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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 4,461 posts (4,463 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character. 4 aliases.


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Okay. If I were to create a House Rule, it would be to further beef up Ancestries and then develop some home-made Ancestries to replace the lost stuff. Seriously, Elves and Dwarves and the like should not have to "buy" their way into being their racial types. And no, the new Ancestry Heritages for all races does NOT fix this problem.

BTW, one of my players was busy making a level 9 Elvish Rogue for the next part of the Playtest and she was giggling over her super-fast Elf who with Mobility can move 20 feet to get behind enemies and Flank them, or for that matter CRAWL 20 feet away from an enemy. We joked about that poor elf's mother trying to chase down her infant. ^_^


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I've been running the Playtest for two groups, one a monthly Skype-based gaming group that had finished Runelords a couple months before the Playtest came out, and the second a new Tabletop group that just started the game yesterday. Fortunately, I've learned some mistakes from the initial Playtest and went into the Tabletop playtest assuming that rules are likely changed from the first to second editions. While this slowed things down, I found I was justified in this and learned a few things that Paizo likely intended to be learned.

Due to character generation, the game actually got started a bit late, which is why we only finished the initial encounter. Fortunately, I did have the Hero Labs Online Demo which is quite helpful for character generation. This allowed us to develop classes and characters that were fully legal. One player is in both the Skype and tabletop group, and did some decision-making for the Cleric but wasn't there for all of the Skype game so I did some choices as well.

Group dynamics and initial thoughts on the two Playtests:
The Skype group consisted of the following:
Human shield-and-sword Fighter, Goblin draconic Sorcerer, Halfling wild Druid, and a semi-NPC Human healer-focus Cleric.

The Tabletop group consisted of the following:
Half-orc animal-totem Barbarian, Half-elf tiger-stance Monk, Halfling animal-focus Druid, and NPC Halfling Feint Rogue.

I will admit I made multiple mistakes with the initial Skype-based playthrough. I was still on a Pathfinder 1 mindset and thus I was making assumptions about the rules. I also suffered a bit of frustration with certain aspects because it didn't fit that old mindset... and I have to wonder if this type of mindset might have influenced some of the Playtest groups that have had problems with the new edition.

(To be honest, I came over from DND 3.5 as many did, and thus I've over the years made multiple errors as rules from DND 3.5 did at times change but I assumed they remained the same. This is part of the reason why with the Tabletop Playtest I'm being far more cautious.)

One interesting way that the two groups differed was the first encounter. My suspicion is that this first monster was placed there to showcase the Critical Rules seeing it had a low armor class. I'm not sure if I actually forgot about the Critical Hits (I suspect I did) or if it was just the Cantrip selection of the Skype group... but with one Fighter and three Casters, pretty much most of the fight was using save-based spells like Electric Arc rather than things that actually gave critical hits. Also, the monster managed to take out the Sorcerer first-thing because of poor character placement and only a Hero Point kept the Sorcerer from dying (something that actually happened to the Sorcerer on either two or three occasions, pretty much once each game session).

The Tabletop group differed in a couple of ways. First, there is only one Caster, the Druid, and she is designed as more of a support character - also, she chose Ray of Frost for an offensive spell which meant she needs to roll to hit... and did crit the critter). Second, the Rogue was specifically designed to be a support character and thus I not only kept the 8 in Strength but also went for Feints rather than Finesse, meaning on her critical hit with a rapier, she did one point of damage. Still, the combat lasted only one round this time as when the Barbarian closed to attack, he critted twice and took a critter that was at half hit points and the first attack actually killed it... I suspect if the rolls had been different, the Barbarian (who wasn't even raging at the time) would have killed that encounter.

I took time to look up rules rather than assume things. Thus we learned little tidbits that a 1st edition Pathfinder group might have assumed - you don't have a -4 to hit for firing into combat but instead take a penalty if someone is directly between you and your target. Likewise, you don't add half again of your Strength modifier for using two-handed weapons. This was actually significant as if I'd just assumed, it would have left the game unbalanced.

Looking back at the encounter I have to wonder how the Playtest would work for a group that had never played Pathfinder or DND 3.5 before. If you go into the game with no preconceptions, the game may very well play differently.

The next part of the Tabletop Playtest will take place in a week and a half, at which point we'll likely get close to the end of the first adventure. At that point, the tabletop and Skype groups are going to diverge - with the Skype group I'm focusing on just the adventures using the same PCs (for 1st, 9th, and 17th level) as we meet Monthly and thus have a shot at maybe finishing the Playtest (though to be honest, they MIGHT finish the 9th level part but I doubt we'll finish the final part). The Tabletop group though will move to the 4th level adventure with different characters and we'll see how things play through. And as we learn the rules more, the game should hopefully play faster.


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I went over a month without the Playtest rules in print form. It was a nuisance and I hated every moment of it. When I found the Playtest in Barnes and Noble, I instantly picked it up. When I found a softcover version I picked THAT up as well so the players can have a copy and I can have a copy. That the rules were not up to date when I bought them doesn't matter because MOST of the rules are still valid.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
Hell, I like a number of the systems in here. For instance, weapon damage slowly going up as martial classes advance in levels,
Is that not tied to magic weapons?

Power Attack increases in the number of weapon dice as you reach higher levels. There may be other abilities as well that do similar.

That said, Wizards and Sorcerers don't have the equivalent of a Magic Weapon for their Cantrips from what I remember - they level up on their own but even then remain on par with the magic weapons. Admittedly, Produce Flame only does 4d6 + ability modifier upon reaching 17th level, while a +5 short sword would be doing 6d6+ ability modifier... but the cantrip costs a lot less. ;)


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On a semi-related note, I think that Half-Elves should not be allowed to take certain Ancestry Feats - for instance when a player was creating a half-elf last night I stated outright "no taking Ancestral Longevity" (and for that matter probably not "Ageless Patience") seeing half-elves are often only 16-20 years old while elves can easily start at 100 years of age.


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I actually wanted to use the Revised Action Economy system from Pathfinder Unchained. I couldn't figure it out. The problem is that it was a bandaid being patched into the existing AE system and thus got convoluted and difficult to use.

The new system is integrated into the very foundation of Pathfinder 2. It works and it works quite well. It works far better than the old system with its Swift/Immediate Actions, Standard Actions, Attack Actions, Full Actions (which don't include Swift), and so forth.

Hell, I like a number of the systems in here. For instance, weapon damage slowly going up as martial classes advance in levels, the elimination of spells for Rangers and Paladins, the end of 2/3rd casters, and fuller integration of Multiclassing into the existing system (essentially a better version of the alternative Multiclass system offered in Unchained). And it even allows for more variability in the classes even if some of you claim otherwise.

Yes, I mean what I said. You are used to multiple Archetypes. But if you look at the Core Rules, you have a Cleric. They cast spells and channel energy. Their abilities are static, unchanging. You have more variability with the Rogue but they're weaker than other classes. The Fighter has a lot of Feats but Martials are weaker so it doesn't help that much.

Even the Archetypes limit you. They take away Class Abilities but replace them with set ones. Look at the Druid Class or the Bard Class for the Playtest compared to the Archetypes for these classes... you can build a Maestro Bard and yet branch into other lines, or you can build a Storm Druid who still has an animal companion. Equivalent Archetypes just set you on another Fixed Path.

Now that's not to say things are perfect. That's what Playtests are for. For instance, I know why the current Ancestry system is so... idiotic. Paizo wants to sell Ancestry Books - the Halfling Book and the Elf Book and on down the line. These books will have dozens of Ancestry Feats and allow far more abilities in the future... but as a result Paizo nerfed all the Ancestries so that you have to "build" up to being an Elf or a Dwarf or so on.

(Let's face it. Most of us will ignore Paizo's Ancestry rules and probably give everyone three Ancestry Feats to start so that you can start out as an Elf or Halfling like in the old Pathfinder and then add new abilities from there. The existing system has the significant odor of "future money grab" written all over it, similar to how Games Workshop put out splat books for each individual Space Marine Chapter with their last couple of incarnations of 40K.)

What I am interested in is this: how will Pathfinder 2 play out with higher levels? Because that's where it actually matters. Pathfinder 1 falls apart with increasing frequency the further past level 12 you reach... which really makes the existing Adventure Path system a system of frustration because it ceases being a challenge for the majority of groups. The later part of the Playtest is where the game will really shine or sink. If high-level play ends up falling apart like high-level Pathfinder 1 falls apart... then I honestly believe Paizo should delay publication until they can get it to work. But seeing the Action Economy doesn't turn into a massive time-sink Cuisinart of attacks and spellcasting, I suspect it won't be that problematic. Hopefully.


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Actually, why not do this?

Wands have only one Charge a day. However, you can use Spell Slots to charge the Wand instead, so long as your Spell Slot is of the same level or higher, to use the Wand. Wands now become an expensive version of Scroll that expand on the spell options that a limited number of spell slots kind of killed off. You might also consider limiting the number of Wands a caster can possess to half their level (for a nice quick number to remember).

Staffs, on the other hand, have multiple Charges. They should regain one Charge per Day but can be topped off by burning a Spell Slot.

Focus Points can be used as a last-chance affair by anyone. They are based off of Charisma and are the foundation behind Spell Points (which will be renamed Focus Points). Spell/Focus Points will increase as before and also get an initial boost by the number of Focus Points needed to activate a power.

Anyone with Trick Magic Item can use a Charged Item and use their own Focus in place of Spell Slots. Thus Martial Classes without spellcasting ability could try to trick that Wand into working for them and then cast it off of their force of personality... but can only do that a couple of times.

Now Charisma is an ability that is both useful but can also be a Dump Stat for anyone who has no desire to try and use charged magic items and has no skills that require Focus. While it makes most Casters slightly MAD, this was already the case with Clerics so basically only Bards and Sorcerers end up ahead in terms of Focus and they already have spell slots for use with Wands.


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Actually, I have to wonder about that.

Why not have Focus Points be used to enhance Class Abilities?

For instance, a Fighter could use a Focus Point to double the damage of their attack. A Wizard could use it to double the damage of a spell. A Cleric could use it to double the effect of a Heal. A Rogue could use it to add +10 to a Skill Roll. And on down the line. It goes from a Magic Enhancer to an Ability Enhancer that utilizes the character's Strength of Personality (ie, Charisma) to increase their effectiveness.

I'm not sure if it should have a generic use, or a specific one for each Class though. Because you then have the question of "why can't a Cleric boost their melee damage?" or "why can't that Fighter use it to boost being silent while sneaking past that guard?"

So you might have maybe three possible uses for Focus: Enhance a Spell, Enhance an Attack, or Enhance a Skill. Spellcasters can do the first, combat-types can do the second, and skill-based characters the third.


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Tezmick wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
Gallyck wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
So while I protested initially over the "nerfing" of casters... it's much ado about not-so-much. Casters STILL have a huge selection of spells. Their lower level spells remain valid in combat, especially as weakened higher level foes will, after being softened up, be vulnerable to these lower level spells. And Cantrips will allow Casters to provide significantly greater support than a crossbow or the like, as do Wands and Staves.
SO now casters just wait until the enemies are really weak and then have them make the save anyway? Spellcasting in this edition is stupid. Just get a sword cast your 1 minute buffs and hit stuff with a sword.

You assume they'd make their save. You assume they GET a save. And there are plenty of spells that influence your party instead and enhance their own abilities... increasing the chance of criticals and the like.

Here is the fun thing. A level one Fear spell cast at 1st level has a greater chance of having someone make their save than cast at 20th level... because a 20th level caster has Legendary spell casting and a higher primary statistic and other Class Feats that may very well enhance the spell further. That Fear spell IS STILL USEFUL at higher level. Back with 1st edition Pathfinder, low level spell slots are useless unless you are using them for buffs or effects that allow no saves at all.

The vast majority of playgroups never get past level 12, or at least that’s the case in 1E so saying it gets better at high levels is a pretty poor argument, especially when your spell proficiency doesn’t go up till 15th level, if you think casters being garbage until right at the end of a campaign is ‘balanced and fun’ then I can’t agree with that, either spells need to be overhauled or monster saves need to be knocked down a peg because right now if you roll a caster that isn’t a Cleric you did your party a disservice, honestly 1E was high fantasy the playtest is not, one of their goals was...

It took five years of monthly games, but my Runelords campaign reached the end. The higher level fights took hours to complete and I'm an experienced GM. I ended up using a lot of tools like Hero Labs to help expedite things. Even so, it was problematic.

We're not the only group to reach the end of an AP. In fact, you said "the vast majority of playgroups never get past level 12" - well, why is that? Because once you reached level 12 in Pathfinder 1 the game either became a cakewalk or a TPK because the GM overcompensated in trying to give you a decent fight. I did a lot of fudging to keep the game fun. I would beef up hit points sometimes. I would ignore bad die rolls sometimes. My goal, and it was a goal I succeeded in, was to make the game enjoyable for my players who might be stressed out because of real life problems.

If they wanted a cakewalk or a uber-hard experience they could play a computer game and set the difficulty to whatever they wanted. They weren't playing the AP because they wanted a by-the-book no-holds-barred adventure. They wanted to have fun. And this is why we were able to finish the campaign.

If Pathfinder 2 is able to fix the rocket tag problem and keep characters so that each retains their ability to be useful and have an impact on the campaign (rather than having everyone play a Wizard or Cleric because High Level Casters Ruled) then that is a good thing.

BTW, you don't quite realize what Low Fantasy is. Low Fantasy is very few magic items which tend to be quite potent, very few Casters, and death being commonplace. Lord of the Rings is a Low Fantasy Setting, when you get down to it. Pathfinder 2 is very much High Fantasy even if they have some constraints in place.


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And that's a good thing. Seriously, limiting potions to specific spells was not a smart idea. It was a holdover from D&D 3.0... which was put in place for Magic Item Creation Expedition. And sure, it meant GMs could easily determine what could or could not be made into a potion or wand... but it also destroyed the magic behind potions and other magic items. It was pure mechanics. Especially as Potions were basically worthless when compared to Wands - you wouldn't want to make them if you could create a Wand because the latter can be used 50 times and cost less per use. Worse, it limited what could or could not become a potion.

Even Paizo felt constrained by this. This is why you saw so many Elixirs starting to crop up as they weren't potions and not constrained by those rules. So having newer Potions be their own things instead of a Spell In A Bottle is definitely a plus in my eyes.


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Gallyck wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
So while I protested initially over the "nerfing" of casters... it's much ado about not-so-much. Casters STILL have a huge selection of spells. Their lower level spells remain valid in combat, especially as weakened higher level foes will, after being softened up, be vulnerable to these lower level spells. And Cantrips will allow Casters to provide significantly greater support than a crossbow or the like, as do Wands and Staves.
SO now casters just wait until the enemies are really weak and then have them make the save anyway? Spellcasting in this edition is stupid. Just get a sword cast your 1 minute buffs and hit stuff with a sword.

You assume they'd make their save. You assume they GET a save. And there are plenty of spells that influence your party instead and enhance their own abilities... increasing the chance of criticals and the like.

Here is the fun thing. A level one Fear spell cast at 1st level has a greater chance of having someone make their save than cast at 20th level... because a 20th level caster has Legendary spell casting and a higher primary statistic and other Class Feats that may very well enhance the spell further. That Fear spell IS STILL USEFUL at higher level. Back with 1st edition Pathfinder, low level spell slots are useless unless you are using them for buffs or effects that allow no saves at all.


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I've actually enjoyed several elements of the Playtest. For instance, the system of Three Actions and One Reaction is a fantastic system. Allowing anyone, from 1st level to 20th, to get three attacks in one round is interesting and in my opinion works well. Heck, during the Playtest I had monsters choose to attack for all three Actions and manage to hit with the final attack, or even hit all three times.

One of the problems I've had with Pathfinder is its similarity to 3.5 and 3.0 D&D. You see, I knew the 3.5 rules quite well. So I assumed certain rules and got things wrong because Pathfinder changed it for specific reasons. Pathfinder 2 is in many ways a different gaming system. This forces us to learn new rules... and not just "assume" things because "well, it's just D&D 3.75"

Pathfinder 2 is Pathfinder. It's not D&D. And I'm enjoying how it's turning out. Are there problems? Yes. But you know something? That's what the Playtest is about - finding the problems and trying to work around them (hopefully). :)


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shroudb wrote:

Yeah... only 5 free extra max level spells.

Poor clerics, such injustice.

/sarcasm off

Look at the old Cleric. Channel Positive Energy was 1d6 for every two levels and had a constant area-of-effect. You could use it to heal people/undead or harm undead/people three times plus your Charisma modifier. This was ON TOP OF being able to turn any Cleric Spell into a Cure Wounds spell. A 1st level Cleric could do three Cure Light Wounds spells a day along with between two and seven extra Channel Energy averaging 3.5 hit points PER PERSON - thus for a group of six wounded people, a Cleric could be healing between 6 and 36 hit points at 1st level... and could do this multiple times. Assuming a group of four Heroes, the average healing for a non-Healing specialist could do an average of 100 hit points of healing. 84 of that would be divided among the four characters, with the last divided among three characters.

The new level 1 Cleric could, with a Human Cleric who chooses the Healing Domain, a 16 Charisma, and a Class Feat for extra healing, end up healing one person for 2d8+4 using a Spell Point and several Actions. If they went pure Healbot they could manage 8 Heal spells, and four of them would be for 2d8+4 while the rest would just be 2d8... or 4 hit points if they went for an Area Effect heal. If they went pure AoE healing for a party of 4, they only would heal 32 hit points divided evenly among the four. If they tried to maximize healing, they'd average 88 hit points, divided evenly among all four.

Do note, this is someone who went with a Human that took an Ancestry Feat to get an extra Class Feat at 1st level. If it is a generic Cleric with any other Domain and who didn't specialize in Healing (but still had a 16 Charisma and memorized two Heal spells in addition), it drops down to 36 hit points divided evenly among the four - unless they did an AoE Heal at which point they only heal 32 hit points. The magical healing of a Cleric was reduced to one third for someone who doesn't specialize in Healing.

Oh, and Heal Wands have been nerfed because of Resonance and the like. So you can't even compensate for this with a Heal Wand. Potions also now use Resonance to activate so that 1st level party may very well have someone with only one Resonance point (unless they're playing a Dwarf) for use with Potions.

So you say "poor Cleric, only having 'five' extra spells" - guess what. It is a bigger deal than you're making it out to be. And sure, at high level those Heals can be doing 10d8+7 for an AoE Heal... but the old Dwarf Cleric could be pumping out five 10d6 AoE Channel Positive Energy while also being able to turn probably six 1st level spells into 1d8+5 CLW spells, six 2nd level spells into 2d8+10 CMW spells, five 3rd level spells into 3d8+15 CSW spells, and five 4th level spells into 4d8+20 CCW spells... and also area-of-effect CLW, CMW, CSW, and CCW spells that can be spontaneously cast, while also having Heal spells and area-of-effect Heal spells as well. Nor are those REQUIRED to be Cure Spells - they can be anything the player wants and then changed into Cure spells when needed.

The old Cleric was extremely potent in terms of healing. The new Cleric? Not so much. And when you add in a Dwarf who has a low Charisma, they are hurt even further (no wonder the Dwarven race is dying off....)


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Given that they have linked the ability of Clerics to heal to Charisma, I'd say there needs to be a Cleric option where you don't get Channel Energy/Heal and instead get some other ability that doesn't use Charisma at all. That way low-Charisma Clerics can shine. Currently they're a semi-MAD class... and if you want to have a Cleric that heals, you need a Charisma of 16 starting off in order to have sufficient healing abilities to last.

Adding Focus to this with Focus powering Domain abilities and everything else will now kill the concept of the Dwarven Cleric. Seriously, why play a Dwarven Cleric when you are forced to have a 14 Charisma to start, and only 2 Focus Points for Domain abilities, along with only 5 Heal spells? Even once a Dwarven Cleric reaches level 20, they are still down by one Focus point compared to other races... and need to pump up Charisma every single level while other races honestly have no need to increase important stats past level 15 (seeing the 20th level increase would result in an odd value).

------------

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. You need to de-link Class Powers from Focus... or allow Class Feats that increase the number of Powers to increase Focus. Further, Focus needs to be based off of the primary Stat - Wisdom for Clerics and Druids, Intelligence for Alchemists and Wizards, Charisma for Bards and Sorcerers. I'm not quite sure what you'd do for Rangers, Paladins, and Monks (and don't quite recall if Rogues have anything that requires Focus), but seeing Rangers and Monks have a history of requiring a good Wisdom, and Paladins a high Charisma, those would likely be the best stats for these classes even with them being non-primary stats.

In fact, I might suggest eliminating Hero Points for use of preventing death, and instead using Focus Points for this purpose. Consider it sheer force of will to keep from dying. Hero Points can resume their old purpose of improving die rolls and adding Actions if they are used at all.


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To be honest, I used to believe the number of spells lost was significant. But after looking into things, I realized the spell chart is in fact deceptive and hides the fact that Wizards and Sorcerers in fact have 25% more spells (approximately).

For instance, let's take the Sorcerer. You look at the spell chart and it says "two 1st level spells" but that hides the fact all Sorcerers in fact gain a bonus 1st level spell because of their Bloodline and this doesn't change because all Sorcerers get that bonus spell. So the spell selection chart is more 3/4 for each level.

Specialist Wizards actually get the most spells. They start out with two 1st level spells, a specialist school spell, and a floating spell from the Focus that ALL WIZARDS GET. Universalist Wizards get the same number of spells... but are at -1 spell overall compared to the Specialist Wizard. And as has been pointed out elsewhere, these spells scale upward so that a Wizard of 20th level can have a 1st level spell have the same chance at dealing damage as the 1st level spell against an equivalent foe. (In fact, it might be a slightly better chance seeing they would be Legendary in Spell Skill.)

The primary thing that happened was that casters lost their bonus spells for their primary attribute. Yet if you look at Classic AD&D, the only class that had bonus spells was the Cleric and Druid for their Wisdom stat. Wizards now have essentially the same number of spells that they did in the old days. And when you look at the Class Feats, you can increase the number of spells memorized further - Familiars can now allow a bonus spell and Wizards can even create a temporary Wand with 3 charges to cast any one spell they have... meaning they can on a daily basis have a Wand pumping out more spells. There are also two Focus enhancing abilities that also give Wizards a couple more lower level spells - spells which may deal less damage but still have the same chance to affect foes as higher level spells.

Clerics essentially gain 2+ Heal spells each day in addition to any spells they memorize. If someone chooses to maximize Charisma and isn't playing a Dwarf, then it's likely they have 5 Heal spells a day, and these are effectively the highest level spell that can be cast... meaning if the Cleric is level 17 with a maximized Charisma, they're casting ten 9th level spells (eight of which are Heal).

Druids that take a Leshy Familiar will also gain the capacity of casting a bonus spell of two levels lower... meaning they've not been left out of the festivities either, though essentially it's only one spell compared to the other classes.

This also ignores one other detail: Cantrips and Orisons remain useful for the life of the caster. They put out a damage equivalent similar to melee weapons and can be cast constantly. They also scale in difficulty in saving against or in the chance of a critical if they require a to-hit roll.

So while I protested initially over the "nerfing" of casters... it's much ado about not-so-much. Casters STILL have a huge selection of spells. Their lower level spells remain valid in combat, especially as weakened higher level foes will, after being softened up, be vulnerable to these lower level spells. And Cantrips will allow Casters to provide significantly greater support than a crossbow or the like, as do Wands and Staves.


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Joe M. wrote:
I kind of like FP as a cool hero point style thing of the heroic Moment. High cost, high benefit. But class powers are so deeply built into the structure of many PF classes, that seems to push toward low cost/low benefit structure, so it's weird to combine these in one pool. And then using FP as a gate or throttle on magic items that give pretty darn weak effects is an awkward high cost/low benefit (granted, situationally might be key).

This is a spot-on observation here. The problem with using Focus Points to run Class abilities is that class abilities aren't worth it. Why would a Sorcerer want to grow claws if their ability could be better used to enhance a wand or stave? Why would a Cleric want to boost a Heal spell by 2 hit points per die when they could instead use a Staff of Healing for improved effect? And this basically makes all classes but Bard and Sorcerer into MAD classes that need a high Charisma in order to use these abilities... and zero incentive to buy Class Feats that originally gave extra Spell Points because why buy an improved ability if you are only able to use it once or twice a day because you have 2 or 3 Focus Points maximum?


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You know who's going to truly benefit from the new rules for Staves and Wands? Dual-class characters who add a spellcasting class as their secondary class.

Look. Just make things simpler. Let Wands have 20 charges each but only can utilize one or two charges a day. And let Staves have the limited number of charges but be more able to utilize those abilities... and then Focus can be used to Heighten those two items by one level per Focus Point.

Also, it's far better to just have more expensive Wands and Staves than go through hoops in order to use them. GMs can lessen the expense of Wands by just having the Wands found have only a couple charges left... meaning players are going to use them as items of last resort.

Finally, you could just eliminate Charisma entirely. I mean, Elder Scrolls Oblivion went from what, eight stats to three in Skyrim. Lessening the number of stats isn't a bad thing... and it would mean folk wouldn't use it as a Dump Stat.

(Also, eliminating Spell Points for Focus Points but not providing a mechanism by which classes that USE Spell Points can increase them is just penalizing those classes. What are you going to do to un-nerf the classes that use Spell Points, give them an extra spell or two?)


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Concerning the nails and legendary blacksmiths...

You'd not make a skill check for every. individual. nail. You would make them for a group of nails. And given that I've had screws, which are manufactured using automation so humans don't actually get involved at all and the chance of error should be 0%, actually end up being broken or otherwise defective... yes. Even a legendary blacksmith should occasionally screw up on making a nail. You could consider it as "I'm so good at this task that I'm not paying any attention at all and let an error slip in as a result."


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Except a Legendary Blacksmith has a 5% chance of failure, not 30%. Even if that Blacksmith had a 10 Strength, the mere fact they are Legendary provides them with a +3 to their Skill... and even if they were only a level 10 Expert or whatever the NPC class would be, that still would give them a +13 to their roll while aiming for a DC of 12. A 1 auto-fails... but no doubt as a Legendary Blacksmith they have one of those Skill Feats that would make a Critical Failure into a mere Failure, meaning that they'd realize that horseshoe had some flaw in the metal or the like and was better reforged or used as scrap.

Also, even the best blacksmiths occasionally screw up. The best scholars make mistakes. It is part of being human. Hell, even the Gods will make mistakes according to myths and stories. So having a 0% chance of failure is unrealistic even in a setting of myth and legend.


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Getting back to Heritages...

I'm thinking non-standard Heritages should be expanded slightly in power and in penalties. For instance, a Cavern Elf should gain two Advantages and one Disadvantage - Darkvision and Feather Step in underground environments, but also Sensitive to Light.

This would allow for Core Heritages to have an advantage over non-standard Heritages in that they don't have that Disadvantage... even if they lack in one of the bonus Advantages the other Heritages have. (Or you could build each Heritage to have two Advantages and one Disadvantage.)

Next: All Small-sized Races should have a Base Speed of 20. Allow them to have Heritages allowing them to be faster if need be, but the baseline Speed should be 20. This is one thing the original Pathfinder did well, as did DND 3.0 and AD&D for that matter - smaller-sized races were slower than medium-sized races... but also did have a small advantage in armor class to compensate for that speed.

Finally: Humans need real Heritages, not Feats that you handwave into so-called Heritages. Seriously, you could have gone with Arctic Humans and Desert-dwelling Humans if you were having difficulties... and not even gone with Cold Resistance or the like but instead just had them able to Step in Snow of up to 2 feet without a penalty or the like, or better able to handle hot temperatures without heat resistance. Currently, the Human Heritages are just completely lackluster and uninteresting.

There are multiple regional human groups that could have been a baseline for Heritages. Now, I can understand not using them as you didn't want to completely railroad people into Golarion if they so choose not to use it for a campaign setting... but the two "new" Heritages are... showing a lack of imagination and thought.

Again, going with Heritages having two benefits and one disadvantage would work quite well. It would make Heritages into something decent and worthwhile.

More, there is a long history of "Racial Feats" in Pathfinder that you could have used as a baseline for Ancestry Feats rather than having people "build up" their racial background. Elves don't become "more elfy" just because they gain levels. Having to buy into traditional abilities "just because" is just uninteresting, and something numerous people have complained about.

It's not even necessary as those Racial Feats from 1st Edition Pathfinder and the Advanced Race Guide give plenty of Feats that could have been used to differentiate and build upon the Ancestry Feats. You didn't even need use ALL of them, seeing I'm fairly certain you'll be saving some of this for your future 2nd Edition Pathfinder Ancestry Books for people to further differentiate their Ancestries.


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There are folk who said D&D 3.0 changed the feel of the game. One of the reasons it was as successful as it was is that it addressed shortcomings of the old game.

So we have to consider: Does Pathfinder 2 address shortcomings of Pathfinder and DND 3.5? In some ways it does. For instance, having three actions and a reaction provides a means of lessening confusion over the Move Action, Standard Action, Full Action, Swift/Immediate Action, and Free Actions of D&D 3.0.

It also seems to be trying to address the disparity between martial classes and spellcasters while simultaneously providing low-level casters with abilities that extend their own usefulness... and also lessens the squishiness of Level 1 characters (seriously, I usually start my games at level 2 to avoid that squishiness and give players some added versatility).

There are areas where it fell flat. For instance, Resonance doesn't work well and Paizo knows this and is trying to find another method. But what I've seen I've actually enjoyed.

Oh, there is one added benefit of a more significant rule change - it requires people to learn the rules rather than assume things are the same as the old rules. For instance, I was a long-time 3.5 GM. When I shifted to Pathfinder I kept using rules and spell descriptions I assumed hadn't changed... and only when players pointed out I was doing something wrong did I double-check and realize things had changed from 3.5.

So. Will this still "feel" like Pathfinder? There are some fundamental aspects to Pathfinder 2 that are akin to Pathfinder 1 and DND 3.0 - for instance, the stat system and existing class concepts. In other ways it is changing... but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Besides. It's a playtest and both Paizo and we playtesters are still getting a feel for things... and things are changing. Paizo is listening to us.


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Well, when you get down to it... Pathfinder was in fact just an evolution of DND 3.5 (I often hear it called DND 3.75). Given how many people play in the World of Golarion... Pathfinder isn't just a gaming system. It's a world setting. And I've actually enjoyed what we've seen to date with the game and also see future potential for it.

Essentially, Pathfinder 2 is returning to a foundation that allows future products similar to the Complete Handbooks found in 2nd Edition AD&D.

Also, let's consider AD&D and its transition to DND 3.0 - this was a huge transition. We had point-builds. We had a base stat of 12 being a +1 to rolls and the like, compared to AD&D where a 12 was worth nothing except for maybe Charisma, and Strength no longer having percentages for an 18 for Fighters and their sub-classes. We had skills now! Anyone could do Rogue abilities! It was a HUGE change.

And yet people continued to play and they enjoyed the new system. I did. My friends did. We didn't see a problem with it. Hell, D&D 4.0 was a huge change from 3.0, enough so that a number of us refused to play it... and D&D 5.0 was another huge leap that utilized elements from Pathfinder and the d20 system while being something unique in and of itself.

So seriously, how does Pathfinder rewriting the rules and moving away from d20 alter the very nature and history of evolution of Dungeons and Dragons as a whole?


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Okay, I've a question and a thought.

My question: Is using the modified rules for early chapters of the Playtest going to be useful? The reason I ask is I'm in the process of setting up a new tabletop group. My Skype group meets every three-to-four weeks so we've not yet finished the first Chapter anyway (what I'm going to do with them is after finishing Chapter 1, skip to the next chapter with the OP when they're level 9). And I've already incorporated some changes in that group (such as skill changes).

And now for the thought:

Ancestry Feats as existing are a bland and uninteresting system where players have to buy into abilities they would get initially for choosing a Race in Pathfinder 1. You have lost out on some fantastic potential here.

What I would recommend doing is creating a baseline for each Ancestry and allow them to have their Core Heritage abilities - at least insofar that they are balanced with each other. Ancestry Feats would then be used to expand upon racial abilities and make them more potent or even allow other abilities that you dream up of.

Consider for a moment 1st Edition Pathfinder Racial Feats - you have a Halfling and can then choose a Feat at any point for one of a half dozen feats expanding on the essence of being a Halfling. The same works for Half-Orcs and other races - these Racial Feats are what could have been the core of what Ancestry Feats were. Instead, we're forced to "buy into" racial abilities that were core abilities originally... and doesn't allow for anything "fun" like with those 1st Edition Racial Feats.

So what I'd do is revamp the Ancestries. Allow each Ancestry to have a core set of abilities that makes them more powerful.. and then have the Ancestry Feats be things to expand on those core abilities. You already have the foundation for this existing in the original Pathfinder rules, so it wouldn't even be that much extra effort to implement. And no doubt if you keep Ancestry the way it is, someone is going to create an alternative system doing something very much like this, but it'll end up being unbalanced.

Also, you could allow for Human Regional Ancestry Feats - Varisians could have a couple different abilities compared to the Keleshites which differ from Kellids who differ from Shoanti and so forth. You could even just do an initial system giving just two Regional Ancestry Feats and expand further on this when you do the inevitable Ancestry Books expanding on the rules (as I can see the current rules allow for such things as the Complete Bards Handbook, Complete Fighters Handbook, Complete Elves Handbook, and so forth similar to 2nd edition AD&D). This would expand on Human Ancestry abilities and not leave humans out in the cold.


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One of the big problems with Resonance is how you started having it act as an additional charge for Staffs and Wands - basically causing double the record keeping. Here is a suggestion for an alternative.

First: Resonance doesn't impact charges at all. Charges are their own thing and you never need use Resonance to use a Wand or Staff that has been Invested.

Second: The number of Resonance you need to Invest a Staff is equal to the number of Spells the Staff can cast. You can have more than one Staff Invested, but each additional Staff requires +2 Resonance. Staffs have the same number of Charges as previously in the rules and will recharge as per previous rules.

The number of Resonance you need to Invest a Wand starts at 1. For each additional Wand, that number doubles; investing in three Wands would cost 7 Resonance, investing in four Wands would cost 15 Resonance, etc. Wands have a flat 15 Charges and do not recharge. Once a Wand runs out of Charges, it chars and becomes worthless.

-----------

The end result is that you can have someone with a couple of Staffs and Wands, but this significantly reduces the amount of Resonance they have for other things. Basically you'll have high-level Wizards or Clerics with multiple wands or staves, but even then it won't be nearly to the same level as in the first Pathfinder where you could be running around with a dozen Wands, most of which never get used, and three staffs, one of which the player forgot they even own.


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My tabletop gaming group is a married couple. It's been over a year since our last tabletop game. Because stuff always comes up. Mind you, I've a new flatmate and he's interested in gaming (and last night joined my Skype group to help out with the NPC Cleric, seeing our fourth player has not showed up for three games now and I've not heard from her at all in a couple of months) and he's even making friends around here (he moved up from Florida) so I might actually get a local tabletop group together again. Which would be nice, to be honest.

So smaller groups can still have scheduling conflicts. Even when two of the people live together you can still have scheduling conflicts. It's annoying, let me tell you. Ah well...


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A couple notes.

First, I like the suggestion on Trinkets being Bolstered. Thus you get to use the first Trinket for free. Additional uses of that type of Trinket costs Resonance. This makes them more viable and likely to be used - and let's be honest, you're talking one-shot items. Very few of my players in Pathfinder 1 used one-shot items because once they use the item they are gone - my Rise of the Runelords campaign had players with Cure Light Wounds potions that they had acquired in the first Book but still had in Book Four. They had the Cleric's Channel Positive Energy used to heal everyone instead. Single-use items are things resource-conscious people won't use except in a Boss Fight, and adding Resonance to the mix makes them even less likely to use them.

Second. The Medicine skill should be better able to help patch up characters after combat. Non-magical healing, even if it doesn't patch up all wounds, should be a way for players to get around the need for a Cleric.

You might also consider having the Medicine skill able to work concurrently with magical healing - if someone binds wounds and then casts a Heal spell on them, have the Heal spell between 25% and 50% more effective (Critical Failure would negate the Heal spell or cause damage, Failure would be no benefit, Success would be 25% more healing, and Critical Success is 50% more healing).

This should also take time - and time becomes a resource because enemy reinforcements could interrupt healing efforts or the like, so the players might want to retreat to heal up or find ways of barricading themselves in the room while they heal up... or forego the added healing and not use the Medicine skill.

Third. someone commented on the need to "whittle down" character resources. As a GM, I constantly felt like I wasn't doing enough to challenge my players and that they were getting things too easy because people rarely took significant damage. It was rare that anyone went below half hit points. But then my group started commenting on how they were feeling relieved to get through a fight or how it challenged them - they took almost no damage and yet they felt challenged by an encounter.

You don't need to bring someone to 0 hit points to have them feel threatened. Sometimes all you have to do is have a foe that is standing up to their attacks and seemingly no-selling them for the players to start sweating up a storm and wonder if they're going to die next.

Mind you, I used a homebrewed Crit system - I didn't like how crits could instantly kill most players and quite a few monsters. So instead I had crits double the damage dice of the weapon used and just that - not strength bonuses, not magic bonuses, just the weapon dice. If I used crits as originally intended I'd probably have dropped several players to 0 hit points or below... but in my view the players are here to have fun, not get frustrated. So my games aren't as "tough" in terms of taking lots of damage... but still remain less-than-easy in terms of eating resources and challenging the party none-the-less.

---------------

I hope we see several Resonance variations put up in the near future and allow the groups to work with each one to find one that works. Resonance shouldn't be a chore to keep track of either. It should be a fun aspect of the game. Let's find a way to make it so.


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I once had a player in my old Night Below AD&D campaign have a Protection from Fire spell put on him and then walked into the middle of a field to Fireball himself so he knew exactly how it felt, what it smelled like, and what it looked like from the inside. He then proceeded to use Spectral Image (a 3rd level illusion with heat, sound, and light aspects) to hit foes with multiple Fireball spells. And I allowed it because he thought it out.

In my Reign of Winter campaign the same player used a Minor Illusion spell to create the image of a huge tree having fallen across the way so that they couldn't see the party. Hijinks ensued as both sides failed their saves massively and couldn't see through the sudden tree (with I think one exception on both sides). It was hilarious. ^_^

------------

Of course, my favorite memory was when I realized the (2nd edition AD&D) Big Bad with a 25 Intelligence and 25 Wisdom (the highest you can get and essentially god-like) would think things through, realize he was going to lose to the PCs, realize "I'm already immortal and extremely powerful, why throw that away for Godhood if I'm going to lose my life moments later?" and showed up before the PCs, gave up all the artifacts needed to become a God, and said "I quit. I'm going on vacation to a nice desert island. Don't try to find me."

The players were left speechless and then one spoke up afterward with a plaintive tone of "can he do that?"


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The system Mathmuse suggested is a better choice, as many others have stated.

Another excellent suggestion in separating out Powers into its own section instead of mixing them in with Spells. I can understand why Paizo puts them with Spells, but it is confusing, and having Powers in their own area helps consolidate things.

One thing I am curious about is "under review" - how so?

And I mean... has anyone even done multiclassing yet? Thus Reviewing it is curious. Personally I *like* how the multiclass system is set up so I'm hoping it doesn't change significantly. Tweaks to make certain multiclasses more effective would be nice but significant changes (or going back to the PF1 system) probably aren't required.

Ah well, thank you for the blog update. :) Even if it's leaving me with more questions...


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Okay. Thank you for pointing out the specific rule there.

This is still confusing enough that I needed to chat with other people here to hammer it out, so Paizo might consider rewording things for dense people like myself. ;) But this clarifies things. :)


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Is there anything that out-and-out states Armor Class proficiency for increasing Armor Class for each level in the Rulebook? Likewise, is there anything that specifically spells that out for Attack Rolls?

I ask because of this line:

Result of a roll = number on the die + ability modifier +
proficiency modifier + circumstance bonus +
conditional bonus + item bonus + circumstance penalty +
conditional penalty + item penalty + untyped penalties

However, proficiency is +1 for Expert, +2 for Mastery, and +3 for Legendary. And from what I understand, for armor class it doesn't even factor into it so someone with a Dex of 10 and Legendary in Heavy Armor isn't granted a higher AC than someone only Trained but with that Dex of 10.

(BTW, Paizo, by having this exception you create ambiguity in the skill levels - is there other circumstances where being Expert or higher that you don't get the bonus than just Armor Class? I end up second-guessing mastery and looking hard for those exceptions because of this one difference with AC.)

This is what I'm looking for: specifics. I've played games in the past and assumed things because of what I previously knew (what with DND 3.0, DND 3.5, and Pathfinder each being different but similar enough you might "assume" and be wrong).


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How about this: Clerics start with Charisma modifier plus one casting of Channel Energy (minimum of one).

Every four levels they gain an added use of Channel Energy, meaning at level 20 a Cleric could have between four and 10 uses of Channel Energy (assuming they don't burn any Feats to buy more Channels).

This would allow Clerics at higher levels to be progressively better Healers while keeping the adventuring group in battles for longer. It also makes sense that Clerics gradually gain abilities in Channel Energy.


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Is armor class a proficiency though?

Is an attack roll a proficiency?

Would a saving throw be a proficiency?

Where does it state they are?


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First, I'm hoping someone at Paizo reads through this, because the Playtest Rules are confusing in places. I'm not sure if it assumes knowledge or what, or if there is one line hidden away somewhere, but I've been almost pulling my hair out trying to figure this out.

I've been reading and rereading the rules on armor and saving throws and am only proving to confuse myself increasingly as I cannot verify how these two systems work.

From what I understand with Skills, your proficiency modifier includes your level, along with the level of mastery (Trained, Expert, Mastery, and Legendary) giving between +0 to +3 in addition. Thus a 20th level character with a Legendary skill gets a +13 to their roll before adding in ability modifiers and other modifiers. Mind you, I do not find the "add your character level to the skill check" in the list of things you add in calculating your roll, but it is mentioned elsewhere.

Is this how Saving throws also work? Or are you limited to only your ability modifier and level of mastery? Because this is what is implied under the list of modifiers added to saving throws. And it does mean that people won't be able to make saving throws against high-level monsters.

Likewise with armor class - is the maximum armor class for a Dex-10 character 28 for +5 plate mail and a +5 heavy shield? Because this is what the write-up implies. There is nothing that states you add in your level to the roll - and I kind of recall something about your level of mastery not even benefiting armor so even if you're Legendary in Plate Mail according to what is stated, their armor class remains the same low level that is going to be critted by high-level monsters rolling 2 to hit.

Things would have gone a lot smoother if there were actual examples for characters and leveling up, rather than just for the initial stats. Because what might be obvious to the game designers may be hidden with one line in one page that is assumed to be known... and players may have no idea, much like myself.


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Lord Fyre wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:

I do hope that they are not planning to do any of the "redemption" BS for any of the Runelords.

From what we know about Thassilonian culture from the earlier APs, all seven Runelords were COMPLETE MONSTERS and there is a certain magnitude of evil from which there is no coming back from.

Consider that Ileosa Arabasti was recreating the ritual that Sorshen used to insure her eternal beauty - a sacrifice requiring the lives of hundreds of people.

You do realize that ** spoiler omitted ** is considered possibly redeemable? :D
An opinion that I do not share.

Doesn't matter that you don't share that opinion.

Paizo has that opinion and they are crafting this AP which has another Runelord who is considering a more peaceful way of reforging Thassilon. And she did have 10,000 years to consider... and change. She also watched three other Runelords try using might to force their reign and all three were cast down. So she has even more reason to change her ways - because better to walk the path of redemption than die.


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Franz Lunzer wrote:

The Playtest rulebook PDF isn't updated.

Bringing in the Layout-Team takes too much time, IIRC.

Shoot. :( I was thinking of bringing the PDF to Staples to print out a copy as one of my players works better with print copies, but I'm less likely to spend the money seeing it's out-of-date and needs quite a few edits already. Which is also a reason why I chose not to buy the print copy (though I do wonder if they have any left that were order cancellations or the like...)


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SilentInfinity wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:

I truly hope that Paizo does one of two things. Either they put out some rules on how to translate these APs over to 2nd edition (as I'm liking what I'm seeing of 2nd edition but truly love the Runelords series of APs) or that you put out new hardcover books for the Runelords Trilogy as 2nd Edition APs.

I mean, I'd buy them. I suspect a lot of folk would. But you could always do a Kickstarter or the like on that to gauge preorders and how much of these should be printed and adapted to 2nd Edition.

I suspect that'd be a good choice for modules that are deemed popular enough for a formal reprint or hardcover. Probably be good for this trilogy / Sihedron Heroes stories. Maybe Kingmaker too, eh?

Otherwise, translating the rest of them might be a great community project if given allowance!

Well, Kingmaker's got a computer game coming out, so you should see a lot of folk playing it who didn't get a chance with the original tabletop game. I'm actually looking forward to it as I put in for a copy during the crowdfunding efforts.

As for community translations... I think this is an excellent idea and hopefully Paizo backs this, assuming they don't decide to translate any of these to 2nd Edition. One of the fun things about such a translation of course is that with the new XP system, it's easier to allow people run characters running through level 20 in each AP - though I'm not entirely sure how you could set up the final encounters with Karzoug and have him be a viable threat seeing level 20 characters would match him in power... and for that matter some of the Runelords are Mythic and Mythic is taking a back seat for now with Pathfinder 2.

Spoiler:
My own experiences with it suggest Mythic isn't a problem so long as you keep it at Tier 2 or 3 at most. And one of my players recently commented on how he enjoyed my incorporating Mythic into Rise of the Runelords as it allowed him to be far more versatile (he had an Eldritch Knight) - to be honest, he probably also enjoyed it because a Mythic Karzoug went and flubbed up his Mythic Wish (that the PCs would have no access to Mythic abilities in this fight) when it rebounded off of the Sorceress's Spell Turning and he flubbed his saving throw, so Karzoug wasn't tossing Mythic spells at them (mind you, they'd been so low on Mythic at that point and used a Nap Stack spell to regain spells before the final assault without letting Karzoug regain all of his spells that they basically didn't USE Mythic either - I was quite pleased with how I drained most of their resources going into that).

Given the Big Bad of Return of the Runelords was Mythic before things went south for the Runelords, I'd not be surprised if she retains at least a couple Mythic Tiers going into the end-game - it actually is quite effective in creating interesting and challenging foes for players of similar level. Seeing Alazzy can't really get beyond Level 20 in any event, and doesn't have access to Conjuration magic unless she's burning a Wish or has a Staff or other conjuration-based magic item, she's not going to have easy access to minions to burn up PC action economy. Mythic helps level the playing field in that case.


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I truly hope that Paizo does one of two things. Either they put out some rules on how to translate these APs over to 2nd edition (as I'm liking what I'm seeing of 2nd edition but truly love the Runelords series of APs) or that you put out new hardcover books for the Runelords Trilogy as 2nd Edition APs.

I mean, I'd buy them. I suspect a lot of folk would. But you could always do a Kickstarter or the like on that to gauge preorders and how much of these should be printed and adapted to 2nd Edition.


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I've a question for the Developers.

Have you updated the main PDF as well with rules changes? If I re-download the PDF will it have the rules changes (significant and minor) already in the document? Or are you having us edit everything ourselves (which is difficult if you don't have an Adobe editor)?


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I've not heard from one of my players in a couple of months and she missed the last game. :( I've no idea if she's okay or sick or something, and no way of contacting her outside of e-mail. *sigh* I'm glad your cancellations are only short-term.


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I must admit curiosity as to how Paizo managed to get a levels 1-20 campaign out of this. Is this using the Fast Advancement rules? How will we release enough XPs to get people past level 18? (I mean, Hell's Rebels had to potential to reach above level 18 with the extra-large sized Issue #100, but chose to just include other content instead. Even then I'm not sure we'd have gotten more than one level out of it.)


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James Jacobs wrote:
Mosaic wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
What would be better is if some unknowing team of adventurers (say, around Book Two or Three) accidentally undid a 'time lock' that Thassilon had been 'sealed away' under and suddenly there was 'New Thassilon'
I'd love to see an AP where the PCs screw up early on (bad information, deliberately misled, insurmountable challenge) and have to spend the rest of the AP fixing whatever they unleashed.

Like the "You are all captured and put in prison and have to escape" plot, this is a plot line that works best when it rises organically in play and can be tailored by the GM as it unfolds.

Deliberately planning this, or setting up an adventure whose whole point is to make the PCs expend time and resources playing only to screw something up and then expect them to want to KEEP playing after they realized the GM has stacked the deck against them the first time is a good way to get a campaign an early grave after the players lose interest in my opinion.

But if it happens organically, and the players DON'T learn or believe that they were supposed to fail or do something foolish all along, the storyline can be really compelling and interesting.

It's just basically impossible to do in a published adventure.

Yeah. I had my adventuring group refuse to continue the Slave Lords modules after they all got captured without a chance of avoiding their fate. They were royally POed by the railroading and I ended up having to run a new campaign after that. It's a shame as I'm fairly certain they'd have excelled especially as I think one of the characters was a psionicist.

This AP leaves me conflicted though. Is there going to be an effort to translate this into 2nd Edition Pathfinder? Because my Skype Pathfinder group is going to start up the Playtest, and assuming they don't all hate it we'll switch over to 2nd edition afterward. But the campaign we just finished was Rise of the Runelords (ran for over five years meeting online every three to four weeks). I have a sneaking suspicion they'd love playing this "sequel" of sorts rather than Hell's Rebels, and they're kind of looking forward to HR so....


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Here is a suggestion for the Secret Rolls for overworked GMs:

Have the Player roll and record 20 rolls of 1d20 and write it on a piece of paper with their name on it. The GM keeps the piece of paper and when it comes to a Secret Roll they check on the roll (they can also write the Perception stat on the paper and any other stats that might be important for a Secret Roll).

The player thus made the rolls, the GM only has to look something up quickly and can cross it off afterward, and minimal time is taken.


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lordcirth wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
they were trying to choose the Skill Choices, not the Skills themselves.
I don't understand what you mean by this. Could you give an example, please?

Choosing "Tumble Through" instead of "Acrobatics" for a Skill.


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Jason - small note. The character creation process can be confusing. I would recommend in the final version to do a step-by-step Character Creation process, not just with the character stats. My players had problems comprehending the Character Sheets, what the TEML meant, and on choosing Skills - they were trying to choose the Skill Choices, not the Skills themselves.

For that matter, having a trial combat with actual examples would also be helpful so the players have a better idea of how Actions and Reactions work in an actual game setting. The original Pathfinder Rules included such examples.

Now I must add a caveat. My players are lazy. The only reason one player had a character sheet ready was because he contacted me online the night before and we struggled through character creation - and it also took me insisting he needed to download the Pathfinder Playtest rules rather than have me tell him everything. (Seriously. *sigh*) My other two players? They hadn't downloaded the rules either and had no idea what they would do for characters.

I do play online via Roll20 and Discord so it's easy for my players to get distracted by online shiny things. But even so, after we wrapped up the Goblins module (which took barely two hours) it was over two hours of game time of me struggling to figure out the Character Creation rules (as I'd not actually MADE any characters - I only do GMing so character creation isn't quite as important for me) and explain it to people two timezones away. And we ended without having finished the character creation when we called it a night (I'll work with them via e-mail). The fourth player never showed unfortunately, but it probably would have been even more hectic working with building a third character at the same time.

tl;dr - the Character Creation process is not intuitive and can be confusing to new players. Please have a written-out demonstration of the character creation, from stat selection to Ancestry Feats to Class feats, and on down the line. It will make things a lot easier to have examples to show. The same will hold true for combat.

Addendum: Maybe include an example of Leveling Up in the next PDF Download? After all, we've people who will be creating higher-level characters. I just know that leveling up isn't going to be any easier than character creation was.


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My friend? Either drop them or run the last battle of Book 5 without them because you gave them advanced notice and they did not tell you ahead of time they were not available. It is on them. Not you.


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You could always ask which players want to drop, and then only run the half of the group interested in playing.


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So is this the final Blog prior to the Playtest Launch?


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Kaelizar wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
(Fighter Dedication would take 5 feats to replicate for a wizard, and an average of around 3 feats for most other characters)

Hopefully this is hypothetical feats and not actual feats? I would hate for the list of feats to get so large in 2nd that someone who's new to the system would pick their feats, only to have another player more experienced make the same exact character but using the 'more powerful' feats and having a better character only because they knew which feats provided more/better benefits than others.

I just don't the amount of feats cause problems for players. Say for example you wanted a wizard who has Armor proficiency, so you take the Armor proficiency feat.. but wait, they could have just multi-classed into Fighter as you said and get that and then some. Why would a Wizard (Who didn't intend to multiclass into other classes) ever take any weapon or armor Prof. feats? They should always take Fighter Multiclass? and if you pick the weapon/Armor feats then you're making a bad/wrong choice. I hope I'm conveying this right

Because the character in question would need a Strength of 16. Your Wizard who has a low Strength but wants to wear heavy armor could likely take Feats piecemeal and despite having a low strength eventually have heavier armor.

There are times when you cannot go with Multiclassing. So you go with a different method that takes longer.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

First, concerning the renewed argument on adding a hand to a weapon being an Action. This makes sense if the players are in combat. Why? Because your blade is already moving around. We're not talking about just putting a second hand on the weapon. We're talking about slowing the weapon, putting your hand on the grip in a manner that allows you to make better use of your strength. That takes far more effort than just letting go of a weapon.

Now maybe there is a Fighter Feat later on that lets Fighters do this as a Free Action. We don't know yet. But from a stylistic viewpoint if you are whirling a blade around in one hand and then try to add a second hand, you're not going to have a good grip (especially not good enough to have it improve the power of your blows) unless you take a moment to secure your grip. That's the Action.

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Next, this is to the folk threatening to Rage-Quit Pathfinder 2 because of a multitude of reasons. First, tl;dr - try out the Playtest first. You might find what you thought you'd hate actually works quite well when you see more than just a bare bones snippet in a blog.

And now... *puts on a storyteller hat* Back nearly 40 years ago, I was first introduced to a fun roleplaying game called Dungeons and Dragons. It was a lot of fun and when I tried to find it I found something called "Basic Dungeons and Dragons" and then "Expert Dungeons and Dragons." I asked for more D&D stuff for Christmas. My Uncle, not knowing there was a separate game system called "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons," picked up the rulebooks for that game instead and gave them to me.

I was quite disappointed. You see, I had heard that Elves didn't have magic in AD&D. I didn't know much about it, but I liked Elves being their own class (and Halflings and Dwarves) and didn't see a reason to mess with what worked. But after I started reading the rules all at once I got excited because I learned that elves had the option to become wizards and learn magic... or multiclass wizard with rogue or fighter (or both). My uncle was bemused when an hour after I was meh about the gift all at once I was really really grateful and thankful for it.

If all I had gone by was what I thought was for the best for the game, I'd never have gotten into AD&D. I'd probably have never really found a group to play and never would have gotten into Pathfinder. I would have missed out on a lot of fantastic content and excellent campaigns (and some not-so-great content as well, to be honest).

So as I said in the tl;dr - go through the Playtest and play the game without modifying it. Take the elements that you believe you hate and play them with a neutral mindset to see what works and what doesn't work. Provide suggestions on what you like and dislike and what works and what is clunky.

If there is more to Pathfinder 2 that you like than you dislike when it is released in its non-playtest form, then buy it. You'll likely enjoy it, much as I enjoyed AD&D after I realized it expanded on things that Basic and Expert D&D only touched upon.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JRutterbush wrote:
I gotta say, I find it a little off-putting that I can start out as a Wizard with a 10 Intelligence and have full access to all class features, but if I want to dabble just the tiniest bit without having started out as a Wizard, suddenly I have to have a 16 Intelligence.

As I said before, it's the difference between the barely adequate student spending all of his or her life in hard study to learn magic, compared to the dabbler who is really gifted but went a different path... but decided to learn a few things on the side.

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