Fiendish Halfling

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber. FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Venture-Captain, Washington—Seattle 1,325 posts (1,535 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. 2 wishlists. 18 Organized Play characters. 5 aliases.


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Grand Lodge

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I think we can all agree that paladins exist in Pathfinder and literature as both defenders and smiters of evil.

Keep in mind that the new core rulebook has space considerations and time considerations.

Pathfinder 1E focused on Archetypes. One of the reasons they started 2nd Edition was to introduce the archetype concept into the core rulebook.

So if you can potential modify a class through archetypes, feat choices, skill choices and even stat choices you pick a place to start introduce the class that way and then in further material introduce other variants of the class.

So we start with the tank paladin in the core rulebook. In the 2E advanced players guide you introduce an avenger type paladin, a ranged paladin that is dex based and maybe a healer based paladin trades some offense for even more protection.

The point is we are limiting the paladin class we are just limiting what goes in the first book.

Personally I think one thing I would like to see is to divorce the paladin reactions from alignment. Have them be different orders so you can choose alignment based on your paladin view, choose a reaction based on how you want to play the paladin (I love the debuffing variant) and then go into feat choices.

Plus Goblin Paladins are awesome. Fiery Justice for the Great Fire Goddess of Flaming Fiery Fire! (With some ancestral adoption to get produce flame for fun and ranged option)

Grand Lodge

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Why do we have resonance in the first place?

Resonance was added to place a mechanical benefit for Charisma that was missing in prior iterations of the game. Other attributes had a use outside skills but Charisma did not, other than as a casting attribute or for certain class features.

So what should Charisma do? They tied it to magic item use because of the link between Charisma and internal magic. So why not make it determine how many magic items you can use. Leading to the problems with the original Playtest and magic item use, in addition to being yet another pool of points to manage.

However, tying Charisma to class abilities makes no sense. Why should my Cha 8 dwarf druid such at being a druid when none of his abilities are tied to Charisma and he is already MAD because of the need for Strength. Why should the elf wizard who lack social skills suddenly lose a bunch of abilities. The old system you could work around and eventually outgrow, the new system degrades your character for pushing survival over social acumen.

And why? Two reasons, to make Charisma useful to all characters for something other than skills and to avoid having too many pools of points to worry about. I think Paizo can do much better.

So I will offer some suggestions for Charisma that don't complicate the game too much but still make it useful and not debilitating if low.

1. Hero points. Let your Hero points equal your Charisma modifier. Basically it represents your luck or force of personality coming out. This gives high Charisma characters a couple of re-rolls or Paladins the ability to recover from death to keep fighting battle after battle. Could even give feats to classes like the bard that let them use hero points on others.

2. Focus points that don't effect spell points but do effect items. This does create a new pool but it basically replaces the resonance pool and means that you are good with magic items, nice but not game breaking if low.

3. Use Charisma to effect the DC/Spell Rolls of items for non casters and to allow access to normally unusable items. For example Charisma might let you use a staff even if you are a fighter or rogue, or allow a bard to access to a Staff of Evocation when the spells are not normally on their list.

Grand Lodge

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The Once and Future Kai wrote:


What if Strength improved Shield Block somehow?

I was wondering if you added your Strength modifier to the damage mitigated by the shield's hardness it would useful early on but less effective later. For example at level 1 you would go from reducing damage by 5 but with Strength of 18 you block 9, a 80% increase. At level 20 you might a legendary heavy adamantine sturdy shield preventing 21 points normally now preventing 28 a 33% increase. Compared to monster damage though 4 vs 1d6+4 at first level is very different than 7 vs. 6d10+12 at 20th

While I do think Strength is undervalued by some classes, I don't think it will go away I have been seeing a number of builds that use Strength to turn classes into viable melee attackers including Battle Clerics, Magic Striking Wizards and Sorcerers (Muscle Wizards) Buffed Bards (Basically High Str/Cha bards that Inspire and melee with a big weapon usually with Fighter Dedication) and Wild Shaping Druids (who need it for both number of wild shapes which is way low and getting their hit high enough after 13th when forms stop progressing given Dragon Form is not properly tuned)

I am concerned right now for one of the Druid builds, the Storm Druid that relies on Tempest Surge and grabbing Spell Point feats to increase their uses. That build just died in the resonance test.

Grand Lodge

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Considering that you can use a scimitar the only thing wild claws does is trade a minor saving on gear for action economy. You would be better off drawing scimitar moving up and attacking then casting wild claws moving up and not getting an attack that round.

Unfortunately when we look at the shifter, the feral hunter and the druid from PF1 (specifically the Shaman types with the Transfomration class feature), their idea about shapeshifters is to grow claws at first then actually shapeshift at 4th level. I do not agree with this version and would prefer a version that shapeshifted at level 1.

I think they could rewrite Animal Form to include a level 1 and 2 version and by keeping the spell at level 3 other classes could not access that option. In fact doing this would solve the level 4 animal form issue with the early access leading to a very strong form for that level alone.

Pest Form should also be renamed to Utility Shape, have a feat that lets you spend spell points on it (and be the replacement for Wild Claws) that offers the following options:
Tiny form
Tiny flying form
Sleeping form (something noncombat that lasts 8 hours but lets you be adapted to the environment)
Beast of Burden form (carrying heavy loads, basically I don't ride a horse i am the horse)
Tracker form (basically the ability to Search and do another activity at the same time)
A climbing form
A swimming form
A large flying form for transport (higher level option)

In each case this ability should last for an appropriate length of time (8 hours for the mount/sleeping/burden forms, 1 hour for the scouting forms) and each would have very low AC and no attack options, Athletics should be good too.

Grand Lodge

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The addition of Treat Wounds ability of Medicine is nice for normal out of combat healing given enough time but it does seem to make the Natural Medicine Obsolete.

I understand these are two different skills the comparison before with Battle Medic the two stood out as being complementary, a in battle check versus an out of battle check. Battle Medic is bolstered on use, Natural Medicine is bolstered by healing.

The inclusion of Treat Wounds provides Medicine an equivalent and clearly makes Natural Medicine inconsequential. First the DC is 20 versus the medium DC for the level. At level 4, when natural medicine becomes available (Expert Nature at 3, skill feat at 4) the DC for Treat Wounds is only 16 while this does go up over time, it scales with level making it less concerning once you get to level 7 when the DC for Treat Wounds is higher but at that point you are looking at a probably plus 13 to checks (lvl, expert, 4 from Wis, +1 healing kit) versus the +12 to nature (no item equivalent unless you take an expert nature tool?)

Now I can see how Natural Medicine on one character could stack with Treat Wounds on another character in that both could happen at the same time. It does however make it less useful for a character trained in Medicine to ever consider taking. Given that with a minimum level of 4 as long as they have a 14 Con or better, you will heal roughly the same amount without worrying about die rolls (1d8 + 4 vs. 8 or higher.

Stacking is nice but I wonder if natural medicine would work better if the feat allowed you to use Treat Wounds based off Nature rather than its current form, possibly still adding a 1d8 if materials are around.

Grand Lodge

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The only way i found to address this in the scenario was to focus on its magic immunity as its defining feature. In addition I decided to ham it up a bit by having the guards, clearly not knowing what they are talking about, describe what happened, with the picture of them describing the creature leaping out of the way of the trap as his "resistance" to fire.

One note i will make is the six player adjustment may be fine mathematically but was very unsatisfying for the players as suddenly they needed 12s or 13s to hit (even vs TAC) so the first 2 rounds no one hit the golem including with a ray of frost (slowed by the way had almost no impact on the fight except for negating the 3rd attack. Tactically it would have made sense to move the fight outside at that point but no map preventing the players from taking advantage of that scenario)

Grand Lodge

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I ran though an adapted level 13 module on my druid with a fighter/wizard(rogue)/cleric. The druid and the fighter were the frontline. I noticed the following:

Accuracy and AC were close with the fighter always ahead. Druid did good damage. THe problem would be the subsequent levels, at 14 the fighter would advance but the druid would not in those terms. After that the Dragon Form ability fails to scale appropriately (numbers are off) and after 15th you just get your basic numbers making something like fighter dedication for the expert proficiency more important but your damage caps at level 13, other than via breath weapon.

You don't need to take all the feats. I used my 7th level spells for Elemental Form and took the Healing Transformation feat. This let me go into each battle down a few hp and heal up right away. Plus outside of a fight I was able to use spells to both buff and heal to make up for any extra damage I took over the fighter.

Fighter Dedication really helped to get Attack of Opportunity. With your size and reach the Druids tends to generate more of them then the fighter did by a longshot.

He was better at athletics than the fighter. Given his Gargantuan size he could trip anything and did several times to either improve are attacks or force an AoO from both of us.

Size became an issue several times where the smallest appropriate size was Huge for the level. We ran two fights twice and even using the Druid Vestments and level appropriate gear the damage downgrade was significant. I think there needs to be more options for smaller high level forms.

I would like some utility options, I did pick up some low level forms just in case like a 5th level Aerial and a 6th level Dragon. They did not get used but i liked the options.

One thing I did note was that in AP/Modules I did run out of Wild Shapes. But it seems that with a healing focused cleric and back up Druid you can actually push through a lot of fights. The 1 min duration means you need 1 use per fight and at level 13 i only had 4 (19 str, only had 3 wild order feats (wild shape, animal form, ferocious form) so I didn't get the fifth. We were forced to pull back after about 7 encounters, I spent one in Dragon form (6th) but it didnt hold up well and only the right spells/and luckily choosing the right option with my dragon at time of prep did it work out.

Overall I think the druid needs a slight combat buff at the expense of a resource (using spells to boost attack/AC/damage for example as part of wild shape or spell points or something.) Needs options for smaller forms at higher levels, would love to require less feats and have AoO be a wild druid feat (basically get an AoO when in a different form or something) The expert spell proficiency never came up for my build.

Grand Lodge

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The problem with Wizards and skills is that in relation to other classes they have not advanced as every other class has.

Consider the Cleric went from 2 to 5.
The Sorcerer went from from 2 to 5.
The Fighter went from 2 to 3
The Alchemist, Barbarian, Druid and Monk went from 4 to 3.

So why did some classes get more skills and others less. You can make the argument that there are fewer skills so they get fewer points because then giving more to other classes makes no sense.

Furthermore, by giving more skills to other classes and keeping the Wizard at only 2 you are devaluing the Intelligence stat. Instead of giving you more skills for Int based classes they are penalized in the number of trained skills because of their use of Intelligence. You don't see the Charisma classes being given fewer Resonance points because Charisma is their primary stat, why are Wizards and Alchemist losing skills because Intelligence is theirs.

With the exception of the Druid, all classes get a number of trained skills equal to their number of signature skills. Therefore not only does the Wizard need at least one more skill (as honestly do the Fighter, Alchemist, Monk, Barbarian and Druid) they also need another signature skill. I suggest one based on their school would make the most sense. I think people have suggested some of that above.

Grand Lodge

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Not while wild shaped. The spells are pretty clear about adding to those statistics.

Grand Lodge

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I wonder why Nature skill covers Handle and Train animal but Wild Empathy uses Diplomacy which is neither a signature skill for druids nor does it fit the druid theme in anyway.

Druids are also the only class with fewer trained skills than signature skills.

Grand Lodge

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I do not think handwraps would have any direct effect on damage dice on forms because the forms set the damage. However, I do believe property runes would apply. So if you happen to have +3 handwraps with ghost touch on them, neither the +3 or extra damage dice apply but you would get ghost touch and reasonably magic on your attacks, though the rules do not outright say this.

If you look at the form spells the section on these bonuses occurs before the damage dice are listed, and applies to the preceding section.

So breaking down the animal form spell:
First it says constant bonuses still apply. You cannot activate any abilities. Pretty much the same as PF 1.

Second it lists AC/TAC, Attack and damage bonus, athletics and senses.
Then it explains on certain certain types of bonuses or penalties apply.

Third it lists the forms with the damage dice, speed and attacks of that form.

I gather from this that anything that does not modify the set of stats in the first section, AC/TAC through Athletics cannot benefit from item bonuses. However, other continuous effects do apply. So getting magic or ghost touch should work but does something like corrosive or holy? Those add damage dice but aren't bonuses to any of the above attributes. I think they should apply.

Now I don't believe the extra damage dice from the item apply because the forms list specifically the damage you do and it conforms roughly to what other melee are doing at that level. In fact at some levels it is the same or bigger. For example at level 13 if you go dinosaur form and grab Stegosaurus you are doing 4d8 + 18 damage or an average of 36. A Barbarian at that level with available gear and a greatsword is doing 4d12+10 or 36 on average. A fighter would only be doing 4d12+5 or 31. Now both classes have feats and other abilities (Power Attack, Double Slice etc) but that should give you an idea of how they scaled the abilities.

Grand Lodge

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Keep in mind that your lay on hands w/o warded touch has the manipulate trait and will provoke. I also built a Goblin Paladin of Irori though i haven't playtested him yet.

Grand Lodge

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One additional class to look at is Druid of the Wild Order. Though they may not get the same feats they can get really good Athletics checks in their forms nad get the size needed to trip/grab anything.

Grand Lodge

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Scaling the forms in my opinion would be the easiest option. What I would love to see is the following:

Animal Form (8th) You turn into a massive dire version of the animal your size is Huge and you gain a +26 attack bonus, AC/TAC of 36/33, Athletics of +27. Damage should average around 32 - 36 for the strongest attack in the build.

Aerial Form (8th) 1 higher AC/TAC, 3 -4 lower damage.

Other forms could add other effects

Legendary Form (9th) You turn into an avatar of your particular forms. Pick one shape you can turn into and assume that form with the following changes. Your can be Medium, Large, Huge, or Gargantuan based on the limits of the spell this effects only your size and reach. You gain an attack bonus of +29, AC 40/37, Athletics +30 and damage in th 34 - 38 range for the best attack possible. Damage would probably scale by form or level.

Legendary (10th) Your stats upgrade to + 31 to hit, 43/39 AC, Athletics +32 and damage should be 37 - 40. Same rules apply as for the 9th level version just with better stats. This could be applied to either just wild shape users or as how Shapechange the spell could be built instead.

Another Option is rather than Shapechange add Nature's Incarnate to the wild shape ability as the level 20 capstone.

Grand Lodge

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Some additional feedback.

Playtested a group of level 13 characters through a high level module, translating the monsters into equivalents as best I could from the Playtest Bestiary. Had a Druid, Wizard, Cleric and Fighter with the Druid playing the role of second melee and the Wizard with rogue dedication for Thievery. I chose 13 to test the druid because they fail to scale appropriately after this level. Dragon Shape is tuned to lower levels then it should be (except on attack bonus) and you don't get a higher level form til you can cast 10th level spells 1/day. After 3 encounters with the druid and fighter comparison I can express some concerns:

At level 13 the AC/Att of the druid was only 1 point behind the fighter, would be two points at level 14. This was until they entered that twin parry stance and gained another point of AC.

Damage was interesting. On a single hit the Druid did more damage but overall the fighter using double slice would do more damage per round but when the druid got lucky the damage stacked up. The fighter attacking round one versus the druid having to wild shape let him have a couple of extra attacks each combat.

The Druid had the edge on Athletics even with the item purchased by the fighter. This led to the question can a dinosaur use Athletics for Trip, Grapple, or Disarm? I assumed it could which led to the question can you use athletics in place of an AoO strike? I assumed it couldn't but it would be cool if it could.

Going fighter dedication to grab Attack of Opportunity as 2nd/6th feats was quite valuable considering the only feat I really lost out on was Insect Shape (and was down a wild shape since I only had 3 wild feats, Wild Shape, Animal Form and Ferocious Form. I instead used spell slots to grab aerial and elemental.) The attack of opportunity came up more frequently on the druid then for the fighter, since with a 15 - 20' reach you cover a massive area. Since the druid lacks any class based reactions this was a great investment for the build.

I did not take Elemental Shape at 10th level and instead wanted to try Healing Transformation. Since my wild shape was using a 7th level spell this meant i would heal 7d6 at the beginning of every fight. This cost me an extra action each turn I used it but I was basically able to leave a little damage on the druid after every fight and heal it up as the fight started. Combined with the extra temp hp I did not feel like i was down hit points compared to the fighter (even though both characters had an 18 con and toughness)

Three major problems arose during the scenario however. First action economy, requiring 2 actions to cast at the start of every fight puts the druid down a whole round worth of offense. More an more I wish it was a single action letting me either cast move attack in one round or cast a buff spell, wild shape the first round. Strangely enough, the Druid was the preferred target of Haste by the wizard since they could then wild shape move and attack first round.

Second was size. In order to gain the appropriate level benefits at level 13 I needed to be either Huge (elemental/Aerial) or gargantuan (dinosaur) this led to some problems during fights where I could not fit into a room appropriately. Only by using Earth Elemental Form and burrowing could take part in the fight (luckily it was prepared).

Third was useless class features. First Druids are the only class that gets less trained skills then signature skills. Second Wild Claws was forgotten completely letting my Spell points sit uselessly by, I could potentially take a feat at second level but summoning fails to scale at all so there was no point so they sat wasted. Finally, Expert Spellcaster was completely wasted on the build. It would have been much better to have another wild order feat at that point.

Overall the problems were difficult to surmount when they showed up and the lack of scaling is going to be a major problem. The size/action economy issues added up every fight. Druid spells were generally used for out of combat healing and utility especially since the druid took more damage than the fighter and was crit more often. The fighter was missing his level 14 riposte ability since that would have triggered more than his AoOs.

The form spells need to be tuned. Right now Dinosaur form does quite a bit of damage and may need to be tuned down a little. The only hesitation i would make is dropping it now would hurt if they don't scale Wild Shape with higher level options. I miss the ability to use wild shape for utility, like sleeping through the night, acting as a mount for an injured PC though dinosaur form made a great bridge when it came to crossing a 20' wide river.

Grand Lodge

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I think one of the major issues with Signature skills is the inability to break their mold. In Pathfinder 1st edition I could make a Wizard a master of diplomacy. It took effort, traits, in some cases multiple traits, but you could do it.

Now the Wizard would have to spend a feat to get it trained, and eventually can go up to expert tops. Next they would require investment in Charisma (something not needed in PF 1) and always be further behind the Bard/Sorcerer because they can't get a higher stat than those classes. Furthermore the limitation on potent items means you will always use the one best for your class. Before I could make a diplomat of any class now they are going to be 4 points behind a charisma based class. (2 from starting stat,2 from no master/legendary proficiency).

I would also like to note why is Druid the only class that gets less trained skills then they have signature skills. Why are they treated differently?

Grand Lodge

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This has the added effect of the rage embracing your totem more closely. You can imagine an animal totem barbarian carrying around a great sword only he ignores it completely when raging in favor of his bite attack.

Grand Lodge

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Not sure if this as been suggested but it is quite clear that the anathema for some of the barbarian totems are restrictive and potentially deadly. I would suggest a simple fix to solve this problem add the following two words to the anathema: when raging.

This allows animal totem barbarians to contribute every fourth round of combat, use range weapons and contribute in some story elements that require the use of weapons. For superstitious barbarians this means they won't die after the first or second fight and can complete missions involving teleportation/underwater travel/planar adventures etc...

For the others this may or may not be necessary since they seem to be so limited as to be non-existent. Personal slight or challenge? Might come up or be interpreted that way but this also prevents such things as every Giant Totem barbarian from dying when a certain previous Master of Spells in PFS insults their intelligence.

Grand Lodge

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Actually druids only have 3 skills according to the update which makes no sense considering the skills they should have.

Grand Lodge

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I think Gaterie is right. Having played and played with a number of High Hp vs. High AC characters AC > Hp for survival. In this Crit heavier environment AC will become more important. Hit points look good as a high number til you take that first kobold pick crit and are dealt 3d8-2 instead of a 1d4-1. You will find you wish you had just that one or two points of AC.

Keep in mind also that with the way stat boosting works you will have an 18 Con by level 5 if you start with a 16 or at 10th if you start with a 14. If you really need to up your hit point game look at Dwarf, plus toughness.

Keep in mind that a single point of AC can change your damage intake. If they need a 10 to hit you then you will be hit 55% of the time. An increase to needing an 11 makes you hit only 50% of the time. If you look at incoming damage however you have just dropped your incoming damage by roughly 10%. Increasing your AC further decreasing your amount of incoming damage. Now based on the system currently we are not going to see the very high AC characters we did in Pathfinder 1, they are deliberately removing the stacking bonuses. Instead we will see a combination of good AC, higher hp and more in combat healing to cover how the game is played.

Grand Lodge

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Having looked over the alchemist scaling/resource management issues and having had a chance to play one I think the alchemist problem has to do with a lack of defined concept.

Is the alchemist a martial class with some alchemical utility?

Is the alchemist class a caster class with some bomb damage ability?

Until we know what they intended it is very difficult to decide how to judge the class. Right now it looks like they tried to make a hybrid and missed the mark completely.

They lack the consistent damage of the martial classes.

They lack the high level but resource constrained damage potential of the casters.

I suggest if they are going for a hybrid then they need to look at what at least casters can do consistently and do it better (alchemists should have cantrip like attacks that do more damage than cantrips but less than martials) and spells that both buff this damage capacity and provide the healing/buffing/debuffing utility but are resource constrained.

Grand Lodge

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The advantage to this scaling allows for forms to have a longer shelf life, though you would fall behind on the damage scale. Have single level changes make a difference, so a level 9 druid versus a level 10 druid both in dinosaur shape are different.

I think druid vestments should either be lower level and grant an additional wild shape use per day (this would be great if they don't make any suggested changes as a level 3 item for level 4 druids) or provide a benefit when you wild shape such as make it one action, make allow you to move as part of wild shape or provide a small circumstance benefit to the ability.

Grand Lodge

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Monks have an ability:

Powerful Fist
When striking with your fist, you deal 1d6 damage instead of 1d4. You use your
normal proficiency when making a lethal attack with a nonlethal unarmed attack.

Making there attacks lethal without penalty. Generally attacking with a lethal weapon nonlethally or vice versa means your attack is untrained.

It looks like they confused dragon stance and tiger stance damage

Grand Lodge

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Druid vestments are required for scaling from level 14 onward. This leads to investing in feats that ultimately become costumes rather actual abilities

Grand Lodge

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Oo good catch, I will remind my gm about that for my druid build in our playtest using intimidate.

Grand Lodge

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The idea behind Charisma assumes that a druid can always wild shape to fight. It also invalidates the druid vestments. It could be made to work but requires a number of changes to implement.

Easier and what should be done is to make Intimidate a Strength or Charisma skill. This would give fighters and barbs a bigger role in social situations and let the wild order druid actually use their signature skill.

It could have made a great skill feat but they went in a different direction that fails to solve the problem.

Grand Lodge

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Referencing when druids get wild shape they do not get then as fast as the spells:

Insect Form at level 6, casters get it at level 5
Dinosaur Form at level 8, casters get it at level 7
Aerial Form at level 8, casters get it at level 7
Elemental Form at level 10, casters get it at level 9
Dragon Form at level 14, casters get it at level 11

Monstrosity Form, casters get at level 15, no wild shape option.

So wild shape is always a level behind the caster except for animal form and Pest form.

Now wild shape still let's you auto heighten so at level 7 you have animal form at the 4th spell level.

Now druids can use spell slots for the polymorph spells but nothing based on wild shape would apply.

Grand Lodge

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It sounds like wild shape should have two separate pools one for utility shapes one for shorter duration combatvforms.

Since Wild Claws seems out of place in wild shape you could spell points for utility shapes and wild shape pool for combat.

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I wonder if there is a way to make Intimidate viable for these druids. Right now Charisma is not as critical a stat given the need for Strength, Constitution and Wisdom, with Dexterity being important do to the lack of scaling at higher levels. It would be great if Intimidate could be based on Strength as an option.

Another option is to replace wild claws with a wild shape ability and base wild shape uses on Charisma instead of Strength. A druid in melee would wild shape and not use strength but the provided stats and Charisma works well with Wild Empathy and Intimidate.

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Considering this problem and the idea that wild order druids may want to focus on melee over spells I suggest that at 12, 16 and 19 wild order druids be given a feat option instead of spell casting increases. Level 12 could be Dragon shape, level 16 monstrosity form and level 19 be a special enhancement boosting lower level forms to expected values for attack, athletics, armor class and damage.

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So running the numbers again I realized that I was comparing dragon to the wrong levels. The stats seem to be in line with one level lower than they should be. So as a 6th level spell Dragonform stats are in line with the fifth level forms rather than other 6th level options. Damage also seems lower when compared to other options. I suggest that the statistics for dragon form be revisited and put onto line with similar level forms.

This fact makes the viability of druid wild shape only viable from level 5 to level 13, after the forms stop scaling upwards appropriately. Additionally the fact that dragon form shows up at level 14 means that when the druid accesses it is is a spell level behind making it less useful initially until level 15 when it becomes the only scales option to 8th and with stats not in line with that level.

Level 4 currently in playtest does not have enough wild shapes to cover the usual number of encounters. I have offered a solution to this above.

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I am a big fun of Wild Shaping Druids, having played them in every edition of Pathfinder and its predecessor. I have been taking a look at the Wild Order druid extensively and realized that this option has a number of problems that need to be addressed in the final version.

First, pre level 4 you don't wild shape unless you want to die. Pest Form should be an option but there should be an option to give you a small animal form with AC 17, +4 to attack, 1d8+3 damage.

Second, the Wild feats give you access to forms but you have to take them in order to scale, with a few exceptions. Furthermore, the feat breakdown really blows with multiple options coming at the same tier that should be redone for better feat progression or better yet combined with other options.

These feats should offer very small bonuses to wild order druids to make them just a little better shapeshifters. For example as it stands right now a wild shaping druid can't attack ghosts or incorporeal critters. Either the spells need to count as magic attacks or the Wild Claws power should let all your attacks while Wild Shaped count as magical. In addition, there is no difference between a Sorcerer casting Elemental form versus a Wild druid assuming that form with the exception that the Druid is a level behind. These small benefits could make the difference.

Ideas for this might include:
Animal Form, Wild Order druids gain magical attacks while wild shaped and can spend there unused highest level spell slots to wild shape.

Insect Form as normal but includes the benefits of the Form Control Feat. Form control should also include an option to transform into Pest Form level for 8 or more hours. Druid and other shapeshifters in stories often sleep or travel long distances in there wild shape, something that the current version doesn't allow.

Dinosaur Form - Increase the athletics bonus of forms for wild order druids by 1 while wild shaped.

Aerial Form - increase the speed of forms while wild shape by 5'.

Elemental Form - Increase the AC but not TAC of forms by 1 while wild shaped.

Dragon Form - Increase the damage of forms while wild shaped by 2.

This makes the Wild Order Druid a slightly better shapeshifter than other casters.

Third, forms do not scale after level 15. They need to put in options for scaling to level 9 and level 10. The current option is the druid vestment which in my opinion is bad design. Furthermore it doesn't allow damage to scale so the forms fail to advance. This needs to be addressed by either a way to scale forms like Monstrosity, Dragon, Elemental and Dinosaur to more powerful but same size versions, and even include high level versions of animal/aerial spells.

Furthermore Monstrosity form should be a feat at level 16. Since you don't get a class feat at level 16 I suggest gaining this feat instead of Master Spellcaster and replacing legendary spell caster with the ability to scale forms to 10th spell level. As long as the final version is just a bit behind the fighter it should be fine.

Fourth, the Shapechange spell is broken. The capstone ability of Wild Order Druid actually penalizes them for using it and given its short duration the ability to change what you are is not as strong when you are dealing with 1 min duration abilities. Wild order druids are better off grabbing a 10th level spell for Nature Avatar but then they fall behind Wizards who can use their arcane focus to do it twice. Shapechange should either provide a scaling bonus to other shapes (in essence giving a bonus to AC/TAC, attack, athletics and damage based on the difference between levels and allowing the wild shape druid to be functional from level 16 onward and not just for 1 min per day at level 20.

Fifth, there should be more than 2 items in the game for Wild Shaping druids. Right now there is a Gorget which doesn't really work since it is hard to include intimidate in the builds because of the need for Str, Con, Wisdom and Dex even though it is a signature skill and the druid's vestments which is very disappointing in its bad design. There should be a low level item to either address the magic attacks issue, unless the design is that Wild Shaping druids can't fight versus some monsters or included in one of the druid feats. This could also be an upgradable item allowing the druid to gradually overcome different DR types but offering no other mechanical benefit, cost similar to the magic weapon

Grand Lodge

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My major concern about the Paladin smite is its invalidation by moving. Oh you hit me because i hit your friend? I will just move around him and hit him with you way over there, so sorry by by. And this doesn't include GMs that will just immediately meta and move their creatures in such away to prevent the ability from working. Since the Paladin doesn't have an AoO, it means that a single action can negate their main class ability.

Grand Lodge

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I have played several demos, Doomsday Dawn part 1 and one of the adventures.

Having seen several characters play and run through a variety of encounters I am seeing several things that I like and some that I do not.

First, the free floating ability score for each race lets each race be each class. Gnome Illusionist? Throw that free points into Intelligence. Halfling Cleric, toss that free points into Charisma, Goblin Barbarian, free points into Strength. The only exception seems to be races whose negative is in the primary stat of the class, Goblin Clerics, Gnome Fighters and Halfling Barbarians for example. Now that free ability increase can go into there penalized stat and they can start with a 16 at least. This is actually more cost effective than starting with a 16 in the previous edition so I see the potential. Furthermore it will equalize for half the game.

Second racial feats. These seem to be too spread out to really represent your training/experience growing up especially when they pop up later, making very little sense. I can see getting a limited number of them, like 3 racial feats and then expansions as you level but I don't understand why certain features would suddenly pop up in your adventuring life after having been away from your race/culture for a period of time.

Third Class feats, I like that not every class is built the same but it seems class feats are a way to focus your character early on and some classes don't get them until later levels. Also some seem to be required just to keep the character in line with current level, like the Druid's wild shape feats that provide options but need to be taken just to function at that level, instead they should include other abilities to make them stand out as shapeshifters.

Fourth, Class Skills. I think this was the biggest error in design. First classes that had enough skills, like the Cleric/Fighter/Rogue/Bard, got more. Classes like the Alchemist, Druid and Monk got less. It seems like the designers chose certain classes to benefit and certain classes to punish. For example the Wizard use to be very good at skills, now he has the same as the cleric and much fewer signature skills and what used to be their strength with Knowledge is not spread out among several Wisdom based skills, making them provide less to the group especially with the lack of skill increases that other classes gained. Overall it seemed that popular classes in 1st edition got punished while unpopular classes got benefits. I can understand if this was consistent, the skill combination means you need fewer skills but the lack of consistency in the skill point allocation clearly eliminates this point, leaving us back to the issue of why some classes got nerfed and other got buffed.

Fifth, Class design. Certain classes function very well out of the gate, others take more time to develop while others still seem to be looking for a spot. Bards as 9th level casters are interesting since they still buff, but the melee bard option seems to be less viable. Druids seem to vary widely in functionality with the Wild Order not being able to wild shape til 4th and then only 3 times for 1 min each and having no scaling options past 15th with only one exception, using their single 10th level spell and not taking the 20th wild order feat which is an actual downgrade to their shapeshifting abilities.

Sixth, Resonance and Gear The game seems to be pushing towards having to have a healer as potions now require the use of resonance and some items require 2 or more to use (1 to invest, 1 to use their ability, more if it is used more than once a day) furthermore the Cha inclusion means that sorcerers are more likely to be able to use found magic items over say wizards who don't have to get free resonance points, instead they get docked skills because they use intelligence. If anything Wizards seemed to be nerfed in skills, saves initiative and magic item usage because Cleric initiative is now the best in the game and Intelligence is no longer as useful especially to wizards.

Finally, General feats don't offer the options they should. Wizards get exactly 2 signature skills. Cleric get 5. Why isn't there a feat or skill feat to turn a skill in to a signature skill? Why isn't there a feat to make you expert/master/legendary in weapons and armor? It really seems like they took the classes and forced you into the role the envisioned and made sure you couldn't deviate. Remember that Tank cleric that got the heavy armor and shield to be able to stand up and charge the bad guys? Welp expect to be 3 AC less than the paladin cause you don't get to have the same abilities as they do.

Grand Lodge

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I do think more ancestry feats at the start would be useful, two does make sense, especially with the half-elf/half orc being able to get a race feat off the bat, but limit some choices such as, General Training, only taken once per level, cannot be selected if you have the heritage feat.

I would open the half orc darkvision feat to 1st level.

I don't think you need another at level 2, I think 2 at first, balanced with the power of some, and then 5th/9th and so forth.

Grand Lodge

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So comparing damage of the forms druid vs. fighter i made two quick comparisons:

Lvl 9 Fighter wield +2 greatsword, Str 19, damage is 3d12+4 avg 23.5

Animal Form, heightened to level 5, huge animal, best damage 4d8+7, avg 25.

Elemental Form Earth, 2d10 + 9, avg 20.

Dinosaur form Height to 5th, 4d8 + 6, avg 24

Insect Form, Height to 5th, 4d10 + 2, avg 24.

Aerial Form, height to 5th, 3d6+8, avg 18.5

Now the fighter will be and should be more accurate, and have feats to increase damage. But overall damage is comparable.

Figthter 13th 20 str, +3 Greatsword, damage is 4d12+5, avg 31.
Using brutal finish, adding an extra die of damage, 5d12+5, avg 37.5.

Elemental height to 7th, 4d10 + 11, avg 33

Dinosaur height to 7th, 4d8 + 18, avg 36.

Now in each case that is the best damage of dinosaur and elemental forms but you can see the fighter will be both more accurate and do more damage and have additional options in combat. Overall this make the druid less accurate but similar damage in melee. The biggest concern is the inability to get magic on their attacks, soemthing that should be either from a magic item or an assumed property of they have a magic weapon equipped.

TLDR - Fighter/Druid damage is similar but Fighters have better combat utility and more accuracy as they should. I still see Druid wild order as being possible to melee with the exception of the no 9th level heighten options and 10th level being only 1 min per day by taking the non wild order feat. Clearly this needs to be added to the final version.

Grand Lodge

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I do not understand why druid's were punished with such low skill numbers. Starting at 3 versus the cleric's 5 seems to make no sense whatsoever. This is especially true of Wild Order druids who need a high str, dex, con and wis to fight in melee, have enough wild shapes and eventually AC when the wild shapes form stop leveling up and they use their own stats.

I understand that many skill were combined but consider a druid should have:

Nature
Survival
Athletics
Acrobatics (flying is a thing they do with wild shape)
Stealth (sneaking around in Pest Form)
Intimidate (for wild order druids, though this means investing in Charisma which means lower Int and even less skills)

and this assumes they just stick with skill that make sense for the druid. I suggest that they should not only be not lowered to 3 but boosted to 5.

Also wild shape seems to only work between 5 - 15 levels. Before Pest form will just get you killed (i guess this was a response to the bird/fox/bat builds) and forms only scale up to level 15, furthermore the wild order level 20 feat is horrible, actually makes you worse since you go up to level 7 instead of level 8, and doesn't do anything wild shape already does since you don't need to prep the forms like you do with your slots.

Grand Lodge

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I think the problem with Wild Shape as it stands now is that the difference between a Druid in Wild shape and a Sorcerer casting the spell is insignificant, maybe some hit points but that is it. Instead the wild feats should offer some minor benefits to all forms you take rather than just offering forms you have to have to level up. Something like Animal form druid feat increases your athletics in all form by +1. This way the Wild Shaper is a slightly better shapeshifter than the other caster classes.

Shapechange as a spell needs to be thrown out. It doesn't work at its current duration since you can just pick that spell heightened, expecially on a spontaneous caster chassis. It need to be replaced with an ability to increase the forms to a level 9 version.

As it stands right now there is no wild shaping for combat before level 4 (with the feat) and after level 15 (nothing increases beyond this point) until level 20 with 1/day Nature Incarnate.

Druid Vestments should not be an item just to let you use your own stats. This should be built into the spells. Druid Vestments should give you a minor boost while in those forms or let you increase your wild shape pool by 2.

I would also love to see Wild SHape be a single action. This would allow two things, first spending a round buffing with both a spell and wild shape and 2 letting you do the Wild shape move and attack routine that would be very cool. Also having more compat related options for wild shape druids at higher levels to fulfill the roll of secondary fighter would be awesome.

Grand Lodge

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Wild Shape works as the spells of the name given under Pest Form and the various wild shape druid feats you can choose. The nice thing is that you don't necessarily need to take all the wild shape feats because the abilities are auto heightened. You just need to take enough to make sure you have option at each spell tier for example you could take Animal (3, 4, 5), Elemental (5,6,7) and Dragon (6,8) for your wild shape feats.
Or Take Animal (3,4,5), Dinosaur (4,5,7) and Dragon (6,8)

The two that will come up are Animal, only one at level 4 and 5 we can take (Insect pops up at 6th as a feat) and Dragon since we don't have any other level 8 options.

I hope they add Monstrosity Form feat in the final edition to give us another level 8 option and I hope that they had a level 9 tier heightened or new spell to grant us options at that level other than forcing us to buy Druid's Vestments just to use our own stats.

Level 10 only has one option and that is grabbing the 10th level spell and using Nature's Incarnate. Only 1/day for 1 min this is the epitome of our wild shape ability.

Shapechange by the way is a poor feat/spell since it caps at 7th for wild shape, not sure how it works with the autoheighten feature of Wild Shape and because even if it does work the max cap of 8th makes Nature Incarnate a better option.

Grand Lodge

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Having done a bit of math on the Wild Shapes it looks like accuracy and damage don't scale badly at all, at least until post 15th level which either forces you to use lower level forms or your own stats.

Gear for a Wild shaper seems limited, right now all I found were two items, Druid Vestments and Gorget of Primal Roar. Other's work but they don't have any effect on combat statistics which is fine since the shapes seem balanced against appropriately geared characters. AC/TAC seems on the low side.

I think the issue I have is the limited number of uses of Wild Shape and the fact you need to talk feats just to keep up with the level. I think each Wild Order feat needs to increase your Wild Shape uses by 1 or offer a minor benefit to the Wild Shaper. Something like:

Animal Shape standard benefits, all polymorph spells cast are treated as if you used wild shape, except they are at that level rather than heightened.

Insect Form standard benefits increase the damage of your forms by 1

Dinosaur form Increase the Athletics bonus of your forms by 1

Aerial Form Increase the speed of your forms by 5 ft.

Dragon Form Increase the AC/TAC of your forms by 1

All of these are relatively minor but would make the Wild Shaper seems like the best Shapeshifter out there instead of just the same as a Sorcerer casting the spell.

You could add double the duration to one as well just in case the fight goes longer, but only as a reaction 1/day.

Right now a Wild Shaper can start with 3 Wild Shapes a day, with a 16 str. At level 5 the increase in strength boosts it to 4 and they can also use spell slots to grab polymorph spells though they won't benefit form wild shape effects. Level 8/10 increase it by 1 once you get 4 wild order feats and level 15 increases it by 1 more once you get str 20. This will get you 6 base plus spells or roughly 8 - 9 if you want to focus on wild shape.

The only downside is from level 16 onward your bonuses don't increase based on the spells so they should include a level 9 spell and a level 19/20 boost of some kind. Shapechange is not a really good wild shaper spell because of the level limit and Druid Vestments seems to be the only way to improve your numbers after 15th which seems unnecessary when you could just add a heigthen 9 or 10 option to some of the spells including Monstrosity Form which by the way should be a feat option instead of Master Spell casting for some druids.

Grand Lodge

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I assume they won't use it for that but to get a 10th level spell for the 10th level Wild Shape Spell. Also their should be a feat to take instead of increasing spell casting ability so you can grab Monstrosity Form as a feat.

Shapechange unfortunately is not a useful spell in this game given its short duration and limitation to level 7 forms. Instead they should have feat option for druid for an 8th level form/9th level form/10th level form that provide set attack/athletics/AC/TAC based on expectations for that tier for any of the forms providing double damage dice when needed to upgrade. This way you can play wild shaper from 4 to 20 instead of 4 - 16. Also I would love to have a Pest form have an actual combat option rather than Wild Claws but I can live with the idea that Paizo has that shapeshifter character always start small with just their hands.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Seattle aka Taenia

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Hey Trentin,

My name is Louis Manko Levite and I am the local Venture Captain for the area. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you out. The best place to start is to log over to NWPFS.org and sign up, emailing the webmaster to get online. We try to coordinate all our local games there and would love to get your store up and running. If you need scenarios or pregens please let me know. I will try to make it down there when i can to see how things are going.

Louis

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Seattle aka Taenia

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I have completed all of my reporting. I had Sunday and Monday to report so those tables should all be recorded. I had 2 scenarios that would not report so i will talk to Tonya about getting those in.

Louis

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Seattle aka Taenia

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i have not yet had time to enter the sheets I had from Paizocon. I will be doing so in the next two days. My apologies for the late reporting.

Grand Lodge

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I am playing a PFS Conjurer stealth specialist. In addition to SF Conj, Aug Summon, Versatile Summon (aerial and aquatic) and Acadame Grad I grabbed Skill Focus Stealth and Dampen Presence.

Run around with Ovetland Flight, Nondetection, Negate Aroma (wand), and constant Invis from ring. Drop Simmons and bluffs and no one will know where you are.

Grand Lodge

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For paladin Fey Foundling is a great feat. Combine with shield other and heal while buffing or tanking

Grand Lodge

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I think you are right. Good

Grand Lodge

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Question, not sure if this would work. Water kineticist, kinetic healer, draining infusion, spark of Life. Summon elemental, drain it, use burn to heal. Rinse, repeat.

Grand Lodge

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Kitsune Unchained Scaled Monk 1, Oath of Vengeance Paladin 4. High Dex/Char, Fox Shape, turn into a Tiny Fox and attack.

Needs a Ring of Eloquence and Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists.

Feats Weapon Finesse, Piranha Strike Fox Shape

Get Cha to AC, CMD and Saves.

Use unarmed strike as a fox with flurry, at 6th you get an iterative.

Accuracy isn't a problem with the +4 dex and tiny size of the fox shape.

Smiting adds your Cha to AC again. (Grab Ossyluth's Guile and fight defensively to add Cha to AC a third time)

Make sure your first level spells are Hero's Defiance, otherwise you can't use your lay on hands in Fox Shape. Further spells should be verbal only. Or heals/buffs for when you turn back to your normal form.

At level 5 paladin pick Divine Bond so you can enhance your unarmed strike.

Grab UMD and possibly a trait to use wands of mage armor to boost your AC.

Remember that you will be a great climber/swimmer as you use Dex instead of Str at Tiny size, you also use Dex for combat maneuvers if you want to grapple something.

Grand Lodge

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I have had no complaints yet on my Aether/Aether in PFS and he is almost 10th. In fact, with the exception of GMs rolling really well on saves, he has always had something to do and I have not missed the extra options.

Keep in mind that going Aether/Anything really doesn't change the composite problem. You might ended up getting an energy blast, but I find that so far has not been something I missed. I did consider Aether/Earth but that was for the stacking defense, Flesh of Stone plus Force Ward work very well together and make spectre, wraith and vampires completely non-threatening.

Still, getting to use Foe Throw in Bonekeep 2 was incredibly useful. It turns out if you throw a caster at his minions, most defensive buffs won't come into play, plus having a caster prone in front of your barbarian can really shorten a fight.

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