close doors while the other two are constantly burning an action regrasping their weapon.

Paizo Employee

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Draco18s wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I, for one, don't care. FAQ/errata are pretty much solely the interest of super-invested forum denizens. And they'll never be happy with whatever you give them, anyway.
OTOH, Mutagenist does Actually Nothing.

That's only true if you're already using the design team's social media commentary as a FAQ/Errata system. Otherwise it works fine but all non-fighters who multiclass monk are pretty inaccurate with their unarmed strikes. Fast errata isn't necessarily good errata. I'd rather know that the folks who need to do it are taking the time to do it right.

Paizo Employee

Gisher wrote:
citricking wrote:
Hidden one wrote:
If I wanted to do a more combat focused monk that then use Ki occasionally to apply effects like ki strike and elemental fist, I should put skills more in STR and DEX?

You want both as high as you can, especially at low levels

18 in one and 16 in the other is best. But either is fine put 18 in.
Or you can just pump up Str and use Mountain Stance.

Between Mountain Stance for AC and the right ki powers or abilities to negate the need for Acrobatics (ki rush, wall run, wind jump, etc.) you can pretty much ignore Dex completely as a monk if you want to. You'll need to select Reflex as one of your Path to Perfection options so you don't fall too far behind there, but it's very doable and leads to one of the highest AC options available (since Mountain Stance stacks with bracers of armor and shield/parry bonuses while still allowing you to use your unarmored AC proficiency, which scales up to Legendary).

Paizo Employee

Marc Radle wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
Anyone following the social media channels would know that the design team went down a member when Stephen left ...
Stephen ... as in Stephen Radney-Macfarland?

Left to work on his Delve RPG over a month ago.

Paizo Employee

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The Rot Grub wrote:

Until I hear of layoffs at Paizo I don't buy that they have a lack of resources to do this.

What an ignorant thing to say.

A quick look at the careers page shows they're trying to fill a project coordinator and web content manager position, which means those jobs are pulling resources from other departments. Anyone following the social media channels would know that the design team went down a member when Stephen left, and that Owen retired from Starfinder around the same time another Starfinder dev moved out of the states. Some of those positions were filled from editing and others were covered from different departments that are still in the process of being filled (like John Compton leaving org play for Starfinder).

So there's only ever been 2 devs covering the Lost Omens line, there's currently 1 dev for each of the org play lines (with one of those devs also filling the responsibilities of being a lead), a design team that's been short-handed since the game launched which needs to have both the Gamemastery Guide ready for print and the APG playtest ready for October, and openings in both tech and project management. None of which even touches on the fact that they're a company who operates in an industry that has incredibly slim profit margins and also have to balance everything that's created being available online for free within a few days of release.

So the department that would have to do the manual work is short-handed and looking for a body, the department that would have to vet that work has been short-handed for almost two months and is in heavy crunch, the departments that might be able to lend bodies to the task are themselves short-handed and either training or waiting for new hires, and the position that would coordinate such a task is looking for a replacement. All while maintaining a full release schedule and increasing the amount of content produced while lowering the consumer's cost per page of content through products like the Lost Omens line.

Paizo Employee

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Slamy Mcbiteo wrote:

I was not talking about play testing, that is a different beast all together. I was talking about a final review of a finished rule set before print. There are some simple questions that could be asked and answered on a final rule set before the print run to fix some little issues.

As for evidence there have been several companies that I have worked with that have done just this..the latest Savage Worlds Kickstarter went through 4 version of player review before the print run. They clarifying language, fixed little typos and inconsistencies missed in editing ...this made the product solid upon delivery.

Once again I think Paizo produces very good games, their stuff is great! why I sub to a ton. But a few minor issues seem to creepy in but nothing major.

If Paizo wanted to shrink it's staff size down significantly and go to a Kickstarter model, that would work. The Savage Worlds Kickstarter could take the time it did because it already had all the money; Paizo operates on a rolling schedule to distributors and doesn't make people pay for product that they haven't delivered yet. These are fundamentally different models and your comparison just isn't a good one, as I tried to point in my original post that you quoted-

Ssalarn wrote:


2) Paizo has actual staff. Most 3pps don't have more than one or two full-time employees, and those folks usually have day jobs as well. They can afford to sit on a book for as long as they need to before publishing, because they don't have the same amount of mandatory month-to-month expenses. When they do have a hard release date, it's usually tied to crowdfunding (meaning they've already been paid for the products) and those dates are pretty commonly missed anyways.

Pinnacle Entertainment, the folks who make Savage Worlds, have something like 13 employees who can live and work off of the funds generated by Kickstarter until those products start generating income of their own. Paizo has over 70 employees and much larger distribution channels that need to be maintained. There's simply no comparison in what is feasible, profitable, or possible between the companies, in much the same way that there is no comparison between what is feasible, profitable, and possible between Wizards of the Coast (a subsidiary of a multi-billion dollar conglomeration) and Paizo (a privately owned company that is not a subsidiary of a multi-billion dollar conglomeration.)

There's a lot of things that seem easy from the outside to people who don't actually know anything about publishing or how size and scale affects different sized companies, but the factors are many, varied, and significant.

And frankly, I don't want to call anyone out or point at any particular products, but I've only seen one company that makes products that are even arguably better-edited than Paizo's PF2 products have been, and their name hasn't come up in this conversation (though they also fall under the "Kickstarter-funded with small distribution channels" umbrella.)

Paizo Employee

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rainzax wrote:

Strongwise Monk, aka "ST/WIS>DX/CON", has high accuracy, damage, Athletics, initiative, Will, class DC, WIS skills, and AC, but middling or low Reflex, DX skills, Fortitude, and hit points.

In other words, Strongwise has essentially traded out Reflex, DX skills, Fortitude, and hit points, for things like more INT skills, Languages, CHA skills, and INT/CHA multiclass potential. He/she has weakened his/her Combat Potential in exchange for some Utility Potential.

And so, I might even be so bold as to take your argument - that "WIS to AC" narrows the field - and throw it back in your face by claiming the exact opposite - that "WIS to AC" widens the field by allowing builds that can trade out DX/CON combat for some INT/CHA utility!

I would say the main thrust of this assertion is fundamentally wrong based on a key point: You assume the monk traded away a bunch of options when that's not at all the case.

The monk has numerous ki powers and Wis-based abilities that do things like enhance his ability to move (ki rush), heal himself (wholeness of body), fend off multiple attackers (ki blast), or fly (wind jump), rendering Acrobatics irrelevant. Similarly, because it's a monk, you didn't lose anything on defenses; by prioritizing WIS you simply identified the other two saves as the targets for your Path of Perfection class feature. Because WIS and STR are now the foundation for everything you might want to do and provide all the equivalent facility of other stat priorities, the field has narrowed. Anything that's notably less effective than that default gains the reputation of being a trap option, eventually enough people get upset about imbalances that reinforcing materials are made, which pushes the CRB further out of relevance and distorts the experience for others, so on and so forth.

The monk is in the unique position of being one of the most versatile chassis' in the CRB already; it can play tank, controller, DPR, or an option of the two, and all of the various paths are pretty solidly balanced against each other in use and versatility.

The rogue is a pretty great example of where a change like this might actually be called for; they only get Dex to damage on one build, and it's a build that forces them into systemically-enforced smaller damage dice coupled with real limitations throughout the early levels that if they dump STR too hard, they won't be able to perform the basic functions of their role because they need to be able to carry melee and ranged weapon options, thieve's tools, rope, grappling hooks, and other accoutrement that will quickly force them to start making hard priority calls. The rogue has multiple systemic reinforcements that both prevent STR from being a complete dump stat without making significant sacrifices that will follow through at least the first quarter of a character's life span.

So the result when you look at something like WIS to AC and ask the appropriate questions is, at least in my view-

1) Is it needed? Not at all. Monk includes many of the highest AC builds already available in the game, including on builds that already benefit from high WIS.

2) Does it improve the game? Strong argument for no. I can already have a STR/WIS, DEX/WIS, or CON/WIS build with great AC (regardless of which is primary and which is secondary) so all the change really does is distort the currently balanced framework by shifting priorities further away from DEX and marginalizing it as Monk priority; AC and Acrobatics checks are already the primary functions it serves, and the monk can bypass the need for Acrobatics checks with WIS-based abilities already, so completely shutting off DEX creates a dynamic that overly favors non-Dex builds.

3) Does it adhere to the paradigms of the system it's being presented in? Again, no. Pathfinder 2nd doesn't solve SAD/MAD by allowing everyone to mono-stat, it does it by giving anyone more stats. This means that every stat you effectively dump stat is a meaningful increase in overall character strength since the ability to zero in on one or two stats allows you to raise a smaller number of stats higher and more efficiently while negatively impacting your versatility It pushes away from well-balanced adventurers and towards the kind of math-manipulating options that ultimately undermined PF1 and created significant barriers to entry for new players by allowing builds that shattered the game's performance expectations.

Paizo Employee

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graystone wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Occult Adventures stands as a testament to the value of public playtest.
Agreed and it's a counterpoint to Ssalarn's #4: even without playtests, things like gencon have books "in flux" far too close to the production date. As such, I'd rather filter out big issues like oozemorph being unplayable with a playtest than relativity minor issues that don't require a full remake of the material.

Oozemorph never would have appeared in a playtest because of point #1. Archetypes were generally written by out-of-hours playtesters and turned over well after a main class playtest (since you can't make an archetype of an unfinished class and expect to have any meaningful feedback on it).

Paizo Employee

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Interestingly, I was just talking about essentially this in another thread. TLDR, there's actually not much evidence to indicate that doing pre-print run PDF releases would be particularly helpful and a lot of reasons they wouldn't be.

A lot of times people assume that because a 3pp company can do something like trickle out pdf releases for year-long playtests and then compile them into a print book that Paizo might benefit from doing something similar, but there's a ton of issues with that idea.

1) Paizo works on projects far further out than most 3pps. There's stuff I wrote for Paizo at about the same time I was working on 3pp projects; pretty consistently the Paizo stuff came out a year after the 3pp product, because Paizo has professional editors and internal development that continue to work on books, as well as a more rigid production schedule since they sell to a massively larger market than any of the companies making 3pp PF materials.

2) Paizo has actual staff. Most 3pps don't have more than one or two full-time employees, and those folks usually have day jobs as well. They can afford to sit on a book for as long as they need to before publishing, because they don't have the same amount of mandatory month-to-month expenses. When they do have a hard release date, it's usually tied to crowdfunding (meaning they've already been paid for the products) and those dates are pretty commonly missed anyways.

3) There's actually not much evidence that doing so would meaningfully improve the product. I've playtested for many different 3pp companies, and for Paizo. I can point at numerous 3pp products (I won't because that would be a kind of crappy thing to do) that spent up to a year or more in playtesting and still came out with more errors than exist in the entirety of the new Core Rulebook. Most of those books aren't even close to the size of the CRB. Any book that gets published is going to have errors; it's actually pretty impressive when you consider how big the CRB is and what an aggressive and thorough playtest it actually had how few errors are in there. Which brings me to point 4...

4) The longer a playtest runs and the closer into its publication date it stays in flux, the more likely it is that you'll find errors in the final product. This is something I've seen time and time again; someone makes a last minute change based on really good feedback, but another change addressing the issue has cropped up somewhere else or the person implementing the fix isn't aware of another incremental change made elsewhere that affects the new paradigm. Some of these will slip through without being caught, some of them will be fixed in final edit (which opens up a new point in time where an error can be introduced), and some will be properly caught and adjusted.

4b) There is a point where too much playtesting can actually become detrimental to a project. Designers and developers are creative folks, and they're often holding six or seven different versions of a rules set in their heads as they try things out, roll them back when needed, replace those removals with alternate systems, or roll out entirely new materials that fill unanticipated needs. There is a hard point in every playtest where you're no longer improving the game but instead just taxing the mental resources of your team and swirling on sections that are functional but which people have split feelings about or some similar obstacle. 5E had a multi-year playtest and still had tons of errata and changes that started flowing out shortly after it hit print. You cannot make a perfect book; all you can do is make the best possible book you and your team are capable of making at that point in time.

Paizo Employee

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think "Wis not Dex to AC" would work best as a class archetype, since that would make it entirely inaccessible to non-monks.

The problem doesn't just lie with it being accessed by non-monks, but also what it does to the relative framework of the various possible monk builds. It's probably more significant within the monk framework, really, since right now the various styles all have some interesting facility and ways to compete with each other.

Which is not to say that there's not a world where you could do it with a very in-depth class archetype intentionally designed to go that route, just that doing so would likely involve a lot more trades and swaps in the chassis than you might suspect. Mountain Stance exists in no small part because of the playtesting done internally at Paizo that included a STR/WIS monk with minimal Dex. Non-Dex stats to AC are fairly fraught and can have a significant impact on the internal balance of any class. It'd definitely have a more significant impact than the only other stat replacement currently in existence, the rogue (thief)'s ability to add Dex to damage.

Paizo Employee

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rainzax wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
Hopefully no one adds a class feat to key AC off a mental stat; it would make Monk dips virtually mandatory for casters after 5th level and introduce a lot of the PF1 math bloat and potential for abuse that PF2 removed.
"Dipping" has been solved by "Inherent" Class Abilities. For example, you can multiclass into Ranger and pick up Hunt Prey, but you are locked out of Hunter's Edge (the best part!) because that is an Inherent, non-Feat, part of the class.

That's all great, but not terribly relevant to my point since I was responding to someone specifically asking for a class feat. However...

Quote:

And WIS-to-AC would need to not stack with DX-to-AC, merely replace it.

These two precautions would make it so it wouldn't "break" the game's math.

That's only true from a somewhat narrow viewpoint. Each stat fits into a very particular aspect of the game, and breaking stats out of their intended roles will always have consequences that need to be considered carefully. Making WIS apply to AC means that you have a cascade of consequences: initiative gets buffed without requiring you to invest in a Dex-based skill, class and spell DCs are buffed while reducing reliance on physical stats, and a host of other minor effects that don't seem significant individually but which can cascade into all kinds of unexpected impacts, up to and including the game pointing you at a character who can't actually fulfill the roles and responsibilities other players expect from the character at the table, or on the opposite end, a "one true build" that is superior enough to its peers that it distorts game balance and opens the door for rapid power creep and escalation.

Quote:


I agree with OP in that if the Monk wants to be a frontline warrior - by using all 3 of their actions to remain toe-to-toe with the party's foes rather than apply mobility tactics to hit-and-run - that options are limited, because this role essentially requires top-tier AC and Hit Points coupled with solid damage output.
Statwise, that looks like high DX, CON, and ST.
WIS-to-AC as an Inherent class ability would open up possibilities for this character, allowing them to prioritize WIS, CON, and ST, opening up a build that could hold the frontline and do so by capitalizing on the Monk Class DC effects like Stunning Fist. You have got to agree that that would be So Cool!

Not necessarily. Monks can already hit incredibly high AC across multiple builds regardless of which physical stat they're prioritizing; Mountain Stance is a status bonus to AC that stacks with bracers of armor or other item bonuses to AC, while Crane Stance is a circumstance bonus that sits on top of a Dex-primary indicative build. That's all to say nothing of alternate front-line methodology like going Wolf Stance / Wolf Drag to devour your enemies' action economy (you can really double down on this with Flurry of Maneuvers if you want to.)

Damage is secondary to being a frontliner if you can simply rip away enemy actions while making them more vulnerable to your allies' attacks. And that's beside the point that Strength forms a fairly minor portion of damage anyways, particularly if you're going hard in on a build that has high defenses and accuracy. Similarly, Con never needs to be more than a tertiary stat and is unlikely to ever be competing with resources that might go to your primary and secondary stats. The only time you need to seriously consider pumping CON is if you're going STR primary, dumping DEX, and not taking an AC-boosting style.

For a Dex build, options like Crane Flutter or the bleed damage from tiger claw strikes can quickly make up anything a higher STR build brings to the table, particularly when one considers that the ability to stay toe-to-toe in combat longer is an offset to higher damage builds with lower defenses that need to dart in and out more.

That's really probably one of the biggest issues with WIS to AC, is that it would actually lower the relative diversity of builds in the monk by making STR/WIS builds the preeminent option for all monks. If you've got the highest damage, accuracy, defenses, and class DCs all on one build frame, why (from a mechanical perspective) would you play anything else? And eventually that question would lead to someone feeling that they need to include more options to buff Dex builds, and now we've got numerical escalation building out from issues created by changing stat roles, and soon we're well on our way to undermining the entire framework of the game. That may sound alarmist, but it's really that easy. Stat replacement abilities are a slippery slope, and WIS to AC is starting a pretty quick slide all by itself.

Quote:


That said, perhaps this is working as intended, and Monk wasn't meant for this role? Or at least not at this stage of development?

As I mentioned above, monk can actually frontline spectacularly if it wants to. Crane is marvelous for Dex-based AC, Mountain Stance can get to truly ridiculous levels of tankiness and is already incentivized to prioritize Wisdom since it has very little use for Dex (which makes it a primo candidate for Stunning Fist lockdown as you mentioned above), while Wolf Stance is great for action burn tanking and pretty much any build with STR as at least a secondary can excel at maneuver-based front-line combat. What we have currently is a diverse array of builds that are all equally viable; what we'd get from adding WIS to AC would actually be a narrowing of the field as some builds were pushed out of a relevance (and in the worst case scenario this could open the door directly to the kind of bloat and power creep the system is built to resist.)

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Overall though, I must say that I am very impressed with the Monk. Flexible chassis, Style feats day one, and Ki Powers optional, all make the class very versatile. Well done!

Agreed! Monk is far and away one of my favorite classes of the new edition, and I think one of the best things about it is that every time I look at it I find a new build or path that can play and feel totally differently than the last one I was looking at.

Paizo Employee

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Hunters Moon wrote:
I guess I should have stated this, I am a professional writer. The art REMOVES written content.
If you have to state it, you ain’t it. You are hostile to everyone, forceful with your disagreements, and you appear to completely disrespect artists and their work, which will not endear you to a number of people here in the community. (Many who are artists and produce the content you call filler in Paizo’s product.) Art IS a part of the content and cost, no matter how little you personally value it.

Art moves product. This is fact. It literally doesn't matter how good your mechanics and setting lore are, if you don't have good art, your product won't move nearly as well as if it did. Art is the thing that entices people to look at your mechanics and see if they're any good in the first place.

Paizo Employee

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Steve Geddes wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Takamorisan wrote:
What they could do is, publish as pdf, hold the book publishing efforts. After getting all erratas done, patch the PDF and then Publish the book material.

That would be great! At least for we users. But I suspect Paizo worries---rightly or wrongly I do not know---about the population that would buy the book if it came out with the PDF, but will buy the PDF if that's all that's available and then never buy the book because hey, they have the PDF. If that population is sizable, that's a lot of money down the drain. :-(

An obvious solution would be to offer an "upgrade" option where if you'd bought the PDF you could buy (one copy of) the book for only the difference in price. But their site might need rewiring to handle that automatically.

I have no idea how big the cohort is, but I don’t use PDFs. So this approach would lose sales from people like me as well (I imagine the hype dying down after the PDF release would have an impact).

PDFs are also borderline worthless from an advertising perspective without a print product to show off, mail to reviewers, put on shelves, etc.

A lot of times people assume that because a 3pp company can do something like trickle out pdf releases for year-long playtests and then compile them into a print book that Paizo might benefit from doing something similar, but there's a ton of issues with that idea.

1) Paizo works on projects far further out than most 3pps. There's stuff I wrote for Paizo at about the same time I was working on 3pp projects; pretty consistently the Paizo stuff came out a year after the 3pp product, because Paizo has professional editors and internal development that continue to work on books, as well as a more rigid production schedule since they sell to a massively larger market than any of the companies making 3pp PF materials.

2) Paizo has actual staff. Most 3pps don't have more than one or two full-time employees, and those folks usually have day jobs as well. They can afford to sit on a book for as long as they need to before publishing, because they don't have the same amount of mandatory month-to-month expenses. When they do have a hard release date, it's usually tied to crowdfunding (meaning they've already been paid for the products) and those dates are pretty commonly missed anyways.

3) There's actually not much evidence that doing so would meaningfully improve the product. I've playtested for many different 3pp companies, and for Paizo. I can point at numerous 3pp products (I won't because that would be a kind of crappy thing to do) that spent up to a year or more in playtesting and still came out with more errors than exist in the entirety of the new Core Rulebook. Most of those books aren't even close to the size of the CRB. Any book that gets published is going to have errors; it's actually pretty impressive when you consider how big the CRB is and what an aggressive and thorough playtest it actually had how few errors are in there. Which brings me to point 4...

4) There is a point where too much playtesting can actually become detrimental to a project. Designers and developers are creative folks, and they're often holding six or seven different versions of a rules set in their heads as they try things out, roll them back when needed, replace those removals with alternate systems, or roll out entirely new materials that fill unanticipated needs. There is a hard point in every playtest where you're no longer improving the game but instead just taxing the mental resources of your team and swirling on sections that are functional but which people have split feelings about or some similar obstacle. 5E had a multi-year playtest and still had tons of errata and changes that started flowing out shortly after it hit print. You cannot make a perfect book; all you can do is make the best possible book you and your team are capable of making at that point in time.

5) It's also worth noting that Pathfinder second edition is selling incredibly well. It obliterated sales records at GenCon, it's garnering hugely positive press from companies, reviewers, and players who never even glanced twice at PF1, and it's been hanging out between #10 and #15 on the Amazon fantasy gaming best sellers since it's release; that's not something PF1 ever did except when it didn't have any real competition in the market. So it's important to note that what some people might see as "mistakes", many other people might see as "the reason I even bought this game in the first place". Obviously that doesn't apply to things like typos or post-publication, pre-release updates that missed another update in a different part of the book, but those are also extremely uncommon in the new book. There's a lot of stuff in there that's working for a lot of people really well.

Paizo Employee

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Paradozen wrote:
Doompatrol wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

When I played a monk I don't know when I would raise a shield; I always use that extra action to just move away from whatever I was recently trying to hurt.

I mean, the turn usually is:
1) Move, Flurry, Move
2) Flurry, Strike, Move
3) Flurry, Move, Strike.

1. Moving means the enemy just moves on to squishier party members.

2. The enemy has a reaction.
3. Enemy has a ranged option.
4. Enemy can keep up so all your really costing them is their least accurate attack.
5. Getting distance between you and the enemy is not an option in the environment.

Lots of scenarios where increasing AC is better.

Monks do get options to mitigate 2 and 3. Like Deflect Arrows, Guarded Movement, Winding Step, and Ki Rush.

4 is also surprisingly rare with how many movement increases monks get, and 1 is the kind of thing that comes down to party composition. Like, there's no reason you can't use a shield if you don't want to, there's just plenty of reasons you wouldn't, which seemed to be the crux of the OP's question.

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2. Is there any reason not to go with a shield + Shield Block, other than aesthetics?

A whole bunch, as has been shown. And shield monks being viable is, IMO, a good thing; greater build diversity is to be lauded, so as long as shields aren't a clear and overwhelmingly superior option to other tactics (and I think enough viable and arguably superior options have been presented that it's safe to say they're not), then that's a net win for the game and players.

Paizo Employee

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Saedar wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
As DMW mentioned, there's no reason you can't drop into encounter mode when it's appropriate to do so.

I'd really like to see more information from Paizo though on how they intend Encounter and Exploration mode to interact. There are a lot of abilities or features that only really have rules for encounter mode described.

Dropping in and out at will makes sense for a lot of them, but I'm not sure if that's how the developers intend the game to be played. There are also other things that don't really work with that paradigm and I'm not sure if the rules just aren't explicit or if they aren't intended to interact with exploration mode at all or what.

Worth Noting: If you are going to question how the devs intend things to be played, be aware of who you are responding to. Ssalarn IS a dev. Organized play, perhaps, but they all work alongside one another and a new edition is pretty all-hands.

Though in fairness, I put my "Ssalarn" hat on when I want to participate in a discussion without whatever I'm saying being interpreted as an official ruling or "Paizo's stance on the matter". It's a young system yet and the best folks to be answering questions in an official capacity are the design team.

As far as moving between Encounter and Exploration mode, I think one of the relevant bits is on page 496 under actions and reactions: "If they have specific actions they want to use, they should ask; you can decide whether the actions apply and whether to switch to encounter mode for greater detail."

So that's an area where the GM is specifically empowered to say "Okay, you want to do a thing that should happen in encounter mode and uses increments of time or some other limit/measurement inappropriate for exploration mode, so lets enter encounter mode and sort this out."

The Multiple Encounters sidebar on page 499 also refers to PCs moving from fight to fight without leaving encounter mode, which is another example of how you're really empowered to tailor the flow of the game to what the party and the adventure call for. Encounter mode and Exploration mode aren't really intended to be barriers to each other, they're meant to help facilitate and expedite play and provide you with a framework of what kinds of activities are appropriate in different time scales. I expect the time will come when we may even have a scenario or adventure that specifically call out these moments to note examples of situations where you might resolve an obstacle in encounter mode rather than exploration mode despite there not being an actual enemy creature to deal with.

Paizo Employee

Secret Wizard wrote:
1. Are there any viable Monk weapon builds? Seems to me like the only niches they have is disarming and easy access to other damage types. The versatility of weapon switching is cute early on, but as runes come to play, a playstyle that mixes weapons seems very expensive.

That's what doubling rings and greater doubling rings are for. Select a primary weapon to actually apply runes to and then just let those copy onto your secondary weapons. The main downside there is that the rings won't help with the bo staff, one of the nicer monk weapons, but there's still some handy options. A sai and temple sword build can hit all three physical damage types; grab Monastic Weaponry, Brawling Focus, Flurry of Maneuvers, and then they have several different viable paths from there to build on depending on whether they want to favor ki powers, mobility, or static benefits (or a combination of the three).

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2. Is there any reason not to go with a shield + Shield Block, other than aesthetics? Other than Crane Stance builds, Monks don't really have good reaction options for defense like a Rogue's Nimble Dodge. So there's a big incentive to spend bucks on a Steel Shield and a general feat for Shield Block (or Lastwall Sentry Dedication, for that matter), and be able to use reactions defensively at demand.

Shield Block is a general feat that could be spent on things like Fleet or Toughness. A tankier monk with a parry weapon, any monk with a bo staff, or a monk who uses two different monk weapons like a sai or nunchaku and temple sword won't have a free hand for a shield. Monks are also crazy mobile with very high move speeds, so e.g. an elf monk with Fleet and Deflect Arrows may end up in a way better defensive position if they're not spending an action and reaction on raising and blocking with a shield and instead use that third action to put 60 feet between themselves and their opponent(s). Goblin monks can get a ton of benefit out of Goblin Scuttle and Skittering Scuttle since half their move speed will eventually be the same as everyone else's base move speed (and eventually greater). Monks who want to do a lot of leaping and aerial maneuvers may find that they want to keep their reaction available so they can Grab an Edge and then Rapid Mantel up into a superior elevated position, though that's of course terrain dependent.

Shields aren't bad for monks, but they're hardly the universally best option.

Paizo Employee

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Secret Wizard wrote:
1. They really like shields. I'm not totally against that, but it seems that it's too widely applicable, with Monks having no in-built defensive Reaction. The few exceptions being Crane Style users (circumstance bonus overlap) and Bo Staff users. Even Grapplers, Tiger Style and Ironblood Style users can easily accommodate them – Grapplers and Tiger Stylers use bucklers, Ironblood users can just skip Ironblood Surge.

Shields are nice if you don't have anything better to do. Honestly, given how mobile monks are, I don't know that I'd ever pick up a shield unless it was tied to my character story. Moving is almost always a better use of the third action IMO, and I'd rather spend my general feat on Fleet or Toughness. Stand Still and Deflect Arrow are both much more interesting as possible uses of a reaction, IMO; Deflect Arrow gives you a significantly better bonus against ranged attacks, Stand Still is good for tanky monks. There's also reactions from other sources you might want to keep your reaction available for; if you've befriended a pegasus mount you might want to be able to take advantage of its assisted mount ability, if you're a goblin you might prefer Goblin Scuttle,if you're a multiclass caster you might want Recognize Spell,half-orcs might want Orc Ferocity or Orc Superstition, or if you spend a lot of time jumping or flying about you might want to make sure you can Grab an Edge (I actually used this a lot with Rapid Mantel on my monk who liked to make good use of his 3D mobility.)

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2. Stances are a bit off a mess. So Crane Style has a great exploration bonus, except you can't use it during exploration. Mountain Stance users are very vulnerable before they get to activate their stance, and have the dubious "touching the ground" requirement – does that mean they are unable to use this Style while on a boat? Not to mention both of these stances work really bad with Fuse Stance, which is supposed to be a great feat.

As DMW mentioned, there's no reason you can't drop into encounter mode when it's appropriate to do so. Similarly, Mountain Stance's requirement to be unarmored and touching the ground is a trigger and not a requirement, so you don't have to stay touching the ground, you just have to start there.

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3. Way too many Class Feats... are basically Skill Feats that don't work well with actual Skill Feats. Dancing Leaf, Flying Kick, Water Step and Wall Run are basically Skill Feats – except that they don't play along that well with Quick Jump, Cat Fall, Wall Jump, Steady Balance and Cloud Jump. Even Winding Flow is a bit lackluster, considering Step Up is a thing.

As others have mentioned, this assessment doesn't make a ton of sense. Flying Kick is spectacular and there's no skill feat that does that, plus it meshes insanely well with Cloud Jump. Being able to boost the height you jump with Dancing Leaf is really useful as well; there's a finite number of abilities that increase your height jumped, and monks' extreme speed allows them to leverage vertical terrain in a way other classes can't, especially when they're boosting both their vertical and horizontal movement distances. A monk's ability to just not be where an enemy can easily target them is really not to be underestimated.

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4. Monastic Weaponry is terrible. The only exception is the Bo Staff for its reach. Otherwise, Monastic Weaponry doesn't even allow a ranged build. Having access to weapons in general doesn't do much, particularly considering that monk weapons are so rare that you won't even find unique Monk weapons to make the feat worth it. The feat needed extra power built into it, like special actions such as Quick Draw.

Bo staff is solid, and being able to grab some weapons that are loaded with traits, like nunchaku or sai, opens up possibilities in your combat routine and attack combinations to capitalize on the circumstances you find yourself in. With the value of +1 to hit increased in this edition and weaknesses being something that can be really key to take advantage of, being able to quickly swap between a variety of weapons with different damage types and traits is nothing to scoff at.

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5. Until more Ancestry Feats are released, Monks have a dearth of options. All the weapon feats are extremely incompatible with the Monk's unarmed focus, so that means a good deal of the feats available are literally unusable for Monks. This is mostly a "feel bad" type of thing that surely more content will solve.

This is no more true for monks than any other class, and arguably less so. Goblins are probably the worst offender since their only 5th level ancestry feat is weapon focused, but they also have multiple solid 1st level options. Elemental Fist goblin monks are probably going to get some mileage out of both Burn It! and Goblin Scuttle, for example, and won't really need Burn It! until after they have Elemental Fist, so it's a solid pick-up with that 5th level ancestry feat (and will get even better as the new Lost Omens books are released).

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6. You kinda have to game Backgrounds. The attribute game got much better than other editions, don't get me wrong. But it still feels pretty bad to be forced to game your background to be allowed to make a build. The fact that Monks need specifically high DEX and good STR, or otherwise high STR and good DEX except for a single build makes it so that Background selection is not a purely roleplaying element. This could be solved with a Class Feat that allows AC to be based off of mental stats instead of DEX, which should be pretty fun to recreate the old-school Monk feel without the troublesome Mountain Stance.

Again, not really any more true for monks than any other class, and arguably less so. I played a 12 Dex monk from 1st up into 12th level and literally never added to Dex after first (and this was when the math was tilted more painfully against PCs and options like Mountain Stance didn't exist.) It was difficult and required a lot of tactical thinking, but monks don't have to have high STR and DEX; Mountain Stance monks kind of actively don't need DEX and for many other builds an 18/14 (or even 16/14) split with either STR or DEX as primary is quite doable. In fact, a lot of the feats mentioned in point 3 are even better on low DEX monks since they don't require you to have invested in Acrobatics and can give you some nice mobility options that aren't entirely reliant on a non-primary-stat skill.

Hopefully no one adds a class feat to key AC off a mental stat; it would make Monk dips virtually mandatory for casters after 5th level and introduce a lot of the PF1 math bloat and potential for abuse that PF2 removed.

Paizo Employee

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Strill wrote:
Is anyone gonna actually address the OP's points, instead of just saying "I disagree"? The OP brings up rules flaws that make the monk's abilities not work the way you'd think they do, and people come in here to say "I disagree" without explanation of why the OP is incorrect. Are you trying to prove your points by how many times you like each other's posts, or are you just on a higher plane of existence from us mere mortals?

Maybe they just felt that the third and fourth posts covered things adequately enough that showing where their opinions aligned was more efficient than repeating something someone else had already written.

Or they might have focused on the points they had original responses to.

Might help to take a deep breath and actually read the whole flow of the conversation rather than trying to characterize the entire thread based on 1.5 out of 33 posts.

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Corrik wrote:


I disagree entirely, it very much does matter which spell and which effects are used. It isn't just important that Dumbledore beat Voldemort, how he beat him is just as, if not more, important. I mean, are you really going to claim it doesn't matter if Dumbledore used one of the Unforgivable Curses? Colored beam is a colored beam, important thing is you put the smack down on right?

An Unforgivable Curse is a weight-bearing term, and not even remotely close to what was being discussed. Like I already said, there's no difference at all between whether or not Dumbledore used flaming orb or fireball, or dumbledore's scintillating dragon ray to prismatic spray. In fact, it doesn't matter whether he beat Voldemort with a prismatic spray or a swarm of magic missiles. Heck, he could have hydraulic pushed Voldemort in front of a speeding mine cart and it wouldn't change the story (the tone maybe, but not the story).

Dumbledore doing [unforgivable thing] to win is a story element, but the nature of that [unforgivable thing] is only important insofar as the lasting effect that [unforgivable thing] has on the story. The spell he uses to beat Voldemort is not at all relevant, something that is actually emphasized by the fact that you had to bring in additional lore and "mechanics" to make it relevant. Which is also clearly far and away beyond the topic of discussion which is a much more minor change like "at what point did Dumbledore cast mage armor (assuming he even did), and did he use a spell slot or a scroll to do so?"

Paizo Employee

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Corrik wrote:

Spell names may not be character facing, but their effects have direct and measurable effects in universe. Spell A lasted 1 minute per level 10 years ago. Spell A now lasts only 1 minute unless cast at a higher level. Now my Wizard may have no conceptions of levels, but they do have a conception of an hourglass. My Wizard also keeps meticulous notes, so their notes either show the difference between the spell duration or they do not. That leaves 2 options: Things worked differently 10 years ago and an explanation is needed, or my Wizard's notes always said only 1 minute, and continuity doesn't matter.

Puts on casual hat.

I would argue that there is an option 3-

The duration of your spells isn't even the slightest bit relevant to continuity. From a cinematic perspective, the specific spell you used to do a thing is largely irrelevant to the story. It doesn't matter what big, flashy spell Dumbledore used to lay the smack down on Voldemort, what matters is that he put the smack down on Voldemort. It doesn't matter whether you used one slot-based casting of mage armor or three scrolls and no slots, or even just the raw "magic" of being a high level wizard with Expert unarmored proficiency, what matters is that in the moment a weapon struck you, magic made the attack miss (or at least not hurt as much). Mechanics and continuity have only the most loose association; it's not relevant to the story or a third-party observer whether Ezren incinerated a troll with orb of flame or fireball, what matters is that Ezren incinerated the troll. Mechanics are an expression of concepts, they are not the sole embodiment of the concept.

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Quote:


I’m not sure of your point. I am happy to have roles covered by multiple classes, archetypes, backgrounds, and feat choices. The more ways to make an idea the better.

Anyone can be a vampire hunter, but class and ability names help players get into the game and help direct you in making choices. I don’t see how you can pick a wrong class if you are having fun and it meets your goals. If you built an angry character and later saw the barbarian sure the fighter does it well but the barbarian runs with that specific theme. Should the rage and totem mechanic fit in the fighter frame?

I think a potential point is more that we're in the early days of a new system and for some people, they'd prefer to see new options that aren't already supported get added before we get to the point where a class is being added to support a concept that is already supported.

For example (and this is an intentionally silly comparison) there are currently numerous ways to make a character who fits the trope of the swashbuckler in the new edition, but there aren't any ways to create knights in steam-powered armored suits. Adding a Swashbuckler class doesn't add any new concepts to the game; it lets you play a concept the game already allowed you to play with a different set of mechanics. If we had gotten a Steam Knight class instead, the total number of concepts that the new edition supports would have actually grown, rather than just adding more ways to play a concept that was already supported.

Arguably, it is better to have 13 different concepts available to pick from than it is to have 13 different ways to play the same concept with a few variations on the particular execution.

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I can actually see Midnightoker's point here. There's already a super mobile class in the monk, an excellent one-handed duelist line of feats in the fighter, and a Charisma-oriented rogue path in the scoundrel, not to mention that liberator champions pair really well with either fighter or rogue multiclass for swashbucklery types that can even get Legendary unarmored proficiency (and liberating step to "twirl" and ally out of danger so you can dart in and attack is super swashbucklery). There's got to be at least a dozen different ways (probably more) to build a mobile, charismatic duelist type, so while there's probably a demand for something that actually says "swashbuckler" on the tin, it probably could have been nice to see that space used for a concept that isn't already supported in the CRB.

Paizo Employee

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Deadmanwalking wrote:

That's not true, 1st level and 2nd level Feats are different lists and the 2nd level one is usually a quite a bit better.

That makes the difference quite a bit more than just order.

I would counter that somewhat by noting that for many classes, the 2nd level feats are building blocks that are contingent to some extent on your choice of 1st level feat or class path. The pregen for the iconic monk Sajan isn't actually something you can build with anything other than a human. There's quite a few potential builds on classes like the champion, fighter, monk, ranger, and rogue where even if you gained a "bonus" feat at 2nd level you'd still want to spend it on a 1st level feat to open up a secondary combat style or a character progression that simply wouldn't be possible/feasible otherwise. While 2nd level feats are slightly more powerful than 1st level feats (as they should be), they also tend to be much more narrow in focus, applicability, and/or accessibility.

If I were planning on making what would traditionally be considered a "multiclass" build like an arcane archer or eldritch knight I don't know that Ancient Elf would unseat human as my main choice; if anything it broadens the field a bit and gives me a few reasons to look at a race other than human when I want to break away from the assumed character progressions and combat play-styles.

Paizo Employee

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tivadar27 wrote:

1. A swashbuckling/dex-based fighter: This isn't possible because all of the single one-handed weapon feats provided to the fighter class are *significantly* better when you go the strenght route and simply wear heavy armor. The dexterity build simply doesn't compete.

Pathfinder 1e CRB: This was possible as a build, particularly when considering rapier, as it gave you the best critical range and could be finessed without a significant loss to damage.
D&D 5e PHB: Yep, you can definitely build a solid battlemaster fighter that runs entirely on Dexterity.

You get way more stat bumps than in previous editions, so there's very little difference in the outcome of Dex > Str or Str > Dex. Fighters scale all the armors you might want so defense isn't an issue, and for high Dex you get advantages in Reflexes and skills;

I think you're seriously underestimating what a one-handed fighter can do in PF2. For example, a 1st level human fighter with Snagging Strike and Exacting Strike will have really amazing accuracy; given the number of agile and finesse weapons that have the deadly or fatal properties this can be a lot more damage than you might expect, and the accuracy curve alone is carrying notable weight there. It's honestly massively better than playing a one-handed version of any class other than Swashbuckler in PF1, and that's before you start building out your combat style further.

At 2nd level, Snagging Strike > Exacting Strike > Combat Grab is an incredibly accurate attack routine that also applies multiple nasty debuffs to the target that also make them more vulnerable to your allies' attacks. At 4th level, Dueling Parry, Dual-Handed Assault, or Lunge are all good options. At 6th, Guardian's Deflection is a really solid option to expand what you can do with your reactions (unless you're planning on grabbing Dueling Riposte, in which case you might want Advantageous Assault or Revealing Stab). At 10th you've got Agile Grace which can boost your accuracy even further (thus increasing your damage both along likelihood to hit and likelihood to crit and trigger properties like deadly) or Combat Reflexes is also good if you want to be able to both use Attack of Opportunity and Dueling Riposte.

A Dex-focused, swashbucklery fighter is vastly more viable in PF2 than PF1, especially if "how does it compare to Str builds?" is your baseline.

Paizo Employee

SunKing wrote:


PPS - I allow Power Attack for all for free to try give martials the chance to get more and cooler feats...

You don't want to give free stuff to PW characters because they're already boosted up; you're basically double-boosting at that point.

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Squiggit wrote:


If we were playing playing a strategy game or a shooter or fighting game or whatever, the argument that certain guns, factions or characters should intentionally be bad so that good players could feel better about themselves when a new player naively decides to use one you'd probably get a lot of weird looks.

This is actually an extremely good example because you can directly map it to examples in other games.

For example, in the first Destiny game there was a rocket launcher called the Gjallarhorn that was far and away the best rocket launcher in the game. Since this was a weapon initially only obtainable by RNG, the only ways to get it were to either be very lucky or to ground for countless hours. This rocket launcher was so powerful that soon groups would start posting for raids with disclaimers like "Gjallarhorn only"; they didn't want to play with anyone who didn't have it because there were "easy mode" strategies that were only possible with this super powerful gun. Ultimately this was damaging to the community and Bungee first released a patch where anyone could get it by performing a certain quest (the video game equivalent of a TTRPG guide), and then removed it from the game altogether, because a weapon that was so powerful it warped the intended design of the game was just not something worth keeping around.

Magic the Gathering intentionally prints bad cards for a variety of reasons; sometimes they're better in legacy, sometimes they do exist just to reward system mastery, and mostly they exist to boost sales since they take up space in a pack that might otherwise be occupied by a useful card. That makes sense in an environment built around competitive collectibles.

Both of those games have competitive elements (which Pathfinder does not), which means that a certain amount of mechanical inequity is to be expected; they need to drive you to play more, because doing so is the only way to collect the best stuff. Pathfinder doesn't share that element though. Everyone has access to the same books and the same options, and the players are cooperating together, not competing against each other. Trap options and intentionally subpar options don't really add anything to the environment except gatekeeping tools for gaming "elitists". There's no value in my cleric maybe not being able to tackle the same encounters as my wizard, or my fighter not being able to fight the same monsters as my rogue. I'd argue the opposite is true, that any dynamic where one player's system mastery has them playing a fundamentally different game than another player is bad for the hobby as a whole. It leads to decades of forum arguments, loss of players in the community, and it can be particularly bad for business as the things that players at one end of the curve want becoming increasingly divorced from the things players at the other end of the curve want.

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Minigiant wrote:

When building a Vital Strike build what are the pros and cons between the aformentioned weapons

  • Butchering Axe
  • Bastard Sword

A Large Butchering axe is 4D6 vs the Large Bastard swords 2D8

TLDR If you have the Strength and a method to wield it, the butchering axe will pretty consistently be much more powerful than a bastard sword.

Notably, a Large butchering axe is a three-handed weapon for a medium character (and thus unwieldable without additional mechanics) while a Large bastard sword is a two-handed weapon for a medium character with Exotic Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword), so there's fewer hoops to jump through on the bastard sword side.

You're going to spend a feat on EWP either way, so it comes down to what the rest of your build is. Butchering axe is better in many ways because it's frankly not a balanced weapon; "must have a 19 STR" is no more a balancing factor than "deal 2d6 extra damage with knives but can only wield knives"—if you're using it, of course you're going to take the steps necessary to use it. So from a raw "I want to whack the bejeezus out of something" standpoint, if you have the ability to wield a Large butchering axe, it's going to be better than the bastard sword. The difference is in the resources you spend to get there.

If you want to wield a Large butchering axe, you need to also have an archetype, item, or race that allows you to do that, while all you need for the bastard sword is the EWP feat. As long as playing one of those options doesn't conflict with what you were already doing, the butchering axe is better (especially on a Vital Strike build where you're making fewer attacks and thus the individual per-hit value is going to be notably more significant than the amortized value of the bastard sword's greater crit range).

If your build is markedly improved by having e.g. a human bonus feat at 1st level or using an archetype that doesn't grant you the ability to wield Large weapons by default, then you'll need to start breaking down the cost of resources you're spending on grabbing that last piece vs. the benefit you'd get by just going with the bastard sword and having that extra resource available. Also, if for some reason you're going with a race that doesn't get a bump to STR, then the -2 on the butchering axe (combined with any other penalties you may end up taking for wielding an oversized weapon) can be pretty crippling.

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John Lynch 106 wrote:

Sure. But where the heck are all these Leshy players coming from that they manage to outnumber players of aasimar, tieflings, kitsune, tengu, ratfolk, etc, etc.

One thing to consider is that this book is part of the series still focused on the Inner Sea region. Kitsune, tengu, and ratfolk are more strongly associated with Tian Xia. Hobgoblins were heavily featured in an AP that changed the course of the Inner Sea and now occupy their own nation in the center of it. Lizardfolk have been becoming more prominent parts of Inner Sea society as cultures that oppressed or ostracized them have lost some of their grip on international politics. I'm not sure where all the leshys came from (I assume it's actually either really horrific and part of some plot by Dark Tapestry cultists or a completely accidental effect of certain events in Tyrant's Grasp), but presumably the reason all three ancestries were chosen is that they're relevant to the current state of the Inner Sea in a significant way. Just because something popular didn't show up in this specific book doesn't mean that it won't show up somewhere in a more appropriate book.

Paizo Employee

Jhyarelle wrote:
But isn't the hand crossbow the exception to the rule?

It is not. A hand crossbow is a ranged weapon you can wield in one hand while taking two-weapon fighting penalties as if attacking with two light weapons, which is not the same as it being a One-Handed or Light Weapon. Pathfinder can get a little weird that way.

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If at all by weight a pistol is only 1 lb heavier than a hand-crossbow and thus really should have the same exemption.

From a game perspective: Things only do what they say they do. Just because a kind-of-similar thing acts one way doesn't mean a different thing does as well. Game balance is pretty complex.

From a "but in the real world" perspective: The last thing in the world you generally want to do if you're hoping for accuracy is lighten a gun. A gun's weight is part of what helps balance recoil and lightening it would actually make it harder to aim, not easier. A black-powder pistol actually has significantly more recoil than a hand crossbow (which granted is more of a fantasy weapon than a practical-use thing that saw much real-world application) would have.

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Sorry for the side track. The main query is, is it possible to use dual pistols as standard action?

Not with Flash Attack. Because Flash Attack references "two light weapons" it is melee exclusive. You could use a double-barreled pistol, which allows you to fire both barrels as a standard action, you could use the Leaping Shot deed which allows you to move and fire each firearm you are wielding as a full-round action, the Black Powder Vaulter archetype allows you to attack twice with firearms while using the Shot On The Run deed, and there's probably a couple other ways to get in that ballpark. Just not those particular feats from your original post.

Paizo Employee

You can't make ranged weapons light because the light designation only applies to melee weapons.

"Light, One-Handed, and Two-Handed Melee Weapons
This designation is a measure of how much effort it takes to wield a weapon in combat. It indicates whether a melee weapon, when wielded by a character of the weapon's size category, is considered a light weapon, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon."

There's no such thing as a light ranged weapon by default.

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One of the things to note is broader examples of failing forward, rather than the narrower "locked door that always opens" analogy.

A massive mountain range bars the path forward. The PCs fail their check to avoid triggering the avalanche and now the way is impassable, so instead they have to cut through the goblin infested mines. That's a fail forward.

The PCs need to confront a vicious pirate king who's been terrorizing the coastal regions, but when they try to jump his mate, they get their booty handed to them and wake up in the brig of the pirate king's ship. That's a fail forward.

The PCs are sent to hunt a dragon terrorizing the forests near a town, but they utterly bomb the survival check to find it. That night they find the dragon as it murders half the town and makes off with their reward money, leaving a more visible trail to follow back to its lair as it flies off with a leaking bag of coins.

So on and so forth.

A fail forward is simply any point in the story where the PCs failing to accomplish a thing is rewarded with "Instead of X, Y happens."

The only times you're not going to have fail forward points in an adventure is if it's so sandboxy that the thing you were trying to do didn't really matter to your overall goals anyways or when failing the check or task is rewarded by the GM saying "OK, great game everyone, the lich wins, you're all dead, and its Sam's turn to GM."

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Cyouni wrote:


The difference with the Pirate, which you like using for your example, is that things like Sea Legs were on the same level of power as a skill feat of that level, but you had to take it with a class feat. So you were downgrading because you wanted that archetype. So things like that would possibly be archetype feats that could be grabbed with a skill feat slot.

Pirate is also something that the design team has mentioned in some of their interviews and such as being a thing that spurred other thoughts, like the possibility that even if something is an archetype feat, that shouldn't necessarily preclude it from taking a skill feat instead of a class feat if that's really what the ability it grants is. So even Pirate isn't the best example in this instance since they were still in the process of nailing down how archetypes worked when that was released.

Paizo Employee

AnimatedPaper wrote:

Mostly because people enjoy it and are willing to pay money for it.

New classes expand the game. Almost every class, good or bad, pushed the rules out a little further and added new options to tell stories and affect play.

Plus PF1 multiclassing often sucked (YMMV) and even a not great class could be fun to play if it exactly what you wanted to play.

Also because the more unique classes you have in a game, the harder it is to support all of them. Since most/all of the hybrid classes had some shared feature with one or more of their parent classes, they were able to tap into the options that had already been published for those abilities and new abilities could support multiple classes. If you're looking at e.g. a 32 page splatbook and you know that at least half of those pages are already spoken for in art and story elements, you either need to start deciding who doesn't get support or try to find a way to make the options you can fit applicable to as many classes as possible. That's one of the big dangers of having too many classes in your system: you could end up dividing your own customer base or forcing yourself into a situation where you know you have to make books that some of your audience likely won't buy because you couldn't fit their favorite thing in.

Paizo Employee

Loreguard wrote:

Auras and being able to grant bonus actions to key allies might be enough. Actually, it might be like granting teamwork feats, granting your allies access to some set of circumstantial bonuses they can apply. Options might be something as simple as getting a +1 to hit if two allies threaten a particular opponent no matter if they are flanking or not (potentially boosting the normal flanking bonus for them by +1 if they are flanking). Or it might grant any one of the allies the ability to utilize an AoO reaction, if the Officer gives up their reaction, as well as the reacting individual. If any of these abilities that are granted seem kind of powerful they might require either the Ally or the Officer, or even both to use up their reactions to trigger it.

So Aura's would become tactical teamwork abilities that would be largely conditional and the Officer would learn new ones as they advance in levels, and they can teach a certain number to their allies, and as long as the Officer is leading them, they can utilize whichever one(s) are currently made active by the officer.

If you're still playing PF1, you might find this to be of interest.

Or also possibly this.

Paizo Employee

Arachnofiend wrote:
For the record I am of the opinion that Surprising Strategy is rather underwhelming as an 11th level feat - most of the new feats are, with the super interesting Eldritch Knight options as a major exception.

It's better than Quick Dirty Trick even before you count in the fact that it also offers disarm and sunder options, has no prereqs beyond the class feature, and is a free action rider on a thing you want to do every round anyways. Outside of key build feats that require a robust expenditure of other resources (Shield Master, Coordinated Charge) it's pretty much the best thing you could be spending a feat on. Dirty trick works on everything and disarm and sunder are both situational but can also completely flip an encounter when they matter. Even with CMD scaling being what it is, you'll generally have a better chance of landing that full bonus maneuver than you will of landing the -12 to -14 third off-hand attack from Greater Two-Weapon Fighting. Blinding, deafening, or disarming an opponent can all effectively end the threat the opponent poses and there's no real limit to the number of times you can do this.

Paizo Employee

Attacks of Opportunity are as strong as your ability to trigger them, which can vary a lot between builds. There are some builds that can handily surpass a full attack primarily by chaining together AoOs with different triggers, or by effectively threatening so much territory that it becomes all but impossible to perform any action that can trigger an AoO (including movement) without suddenly having a character in the creature's face smacking it down.

Swashbuckler in general is a class that can feel powerful by virtue of its array of options, but about 1/3 of its class features are actually mutually exclusive and block each other out. Its damage also isn't actually that impressive compared to a barbarian or fighter (especially if you're two-weapon fighting and losing your precise strike bonus damage.)

To the build- Swashbucklers can't actually take Surprising Strategy. It requires the Riposte class feature which the Duelist has but the Swashbuckler does not. Normally you wouldn't be able to take Surprising Strategy until 11th level. So that could be negatively impacting things if you're using an 11th level feat as a 7th level character. A free disarm, sunder, or dirty trick on your riposte is incredibly good; at least one of those will always be useful and when using the correct maneuver against the correct opponent, you can end a fight right there. Dirty Trick as a free rider in particular is very good because normally you can't perform a Dirty Trick in place of an attack and combining it with a full attack + parry and riposte is significant, far more powerful than something like Improved or Greater Two-Weapon Fighting which is just giving you an extra attack on a full attack (and maybe catching you up to the damage you gave up by being a two-weapon fighting swashbuckler in the first place.)

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graystone wrote:
Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
The more I think about it, the more I feel we could really use a full on diplomacy-based class that ISN'T magical.

[...]

Now if you're looking for non-magic buffs, I don't know. The game is based on just about everything being a spell. You'd most likely need a skill feat to gain such an ability and rogue is looking good for that.

Theoretically the framework for a warlord/marshal/envoy type character already exists in the game (or at least the playtest). Characters with animal companions already spend an action to grant their animal companion actions; a class feat for a two-action ability with the verbal trait could say something like "You harangue your ally into action. The target gains one bonus action that that they must immediately use to Stride or Strike." Low level feats would need to have action economy slightly skewed like that (since having the barbarian who's already in the enemy's face take a free whack at them is probably more efficient than having the envoy-type run up and strike), but you could use cooldowns and conditions for more powerful abilities.

From there you've got a framework you can use for any number of tactical abilities, even complex tactical maneuvers. And it would be vastly superior from an ease of use and usability standpoint since it would take the place of teamwork feats but not require party-wide buy-in. The class feats themselves would probably make the multiclass archetype extremely exciting as well; "battle herald" bard builds that combine tactical feats and cantrips would be a glorious addition to any group.

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Rysky wrote:

Also abilities that had a special rule concerning all of that type but wasn't repeated in the text of said abilities every single time.

Betrayal feats were leapt to my mind. The clarifying rules text is on the site but not on the same page as the feats, which can still cause confusion. I can recall a specific (non organized play) instance of someone being vocally upset because they had taken a betrayal feat on their inquisitor without actually reading the expanded rules for how betrayal feats work. Suffice it that while the player was perfectly happy thinking he could grab his allies and use them as shields, he was less thrilled to realize that the feat actually only allowed his allies to use him as a shield.

Tangential, in addition to Paizo products I've written a lot of 3pp sourcebooks and I occasionally get questions from people where it's very obvious they're working from an incomplete or differently organized online rules source and haven't ever actually looked at the book itself, because the answer to their question is literally in a prominent sidebar, the first paragraph of the section where the rules element(s) are presented, or a similarly accessible location. Or where the item in question was corrected in errata before the book even went to print and is clear in its function to anyone with an actual copy of the rules source.

Even in home games I tend to ask my players to use an actual rules source (either the print product or PDF) when creating their characters and save the digital tools for error checking (in the case of something like Hero Labs) or quick reference at the table.

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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

Please keep what book items are from on a chronicle. It helps at venues where there is spotty / no computer access. It helps with those players that like to play, but aren't computer literate. They do exist.

It can also be really helpful for assisting people who are computer literate but don't realize that sites they find like e.g. d20pfsrd aren't actually reliable rules sources since that site has to rename and rework any feat that references Paizo IP. If someone tries to take a feat called Battlesmasher with a prerequisite of "Must worship a god who grants the War domain" thinking "Oh man, this would be great for my Iomedaean fighter and it's from a legal source" without actually looking at said legal source, they might not realize that the feat is actually called "Gorum's Smash" and the prerequisite is "Must worship Gorum", meaning it's actually not a legal feat for their character. Considering that Paizo has said they're going to infuse more of Golarion into their rules elements, it's likely that such sites are only going to become even less reliable going forward, so getting people into the habit of recording and referencing the proper rules source could help avoid confusion and frustration that could be created by someone trying to use Google as their primary rules reference without being familiar with some of the nuances of the gaming environment.

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
What are you on about? D&D parties are motivated by loot and plunder, not principle.

Fortunately, the Pathfinder parties tend to hold themselves to a higher standard ;)

The meta reality of Golarion is that it trends towards powerful heroes rising up, and typically it takes a global threat like Tar-Baphon to actually trim those numbers. Cheliax is fairly familiar with what happens when one of these groups of walking atomic bombs crops up; totally aside from the particulars of canon in any given AP, Razmir is the constant reminder to the entire Inner Sea that any high level character can just start claiming territory until they run into a sufficiently dense number of other high level characters, or a coalition of lower level characters whose numbers give them superior resources to leverage. This is a setting where, canonically, a not-even-20th-level wizard just said "I'm a god" and then flexed enough magic that everyone else just went "Whatever you say, your holiness."

Given that Thrune's own resources have been battered and taxed, their most complacent vassal state (and the territory containing some of their most viable and prosperous trade routes) has never fully recovered from being ravaged by goblins, and that a militant hobgoblin nation now sits astride the trade route to the now-relatively peaceful northern nations that they've been selling war supplies to for over a decade, any expansionist attempts by Cheliax would be hilariously high-risk. They'd be initiating conflict from a position of weakness when their own resources are tenuous and they've already suffered significant losses to high level characters at least twice in the last decade, as well as dealing with internal conflict related to the existence of legitimate heirs who some still might see as viable successors to lead an overthrow against Thrune. A military conflict against Ravounel risks Thrune's grip on the throne at a time where even the Chelish nobility who don't particularly mind worshipping the king of devils might be contemplating a change in regime.

Abrogail is smart enough and experienced enough to bide her time before trying to bring Ravounel back into the fold, in part because she's been around long enough to know that "4-8 humanoids who are each the martial equivalent of a small army" is a potential setback any conqueror needs to be prepared to face. Meanwhile, Ravounel has nearly unrestricted access to the vast wealth and prosperity that can be derived from having nearly unrestricted trade access to Varisia and New Thassilon (and far more people interested in Cheliax remaining weak than in seeing Abrogail consolidate her power and return to conquest.)

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Virellius wrote:

My BIG disagree with this is that I never found '-2 to your dex is a -1 to your dex related rolls' to be hard.

'You take a minus 6 to your strength from the symbol of weakness! that's a -3 on attack and damage rolls!' is pretty simple.

Did you also remember to adjust your Climb and Swim bonuses, CMB, and CMD? When you took that Dex penalty did you remember to adjust your initiative, Reflex saves, Armor Class (don't forget how this affects your touch and flat-footed), CMB, and CMD? And don't forget that if you've taken damage to both STR and DEX, you'll need to add those modifiers together for any stat that's affected by both.

Also be sure to remember that if it's drain and not damage it actually reduces the ability score, so you'll need to double-check your carrying capacity and encumbrance limits, and if those have shifted too far down, you'll need to make sure you're applying the appropriate adjustments for being encumbered and potentially reduce your number of spells per day or other effects that determine their total usages based on your ability scores. You may need to reduce your number of skill ranks as well, so you'll want to decide where those are getting shaved off.

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What IS NOT simple is 'oh youre spooked3, sluggish2, accelerated2, exhausted5, annoyed7, but you're also aroused8, soooo... that's a... like a plus... 3.7 on your diplomacy check to attack the DM?'

I really did hate the conditions system in the playtest even more than resonance.

Since same-type bonuses and penalties don't stack, I, personally, find it a lot easier to quickly determine what someone's actual bonuses and penalties are in the new system, and generally it seems that people are much less likely to overestimate or underestimate their actual numbers. Typically someone is going to end up with a single column of adjustments at most that they can easily track themselves and tick down or up as appropriate. YMMV, but I think the total number of floating bonuses and penalties has actually shrunk, and the fact that penalties are typed down and nothing stacks with a same-type penalty has meant there is much less number shuffling and corrections needed at the table.

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Quandary wrote:

Specifically with Orcs, none of the regional backgrounds really sound applicable to Belkzen Orcs, so why include them in this region? Especially when "The Orc Story" really includes not only Belkzen but Varisia and Land of the Linnorn Kings as key parts, considering Urglin and Shoanti conflict and Half-Orcs and Gorumites in islands of Land of Linnorn Kings. Conversely, what an opportunity is missed by not grouping as many Kellid lands together as possible but instead grouping Realm of Mammoth Lords with Land of Linnorn Kings and Varisia?

It kind of feels like grouping people together by ethnicity is definitely not a preferred solution? It's honestly kind of weird to want to talk about the "Orc Story" as though being an orc in the Mwangi expanse, a half-orc in Absalom, or an orc in Belkzen are going to be equivalent experiences. Similarly with the Kellids, being a Kellid in Numeria isn't really going to be anything like being a Kellid in the Land of the Mammoth Lords.

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MaxAstro wrote:
I think you are probably right about active 5e players, kaisc. However, people who tried 5e but found it too simplified - but also find PF1e's barrier to entry too high - are likely to be prime targets for 2e.

Kind of a case in point, I have fully 7 players across three different groups who are currently playing 5E because it's easy, but not because they're satisfied with it. They just find PF1's character customization not to be worth the excessive complexities and learning curve required. A game that offers more options and choice with a more intuitve baseline is exactly what they're looking for, and they're all really excited for PF2. A few of those players were willing to play the PF Playtest until PF2 became available, but the others didn't want to get comfortable with a system and then have to relearn all the ways it changed halfway through the campaign.

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Temperans wrote:
Hmm a Swashbuckler class would be fun. Maybe make it the reaction based light armor class.

I sincerely hope that's not what happens. I'd be good with a swashbuckler class (though I would actually probably prefer it as an archetype since I think it's more of a theme that's appropriate for a wide number of classes), but nearly 1/3 of the ACG swashbuckler's abilities are mutually exclusive since they all use swift/immediate actions. No class should be built around "uses this action the best" or "is the X action class" since every class should have unique ways to use every action. Let's look for real opportunities to fill the design space instead of arbitrarily limiting mechanics and falling into traps we've already seen before.

If we do get a new swashbuckler class, I'd like to see it really focus on mobile combat, flashy swordplay, maybe even some neat reputation or verbal-repartee-based mechanics.

Paizo Employee

Set wrote:

D&Ds long history of this nonsense (monsters having game-wrecking abilities that no PC should have, and yet refusing to use them for specious meta-game reasons) is why I cringe whenever I see a game edition boasting of having monsters using different rules than PCs.

I mean, they always do though. There's never been an edition of D&D where monsters followed the exact same rules as PCs, there's just been some that were stricter on how the chassis was assembled. There are more monster abilities in PF1, for example, that are not appropriate for player use than there are monster abilities that would be fine transferred to PCs as-written, and I can't really think of any version of the game or its inheritors to-date where that hasn't been the case.

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DM Livgin wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
You need to make a Handle Animal check to command a mount to do anything other than move (including charging).
Ride Skill wrote:


Guide with Knees: You can guide your mount with your knees so you can use both hands in combat. Make your Ride check at the start of your turn. If you fail, you can use only one hand this round because you need to use the other to control your mount. This does not take an action.

All this covers is giving you a hand off the reins.

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Fight with a Combat-Trained Mount: If you direct your war-trained mount to attack in battle, you can still make your own attack or attacks normally. This usage is a free action.

Emphasis added. That sentence tells you what you can do. It doesn't say "You can make a Ride check to control a mount" it says "If you direct your war-trained mount to attack[...]" which is a usage of the Handle Animal skill.

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Control Mount in Battle: As a move action, you can attempt to control a light horse, pony, heavy horse, or other mount not trained for combat riding while in battle. If you fail the Ride check, you can do nothing else in that round. You do not need to roll for horses or ponies trained for combat.

Mounted Combat Says: Mounts that do not possess combat training (see the Handle Animal skill) are frightened by combat. If you don’t dismount, you must make a DC 20 Ride check each round as a move action to control such a mount.

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I did not come to the same conclusion from the ride skill section.

Nothing in what you posted contradicts what I posted.

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You need to make a Handle Animal check to command a mount to do anything other than move (including charging).

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