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Malk_Content wrote:
By that measure I wouldn't say 1st Edition [Core] classes are any different. I mean if we take out the feat equivalent (Rage powers) I'd say the 1st edition barb is mostly math fixers as well, with maybe only Uncanny Dodge, Damage Reduction and Tireless Rage being the only non-math fixer features.

I see your point, though my definition of "math fixer" doesn't just mean "numerical bonus". The way I see it, a math fixer is something you put on your character sheet and forget about it. Something like Trap Sense for the barbarian or Bravery for the fighter is more situational, so I'd count those as a proper class features - it's something to distinguish them beyond the equivalent of BAB and base save bonuses. It's not a judgment based on power, but on being distinctive. A +5 to all attacks would be a very strong ability in both PF1 and PF2, but it's still something you just put on your character sheet and forget about.

Also, Evasion-like abilities are a little odd from this perspective. In PF1, Evasion definitely counts as a rogue class feature - it's something to distinguish them from merely having a good Reflex save. But in PF2, the equivalent of Evasion (treat a successful save as a critical success) seems to be a standard feature of those abilities that give Master proficiency, so I'd be disinclined to count it.

And not all PF1 classes are as devoid of proper class abilities as the barbarian and fighter. The paladin, for example, has 12 class features after level 1 (plus spells), only counting Mercy once, and there's only one of those I'd count as a math fixer (Divine Grace). The PF2 paladin in the playtest has four non-math class features after level 1 (Righteous Ally, Holy Smite, Aura of Justice, and Hero's Defiance). The druid has 7, plus spells, and one could argue that being able to wild shape into elementals and plants should count as two more (the way I see it, being able to take the form of bigger animals doesn't count as a new ability, but being able to change into entirely different things might).

Anyhow, I'm not saying this is good or bad. My point is just that for most classes, the class features are about giving you your numbers, and class feats are about doing cool stuff. In PF1, the numbers were just listed on the class table as good/medium/bad BAB and good/bad saves - they weren't called out as class features, so all the class features were about something interesting.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I feel it's also worth noting that Classes do also get Class Features, and not necessarily even a lot fewer than First Edition. Rogues still get Sneak Attack, Evasion, and most of their other features, for example.

I'd argue that most of those class features are just math fixing. For example, I looked at the playtest barbarian, and if you drop feats, ability boosts, and skill increases from their advancement table, it looks like this after 1st level:

3 - Critical Brutality (critical specialization while raging)
5 - Deny advantage (not flat-footed by flanking or unseen attacks by same or lower-level foes)
7 - Juggernaut (Master at Fort saves, treat success as crit)
9 - Raging Resistance (Resistance to two sorts of damage)
11 - Mighty rage (use a Rage action while raging)
13 - Improved juggernaut (legendary Fort saves, crit fail becomes fail, fail for full damage becomes half damage), Weapon fury (expert at simple and martial weapons)
15 - Indomitable will (master at Will saves, treat success as crit)
17 - Tireless rage (no fatigue after rage)
19 - Devastating strikes (reduce opponent resistance)

Out of these, I'd argue that Juggernaut, Improved Juggernaut, Weapon Fury, and Indomitable Will are "math fixers", leaving an effective 6 class features after 1st level.

Looking at the bard and other casters, there's pretty much nothing that isn't part of the basic level progression (which in their case of course includes spellcasting) or proficiency increases. For fighters, the only non-standard/non-math features are Bravery, Combat Flexibility, and Improved Flexibility.

That's all from the playtest, of course, and might have changed in the final version. But my distinct impression is that the class itself is for providing a mathematical "skeleton", and the feats are about how you apply that math.

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First section -

1. In many ways, Class Feats is a more general way to do things like Rogue talents/Witch hexes/Alchemist discoveries - basically, lots of classes in PF1 had "every other level, choose an ability from this list". Class feats sort of tap into that space. "Feat" in general is now used for "Any ability you select from a list that isn't a spell" so you have class feats, skill feats, general feats, and probably some other ones.

2. You have three actions each turn, plus a reaction in between turns. Some things take more than one action, these are called "activities". For example, spells often take two actions. There is no longer any split between standard action, move action, full-round action, or swift action - it's just actions.

3. Yes.

4. Doomsday Dawn was a bit weird. Three of the adventures in it were sequels where you played the same characters at different levels (the first, the last, and one in the middle). The other adventures were more designed to stress-test various aspects of the system, such as "given a party of all healers, how far can they go in the face of escalating waves of undead?", albeit with a plot that fit into the overall narrative.

5. Yes, though the details will probably change in the final release (which will only have multiclass archetypes). An archetype is represented by a core feat that gives you some abilities, and then opens up some other feats. Some of those feats might be General, others might be Skill or Class feats. This lets Paizo make general archetypes (e.g. Pirate) rather than a whole bunch of archetypes for different classes (Pirate Wizard, Pirate Fighter, Pirate Rogue, etc.), and let the player choose what aspects to swap out.

Second round -
1. Reply hazy, ask again later. It's possible that the multi-class archetypes may make hybrid classes redundant. We'll see. We'll likely not see the Magus return as is though, since PF2 has done away with less-than-full casters.

2. Don't know.

3. Yes.

4. The Witch is one of the more popular PF-specific classes, and will likely return in some form. A popular theory is that the Witch will be a prepared Occult caster, to differentiate it more from the Wizard.

5. In the playtest, the multi-class feats were all about incorporating aspects of the other class. It would be a pretty cool idea though to have some feats that play off the hybridization, so a fighter with a wizard multiclass (or the other way around) could do some things that neither a fighter nor a wizard could do.

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Voss wrote:
A lot of problems can be solved by reverting to proper kobolds, yipping little dog/rat things.

Kobolds have been illustrated as scaly since AD&D 1st ed, and described as scaly since at least the red box version of Basic D&D.

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Malk_Content wrote:
It also stops things like "I should write down the lowest weight for my race possible because that is mechanically superior."

Reminds me of the time I and some friends were playing OG Star Wars, and we had trouble getting over a fence or something. Fortunately, we had a Force user in the party who proceeded to use Telekinesis to lift most party members over... until it was my turn, and my character was a big beefy dude weighing 101 kg which put him up one difficulty level compared to the ones weighing 70-80 kg.

Bluenose wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:

Also, while this isn't reflected in the rules, a stabby short sword is really much more useful in cramped underground quarters than a swung axe.

As a nod toward this, the dwarves in the Swedish RPG Eon wield axes with spear points on them (sort of like short halberds).

One or two handed? If it's the latter, then that's classic European medieval pole-axe, very much meant for stabbing at your opponent. If it's the former there are several types of one-handed axe that have points, though stabbing with them is rather less desirable and generally only useful against a disabled foe.

They have both versions - one one-handed, and the other is primarily two-handed, though a strong enough person can wield it one-handed. With a length of 85 cm even the two-handed version is significantly shorter than your typical pollaxe however.

The primary usage of both versions is chopping, but the point is there as an option in cramped quarters.

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Wandering Wastrel wrote:

This may be off-topic, but I've always found it weird that the 'stereotypical' dwarf weapons were axes - given that so much of an axe is wood, while dwarves are famed for their metal-smithing. (And wood doesn't exactly grow well underground, either.)

It's always seemed to me that the typical dwarf weapon should be a sword or knife, which are about the only weapons almost entirely made of metal. So I heartily approve of the clan dagger :)

Also, while this isn't reflected in the rules, a stabby short sword is really much more useful in cramped underground quarters than a swung axe.

As a nod toward this, the dwarves in the Swedish RPG Eon wield axes with spear points on them (sort of like short halberds).

Malk_Content wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Int is hard for me to visualize, perhaps someone else can paint the picture for me there.

I could see a martial art based around prediction and precision - you might not hit people super-hard, but you hit them in just the right place. Your opponents miss you, because you have analyzed their fighting style and determined the perfect counter.

I mean, I'm not sure it's a good idea, but it can be done.

So this scene from 1:40?

I haven't seen the movie, but that kind of thing was exactly what I meant. Sherlock Holmes did come to mind as well, though I was probably thinking more about the modern versions (Bandersnatch Cummerbund or Jonny Lee Miller).

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Steve Geddes wrote:
HidaOWin wrote:
...the initial 5e launch was tepid with a very small publishing schedule and a greatly reduced team (they had to delay a book nearly a year because a staff member got jury duty). It was intended to be a low key edition to keep things ticking over. Then it caught on in streaming and exploded.

I don't really understand this. Sales at launch were very strong (they sold out very rapidly of their first print run which is surefire proof they've exceeded their expectations, since doing so means WotC missed out on some profit).

I've been buying 5E since it came out and I haven't noticed any change in the publishing schedule. They said at the outset that they'd be producing two hardcovers a year (plus licensed stuff) and they've stuck to that, haven't they?

5e was doing well before Critical Role, but Critical Role helped it do amazing. I don't think we'd have seen things like the launch weekends Wizards does promoting their summer releases, or the recent hiring of more staff in D&D R&D, moving more production in-house, and so on without Critical Role.

Critical Role doesn't get all the credit for that though, but they did kick off a whole lot of other streamers as well who all act as free advertisement for D&D.

The original plan seems to have been two adventure hardcovers and one hardcover sourcebook (Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, Volo's Guide to Monsters, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes) per year, though last year they brought that up to four hardcovers with the addition of Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica. Nathan Stewart mentioned recently that this seems to have worked out well, though ideally they wouldn't have released two of them simultaneously.

The "jury duty" thing was about conversion guides and other free material - actual publications came out on schedule. It seems the person in question was not the person actually writing the material, but rather someone who could give the green light to release it.

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Midnightoker wrote:
Int is hard for me to visualize, perhaps someone else can paint the picture for me there.

I could see a martial art based around prediction and precision - you might not hit people super-hard, but you hit them in just the right place. Your opponents miss you, because you have analyzed their fighting style and determined the perfect counter.

I mean, I'm not sure it's a good idea, but it can be done.

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BryonD wrote:

I use advanced skeletons (and numerous other low level monsters) in my 1E (currently L14) all the time. The advancement includes, in part, some increasing of numbers. But the numbers increase in ways that fit the concept. A warrior increase his to hit much more than a spellcaster, an agile foe gets much better at Ref, but not necessarily at Fort. Every mechanic asks what the character is first.

+11 to everything is the height of anti-narrative and boring.

The thing is that the numbers are still added to the same d20 roll and judged against steadily rising DCs. That means that a difference of, say, 4-5 points is still as relevant at 5th, 10th, or 15th level as it was at 1st level. That's a natural consequence of a level-based system like Pathfinder.

Your way of thinking works much better in a more skill-based and down-to-earth system like Hârnmaster or Runequest, where you advance individual skills as opposed to classes/levels, and where you over the course of a typical campaign might increase your good skills from 60% to 90% and feel great about that.

I don't really have an issue with Amiri's new look or anything.

However, as I was scrolling past this post in my Twitter feed, my first instinct was that it was something that had to do with Exalted. I mean, take a look at the graphic design in that thumbnail: a red "scroll", with yellow borders, and a yellow logo with the first character emphasized and which stretches just a little bit outside the red scroll.

Then compare it to this cover.

I mean, they're not identical, but the design is pretty similar.

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Malk_Content wrote:
Agreed. I find it far more believably that someone of significant skill lands more critical hits than someone of lower skill. In PF1 (without specific build choices) the best fighter in the land doesn't crit against a goblin any more often than the guy starting their quest.

Actually, they do. Crits in 3e/PF1 involve a confirmation roll. The effect of that is that the chance to crit remains proportional to the chance to hit - 1 in 20 hits as a default, up to 6 in 20 if you're using a high-crit weapon with Improved Critical.

So a 1st level fighter in PF1 will likely have an attack bonus of about +5 (BAB +1, Str +4), against a goblin's AC of 16, so they have a 50% chance to hit. Assuming a long sword, they will roll a critical threat 10% of the time, 50% of which will be actual crits. So the 1st level fighter will crit 5% of the time, regular hit 45%, and miss 50%.

If we advance to 5th level, let's give the fighter an attack bonus of +13 (BAB +5, Str +5, weapon training +1, Weapon focus +1, magic weapon +1). If they're still fighting goblins, they will now hit 90% of the time. They will still roll critical threats 10% of the time, 90% of which become actual crits. So that's 9% crits, 81% regular hits, and 10% misses.

The difference is certainly not as large as in PF2, but there is a definite difference.

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BryonD wrote:
Small matter: wands. Kinda funny. First of all, things like wand of fireball have been around way longer than 3E, so I'm not understanding why that is put at the feet of 3E.

Yes and no. In AD&D, both 1e and 2e, wands usually either had multiple spell abilities or abilities that were similar but not identical to those of spells. For example, there was no wand of fireball in AD&D, but there was a wand of fire that let you cast burning hands, pyrotechnics, fireball, or wall of fire. If you had an adventure with a wand of fire in it and you wanted to convert it to 3e, the proper conversion would be a staff of fire instead. Similarly, the AD&D wand of wonder became the rod of wonder in 3e because it didn't fit into the wand paradigm of "50 charges of a single spell."

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Obviously I haven't done any actual playtesting of the class yet, so I can't comment on how well it plays. However, I don't need to play the class to comment on the nomenclature.

To me, a "restorative" is something that restores capability, not something that augments it. For example, the spell restoration removes ability damage, ability drain, and fatigue.

A better name would be, for example, "performance enhancer" - which also calls back to steroids and the like which seems appropriate for a biohacker class.

Isaac Zephyr wrote:
The only difference between a poison and a venom scientifically are poisons are injested, venoms and through injury.

Or, as I heard it explained (might have been on QI): "If I bite you and you die, I am venomous. If I bite you and I die, you are poisonous."

The Sideromancer wrote:
There's FTL communication. It's in the form of ships full of USB sticks. There isn't instantaneous communication, but you don't need to wait a few years for out-of-system news.

You don't even need the courier ship - you can essentially send e-mail at FTL speeds. However, it travels at the same speed as a ship going through the Drift - I assume at basic Drift speed. So if you want a message sent fast, it can be faster to get a ship with a better Drift rating and send it there physically.

I'm not sure about the effects on temperature/seasons, but a strongly elliptic orbit would mean that the time spent closer to the sun would be shorter (at least under Newtonian physics, and in general Starfinder matches those).

Basically, as a planet comes closer to the Sun, it is accelerated more (because of stronger gravity) and thus moves faster. If you draw a line between the planet and the Sun, the area "swept" by that line during a given amount of time is constant no matter where in its orbit the planet is.

It's explained in more detail here, though I figure the animation a few pages down is enough to illustrate the point.

I'm also not sure about non-fixed axes of rotation. Changing an axis of rotation generally requires energy (that's how gyroscopes work), so keeping the south pole constantly turned toward the sun would require a system with continual energy input.

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I like the way 13th Age handles this kind of thing.

13th Age both have debuff spells with hit point limits based on the level at which you cast it (e.g. Color Spray cast with a 1st level slot deals 2d8 psychic damage and if the target has 10 hp or fewer it is weakened (half damage) for one round); when cast with a 3rd level slot it instead deals 4d6 damage and the hp ceiling is raised to 20), and a gradual removal of low-level spell slots in favor of higher ones (a 3rd level cleric has 2 1st-level spells and 3 3rd-level; at 4th level they have 1 1st-level and 5 3rd-level, and at 5th level they have 2 3rd-level and 4 5th-level but no 1st-level slots).

(As an aside, 13th age compresses the level range to 10 levels, and only has spell slots of odd levels).

Wizards also have something called "Utility spell". They can reserve one of their spell slots for a utility spell and then cast any of a number of different spells using that slot, instead of having to reserve the spell slot for a particular utility spell.

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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
MagicSN wrote:
What do you think on "Healer requirement" ?

There was a thread on this back in September - Does anyone think that Healers should be obligatory in parties?

Repeating my opinion from there...

The Once and Future Kai wrote:

Obligatory? No. Really useful? Yes.

Dedicated healers are a staple of the genre and some people (myself included) actually do enjoy playing them. But they shouldn't be obligatory any more than a party needs an arcane caster or a rogue. Beneficial but not required.

I mostly agree, but with the addendum that multiple classes should be able to fulfill the role of "dedicated healer" more or less equally well, though ideally in different ways (perhaps clerics being best at direct healing, bards at some healing + temporary hp and/or AOE healing, and druids at regeneration). The cleric should not be the only go-to class when it comes to healing.

Speaking of point buy, the default seems slightly stingy to me. Now, after many a game broken by me being overly generous at character creation and then overcompensating by buffing up the opposition a bit too much, I don't think I'm going to mess with it - at least not until I have a better grasp of things.

But I feel that the stats might be spread a little thin, overall. On average, you will have about a 12 in your stats, and it seems all stats are fairly important to all characters: Strength for bulk and melee, Dex because Dex, Con for hp/stamina/Fortitude, Int for skills (both because lots of things are based on it, and because it gives you more), Wis for Perception and Will, and Charisma because who wants to be an unwashed lout? I guess what I'm wondering is, is it worth specializing heavily at character creation? A broader spread seems more efficient in the long run (since the boosts you get every 5 levels hit diminishing returns at 17), but do the advantages of say Dex 18 right now outweigh those considerations?

BigNorseWolf wrote:

EAC is generally 2 points lower than KAC.

If you deal a lot of damage from things besides the weapon (operatives sneak, uber strength score) you are usually better off doing alittle less damage on the weapon dice with whats effectively a +2 bonus to hit (since hit is MUCH harder to come by in this system)

On the other hand, as I understand it, energy weapons need to deal with a lot more energy resistances.

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Lyee wrote:
I think Treat Wounds is actually a good solution. The variance between getting 6 good rolls fromy our medic, and nat 1 on the first dice is a bit swingy though, yes. I would say to add a different tracker, but there's enough meta-currencies as-is, so I say either keep TW as-is or remove the crit failure and let it go on and on.

The problems with Treat Wounds are two-fold:

1. It is unpredictable. Every time you use it, there's a 5% chance (or possibly more) that you run out for the day (and as an aside, Bolstered should reset on a night's sleep, not 24 hours passing). So some days, you will get nothing from it, and other days you can get hundreds of hit points.

2. It is boring. At worst, you can need 23 successful rolls to fully heal someone (1st level dwarf barbarian with Con +1 has 23 hp and heals 1 per successful roll). Going up to 4th level, he'll need 16 rolls. After that point it will probably go faster (because he'll likely boost Con which will double the healing per Treat Wounds), but that's still a whole bunch of boring rolls.

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The way I see it, healing comes in three forms:

* High-intensity healing - this is what you need when the boss just hit you for half your hit points in one attack.
* Low-intensity healing - this is what you do between fights to get up to full strength for the next battle. In PF1, this was usually left for wands of cure light wounds, and in PF2 it's part of the Treat Wounds mechanic.
* Condition relief - removing all sorts of nasty consequences that aren't hit point loss. Poison, paralysis, fear, disease, whatever.

What I want to see is that everyone gets to do their own low-intensity healing, preferably tied to some form of secondary resource. This could be a stamina/resolve system like in Starfinder, or healing surges/hit dice like in 4e/5e, or some other method. I don't particularly like the current implementation of Treat Wounds, because it is very slow at the table, and highly random in its daily output since it stops when the healer crit fails, not when some resource runs out.

Actual healers would then focus on high-intensity healing and condition relief. High-intensity heals need to be big (so they're useful in a fight), but you don't need many of them. The same for condition relief - usually you'd only need a few of them per day. This means that these could be handled via regular spells instead of needing to give clerics half a dozen extras each day, which would also balance out healers a bit more.

A bunch of friends will be over for a Session Zero on Saturday. We're all fairly experienced gamers, but none of us have played Starfinder before, and it's a fairly complex system with lots of moving parts.

So, is there a site somewhere with very general character building advice? I don't mean on the level of some of the class building guides where they go through each and every option and spell and rank them on some arbitrary color scale, but more along the lines of "You might find yourself in zero-G, and if you do you probably want the Acrobatics skill", "There will be long-range combat in the game, so you should either prepare for that or figure out a good way to close rapidly", or "If your group will have a spaceship, plan out in advance who will take what role and make sure you're competent at your assigned role. It doesn't hurt to have a backup either."

The most important bit would be to point out traps ("_______ looks powerful, but it only applies in rare situations, and at level 4 you can take ________ which makes the whole thing obsolete"), rather than power-gaming advice.

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HWalsh wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Is there not a rule (passage?) in AD&D, that regardless of the actual number of rounds, a combat is assumed to be about 10 minutes/a turn (considering cleanup, check for dead, etc)?

There was in Basic D&D, though.

Captain collateral damage wrote:
*Grumbles about how Nakondis's gravity should be way less; based on mass and diameter*

Actually, the gravity checks out.

The force exerted on two objects by gravity is:

G*M*m/(d^2) where:

G = the gravitational constant (exact value is irrelevant here).

M and m = the masses of the two objects.

d = the distance between the center of gravity of the two objects.

Do some math on this, and it boils down to the gravity of a planet at its surface being proportional to its mass and inversely proportional to the square of its radius (or diameter, same thing as long as you don't mix radiuses and diameters).

Nakondis has a diameter of 3/4 times Golarion's (or Earth's), and a mass equal to 9/16 times Golarion's. 9/16 divided by (3/4)^2 = 1.

What it does mean is that Nakondis is a significantly more dense planet than Earth (or Golarion), because it has 9/16 the mass with only 27/64 times the volume, so it is 4/3 as dense.

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JoelF847 wrote:
I hope that any final version of the game doesn't increase damage to damage dealing spells, but instead lowers hp across the board. I get that in a playtest update environment it's a lot easier to increase damage, but there's no reason to have a hp escalation in the game in the first place.

They've actually given a reason for hp escalation: de-emphasizing Constitution.

A 9th level PF1 wizard with Constitution 10 has 34 hp, and buffing Constitution to 14 increases that by 18 to 52 - an increase of over 50%. But a 9th level human PF2 wizard with Con 10 has 62 hp, so the 18 hp increase from Con 14 is only about 30%.

They can't really lower the number of hp you gain from Constitution without either doing something mathematically complex, or by de-emphasizing it by a lot (e.g. by adding Constitution as a fixed bonus at level 1, the way 4e did). So instead, Con grants the same number of hp but diluted by a larger base pool of hp, so the effect isn't felt so much.

Now, you may argue about whether that's a good reason or not, but it's definitely a reason.

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It's not +1/+2/+3 per level, it's level for trained, level +1 for expert, level +2 for master, and level +3 for legendary.

And yes, mixing in powers with spells is a bad choice, presentation-wise.

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The most recent main update documents contain the things updated previously as well, with the most recent updates highlighted (so if you've already seen 1.3, you can glance over at 1.4 and see what's new). The exceptions are those things that are getting their own update documents, like the multiclassing rules.

Resonance is a special case. In brief, the devs have said "We hear you, Resonance isn't working out for you. We have an idea for another system, but right now we don't have the resources to figure out how every power and every magic item will work with the new system that may or may not work out. So here's a scenario with pre-generated characters that provide a focused version of this new system - does this seem like the path we should go down or should we start over?"

To be honest, I think this is a good approach, and one I wish they had done with the whole playtest procedure: start small to see if something is working out before committing to it, instead of presenting a complete-ish game. That's how Wizards did their playtest for 5e, and it seems to have worked out well for them.

Adding things to the actual PDF rule book are not feasible, because layout. Changing one number to another is a small matter and easily doable, but as soon as you're adding or subtracting enough text that the pagination would be affected, you basically need to go through the layout process again (at least that's what the TORG devs said regarding feedback on the pre-print version of the game).

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A thing to consider: the big problem with save-or-lose spells is, and was, that they bypass the game's primary defense mechanic: hit points. A fight that starts and ends with the wizard casting hold person on the boss is not particularly satisfying.

The obvious solution here is to steal from 13th Age, and add hit point maxima to such spells. This would place them in the "finisher" rather than "opener" category. This would also create an opportunity for how to scale them to higher levels. However, it would pretty much require that PCs be aware of their opponents' hit points (because being told "No, your spell that paralyzes an opponent with 30 hp or less failed because he had 33 hp" sucks), which I personally don't mind but some GMs might have a problem with.

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Vidmaster7 wrote:
That's the funny thing to me the two drastic camps. For like 10+ years constant complaints that magic was to strong and it made other classes useless but soon as they go to change that all you hear is MAKE MAGIC GREAT AGAIN! *eye roll*

Magic in PF1 is way too strong, but PF2 is an overreaction to that. Casters have fewer spell slots, spells no longer auto-scale, and many spells do less now than they did before (e.g. hideous laughter which used to take out a foe for a number of rounds but now only mildly inconveniences them most of the time and needs a critical failure to incapacitate for a single round), and monsters are more likely to save successfully.

Again, compare this to 5e, which did many of the same things but to a lesser degree - I think the only one they didn't do was to still let save-or-suck spells do their thing, albeit with the possibility of breaking out of the spell in later rounds (either via built-in additional saves, or via Concentration mechanics). But 5e compensated with relatively powerful cantrips (at least they feel more powerful than in PF2), and by switching to neo-Vancian casting instead of sticking with Vancian.

I have played both bards, a cleric, a druid, and a wizard in 5e. In each case, I felt powerful, though in most cases not to the point where I won encounters by myself (closest was an evoker wizard in one fight where we ran into about 15 hobgoblins, and they got to taste a fireball). The impression I got from my players who played casters in the playtest so far have not been that they felt powerful or useful (other than the healbot cleric, that is).

Tridus wrote:
You just need a large room to be able to kite indefinitely if you have more speed,

I am reminded of this.

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You can add me and mine to the list of people skipping out on the playtest, after Pale Mountain which we finished yesterday. The players just plain did not like it.

There were aspects that people liked, such as the three-action economy, but they were outweighed by a number of niggling things, plus a few big ones like:

* Offensive magic being nerfed to the ground.
* Clerics being near-mandatory for healing (a bard did not really fill the healer role well).
* Persistent damage being super-hard to get rid of. By FAR the most dangerous thing the PCs fought in the module was a creature that inflicted a moderate amount of persistent damage.
* Treat Wounds might fulfill the role of healing people up between fights, but it's boring as the Nine Hells. Take the human 4th level fighter with a Con bonus of +1 that I had in my party - that's 52 hp, with each Treat Wounds check healing 4 hp. And the only challenge is seeing how many rolls you can get off before you roll a 1. It would be much better to have some resource you could spend to heal up on a short rest - whether that's handled with Healing Surges/Recoveries as in 4e/13th Age, Hit Dice as in 5e, or Resolve points as in Starfinder.

I guess we'll take a new look at it in August, but right now it does not look like we're likely to use Pathfinder 2 as a more rules-heavy game when we're in the mood for that.

Oh well. That leaves me more time to get my Eberron campaign up and running, I guess.

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Data Lore wrote:

The game is built so you can be successful with almost no magic items at all. You need a magic weapon to get past damage resistance of some monsters, but beyond that, you dont really need any magic items in 5E to succeed at the game as written.

Ultimately, that means less treasure and less excitement around treasure.

I've rarely been excited about finding loot in Pathfinder, because in most cases that translates to "Here's some stuff we can sell in town and then I can upgrade my cloak of resistance from +2 to +3."

By comparison, the loot I give my players, or that I've found myself, in 5e tend to be things that will actually get used and make the players go "Wow, neat!"

I mean, I can't imagine a party looking at a rod of the viper in PF and not see it as something to sell. But when I gave my party a staff of the adder in 5e, the cleric loved it.

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

So.. of interest to me here...

PF1 had 34 conditions in the back of the Core Rulebook

The playtest has 42, of which 2 are helpful (accelerated and quick) and 5 are attitudes (which were in PF1 but not well codified). If we yank those out, we are down to 35.

So, I am not sure if the confusion is coming from the number of conditions (which seems to be about the same) or the fact that they can be different values.

Part of it is definitely that when most of us started playing PF1, we already had a couple of years of 3.5e under our belts.

I think another part of the problem is, of all things, layout-based. In PF1, the conditions are in a really easy to find appendix - open the book from the back, flip a few pages, and there they are. But in PF2, they are about 3/4 of the way through the book, so you have to go look for them each time they come up.

A third issue is that now a bunch of conditions exist that were previously ability damage/penalties, so that when people see "Enfeebled 1", they go "what?". If they instead saw "-2 to Strength", they'd more intuitively grasp what that did (although I do remember that a number of people were absolutely shocked when I pointed out in one of the preview comment threads that ability damage/penalties in some cases did not work the way they thought it did in PF, because they had assumed that of course it worked just like in 3e...).

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Tridus wrote:
5e's playtest had a lot of issues early on, too. It worked out pretty well in the end.

5e's playtest was also handled very differently.

With PF2, we're getting a beta release of a complete-ish game all at once, and then getting errata/upgrade documents every few weeks, with a series of playtest scenarios designed to stress-test various aspects of the system.

But for D&D Next, the first thing Wizards released was the Caves of Chaos plus a few pregenerated 1st level characters, and the main question asked was "Does this feel like D&D?" Later releases expanded the rules, adding character generation rules for a few levels, then more levels, more classes, and so on. They tried some pretty out-there ideas, like the Sorcerer version that became more and more draconic as they cast more spells (thus gradually transforming from a caster to a fighter-ish type over the course of the day). Many of those ideas didn't pan out, but the playtest only had an early concept of them, not a finished version.

To me, these approaches show very different attitudes. D&D Next came off of 4e, which was very much a failure (at least on Wizards' scale), so their designers were very eager to find their way back to something that their audience would like. So they basically threw things at the wall and saw what stuck. Their surveys had things like "Which of these spells do you think are most iconic?", not "How many times did the PCs need to rest to complete this adventure?" PF2, on the other hand, comes from a position of relative strength. The designers have already decided what they want and are more interested in fine-tuning it.

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In the new edition of TORG, basic opponent values are considered to be known by PCs, as are DCs. A big part of the mechanical heft of that game is determining when to spend resources (cards or possibilities) to boost rolls, and it sucks to spend a bunch of stuff boosting a roll only to have it fail anyway.

Anyway, when playing that game, I realized that just giving the PCs the values needed sped the game up by quite a lot, so I think I'm going to do that on Saturday when we do the next playtest session. Except for explicitly secret stuff, that is.

Leedwashere wrote:
And for the occasional effect that uses TAC where you don't particularly care what part of the enemy you touch, or whether you actually touch them or their armor, the current system can model that adequately by having some amount of effect on a failed (but not critically failed) spell roll.

Or go the 4e/5e route of using Reflex saves instead for such effects.

As a bonus, that would get rid of the weird concept of "ranged touch attacks". I mean, I know what it means (a ranged attack targeting touch AC), but every time I've played with someone new and mentioned ranged touch attacks they have gone "What?"

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Cantriped wrote:
Some Environmental Adaptation general feats would go a long way towards filling the gaps created by the environmentally adapted heritages. Also note they're pretty damn generic. Just let an elf take "Desert Elf" (as Desert Dwarf, but with the Elf trait instead of Dwarf) as appropriate. Golarion won't crumble.

Or perhaps it will, and that's why it's gone in Starfinder.

My group today thought an interesting option for skill feats would be to open up using various skills with alternate stats (where it makes sense - e.g. you could make a case for Strength-based Intimidation, but not Constitution-based). This sounds like a case where that would be useful.

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Anguish wrote:

The four degrees of success system itself seemed to function at our tables, but the +/- 10 crit system was - strangely - annoying.

We all thought we'd love it but in practice, it meant that we all had to be very precise in our numbers. What I mean is, in PF, a DM knew that if a player said their spell's save DC was 14, and the monster had 20-something for its save, "sorry, the monster resists." In the playtest, we have to double-check the monster's saves, AC, and every other number. It's a much larger task of short-term memorization/lookup.

This is a really good point. When we play 5e (or, for that matter, PF1 though that's been a while) and someone has +8 to hit and rolls a 15, they can just say "I roll a 20-something" and assume they hit. Not so in PF2. It's not something we've thought much about so far, but now that you mention it we've been a lot more precise with our rolling.

Paradozen wrote:
It also might be that the spell is only supposed to work for characters with deities, a hidden prerequisite of sorts. I don't terribly want it to be this, but it could be.

It's not hidden. The spell outright states that you must worship a deity to be able to cast it.

What's more, the spell uses your proficiency with the weapon in question with your casting ability modifier. This makes it very bad for many non-clerics, even those who worship deities, because they don't necessarily get proficiency with their deity's favored weapon. We ran into this problem today during playtest when the Shelyn-worshiping bard cast spiritual weapon, and we realized that bards are not proficient with glaives. We decided to retcon it so the character in question instead worshiped Cayden Cailean which gave him a rapier instead, which bards are proficient in.

IMO, the spell should use your proficiency with spellcasting + your casting modifier instead, thereby bypassing the issue. That way you could say that it takes the form of a weapon of your choice, and if you worship a deity the form is always of that deity's favored weapon.

The adventure states that when the PCs get to the actual dungeon, you should inform them how much time they have left before the bad guys get there. But I can't find anything in the adventure that says that this should be PC knowledge from the start. The questgiver essentially tells the PCs "The bad guys are already on their way, but we found a shortcut/back door so you might beat them to it. But you need to hurry." - but she doesn't have any hard data. And I can't see how she could have, given that she doesn't know how long it would take the bad guys to get there and get through the dungeon the hard way.

What am I missing?

OK, here's how I think it works if you want to sneak up on someone or a group.

As soon as you or your party comes into contact with the enemy, you enter Encounter mode. If you were using the Sneak tactic, you get to roll initiative using Stealth.

Any creature who beats you on initiative and can reasonably detect you will perceive you. If you're sneaking a bit ahead of the rest of the group, them rolling poorly on their initiative checks won't make them detected, since they're out of the way (but will need to spend actions/rounds to get anywhere.

If you're still unseen when your turn comes up, you need to use Sneak actions to remain that way and move around until you get into a position where you can perform whatever dastardly deeds you came here to do.

Is that about right?

Paradozen wrote:
Was there any word on the fabled resonance overhaul?

Not done yet.

Elleth wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
bad at stairs
Horrifically off-topic, but I still have this horrible temptation to one of these days just stat up a golem based off of a dalek.

Yeah, about that...

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HWalsh wrote:
Spike damage is also a Magic the Gathering terminology.

Point of order: "Spike damage" is not a thing in Magic the Gathering. "Spike" can mean two things. The first, and less common, is a creature type from way back when (I'm thinking Tempest-ish, but I'm not sure) that had some mechanical things in common (comes into play with +1/+1 counters they can use for various things). The second, which you see more these days, is as one of the three "psychographics", or types of Magic players. Timmy/Tammy plays for the excitement and usually likes big flashy things, even if they are not particularly efficient. Johnny/Jenny likes to show off their creativity, building decks that win (or lose) in oddball ways. And finally, Spike is the player who's in it to win it by whatever means are most efficient.

"Spike damage", on the other hand, means that sometimes you do (or take) way more damage than other times. For example, you may have fought a monster for a few rounds and over those rounds taken 8, 7, 10, and 8 points of damage. You are now at 20 hp. You feel fairly confident that you can go another round before you're in danger... and then the monster hits you for 25 points, and then you're down. That's a damage spike, or spike damage.

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Karissel wrote:
They dropped out of most rpg's a long time ago because of spike issues.

Say what? I pretty much can't recall any game I've played in the last few years that didn't have some form of crits - although a lot of them had a more gradual mechanic. D&D5 has crits. TORG Eternity has Good and Outstanding successes adding one or two exploding D6es to damage. Mutant Year Zero adds extra successes on the attack roll to the damage. And Star Wars both adds successes to damage and has critical injuries.

David Silver - Ponyfinder wrote:
You also don't need to make OGL products if you are making it for DM's guild.

Well, DM's Guild has some other limitations.

The first, especially if you're considering OGL as well, is that it's separate from the OGL ecosystem. So if you want to include a monster from, say, the Scarred Lands Creature Collection - you can't.

The second is that DM's Guild content is exclusive to DM's Guild. You're not allowed to sell that same book in a store.

Third, you can't publish your own setting via DM's Guild - only generic material plus Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, and Eberron material.

Fourth, OneBookShelf and Wizards take 50% of the sale price. I believe it's normally about 30% if you sell exclusively at OneBookShelf, so that's an additional 20%.

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