Restate maybe, but not redefine if you read the first post:
The DM of wrote:
If this is all you cast against your BBEG, it seems devastating the moment you catch your first failed save.
I'm looking for discussion on it, and people are chipping away at it which is great, or providing supporting reasons. Both valid. So far it looks like there are other more damaging spells. In my mind they have counters, so I'm giving them lower weight. Some monsters aren't affected. If those aren't typical big baddies, also not going to get weighted as high. That's open-minded discussion, not redefining the post so I "win the internet." Thanks though.
I'm thinking BBEG specifically. Using a magic item or casting a spell can get you cold resistance, so it's attainable. Some creatures have a cold weakness. Definitely true. That's an outlier though. Nothing in core currently protects against mental. Mindless creatures aren't commonly powerful enough to warrant boss status, are they? Not looking for outliers here. I'm wondering if this is an almost all purpose mega spell. Nothing will be the best all the time, but this seems top. It's unblockable, and it affects almost everything.
Range 30 feet; Targets 1 creature
Critical Success: The target is unaffected.
This means on average, you can do 5 dmg to almost any foe on a successful save, and that plus 2.5 persistent per spell level on a fail.
At 9th level, your 5th level Phantom Pain does 25 dmg / 25 persistent. If this is all you cast against your BBEG, it seems devastating the moment you catch your first failed save. Actions to stave off persistent damage, sickened, and up front damage. Is this mega or what?
I made a google spreadsheet for PF2. NOTE: It's not comprehensive! It does a lot of calculations, and it lets you enter your stats and rarely changing info on the Data tab and your feats on a skills/feats tab, and spells on a spellbook tab, then it consolidates it all down to a Play tab where you can play with the changing numbers like bonuses and HP. I won't go into great detail, but if a field is colored on Play, you don't edit it there, you edit it on Data. To get feats to show on Play, you have to edit the filter of its "Time" column on Pivot Feats to optionally make it show on Play.
Anyway, this lets me as GM see everyone's character in real time, and it's convenient for players.
When PF2 hits, first this board will be split up into camps of people excited and loving it versus people who loathe it so badly they vocally refuse to try it but still for some reason continue to post.
Eventually, that will die down, and the board will be taken over by PFS munchkins and their opinions on maximal builds.
Ha hahaha ha.. ha... oh... that made me a little bit sad.
I was just thinking this same thing as I realized a homebrew race whose natural language was signing would need a somatic only option. Two somatics instead of one verbal, one somatic is workable. I'm wondering if there needs to be some sort of trade off since the caster then gains the admittedly minor benefit of silence.
Come on, Raylyeh, buck up. You're entitled to your feelings about flails vs. shields.
We could apply the same feelings to disarm (how would a ball on this kind of chain actually entangle a weapon and be able to be used again after if it really could?) or trip (how could this small weapon on an unfirm chain trip somebody?).
I prefaced this with a clear slant towards the fantastical. I'm trying to stay away from the real life discord and look at what's fun in a fantasy game. There are lots of currently ongoing internet threads about whether flails ever existed and how they work with SCA and professional martialists weighing in about all of this stuff. There are links and videos a plenty. Zzzzz.....
My fantasy about using a flail is to nail somebody in the head and, regardless of helmets and armor, leave a spike broken off in their skull or my flail stuck hanging out of their head as they convulse and die or their helmet dented in at a sickening depth. Personal preference here, so chime in if you have your own, but I want to rip shields off or swing over them or depress them as was suggested by Morphail. I want to do nasty close quarters combat with them. I don't want to disarm or trip or do things I see as more of finesse moves. I'm whipping my flail out to bust some heads, pure and simple.
I like it, so I'm going to repost you here. All good ideas, and the weapon capabilities need to be expanded along these lines:
Some weapons move foes as the special on a crit. Crits are more likely on the first hit. This makes it more likely to waste your action, not your foes.
Moving 5' does not trigger AoO's.
Using a feat to try to flat-foot them but having the DM move them instead, thwarts you. Using a feat to move someone and having the DM flat-foot them instead, thwarts you.
This is lame.
I read a recent post online questioning the validity of the flail as an actual war weapon versus a fantasy weapon. This is a fantasy game, and I have loved the flail ever since I saw Ivanhoe and two full plated knights were beating the heck out of each other with axes and flails. Sweeeeeeet! So I'm going to ignore the historical and go totally fantasy here.
The flail. It does lower damage than other martial weapons. It has a limited damage type - bludgeon. It does the fruitier effects of disarm and trip. It has the sweep special effect.
Balance Analysis: The flail is balanced compared to other weapons. I'm not going to argue it's a gimp weapon or over powered. It has lower damage but additional capabilities.
Fantasy Analysis: What a let down. This is not why I want to wield a flail. I want to be a nasty monster and murderize foes with this thing! The very first game I ever played, I was handed an npc fighter sheet. The guy had been given a lot of weapons. I still remember my eyes lighting up when I read flail, "This guy has a what?!? I WIELD IT!!!"
Problem 1) Damage Type Bludgeon - Most fantasy flails are covered in spikes. I expect my flail to do bludgeon or piercing as needed. It's covered in nasty spikes! It looks awesome! It's failing expectations here.
Problem 2) Disarm and Trip - I'm not wielding this thing to be a fancy technical fighter. I'm wielding it to smash the heck out of people, punch through their armor, make a mess of them! Flail needs its own unique power like Shield Bypass. This should reduce the effectiveness of a shield as the chain can wrap around it to deliver blows. THIS is one of the reasons I wield a flail! To heck with conventional hack and slash. I want nasty, dirty DAMAGE.
Problem 3) Sweep - Sure, the flail is swung around, but once it impacts something, it's done for. It's going to bounce off and... read this closely... FLAIL AROUND! Yes, the verb flail literally means wild and erratic motion:
This is not in line with expectations for making it easier to hit other targets. Sweep is not a fitting effect for a flail.
How the flail looks today: Martial, 1H, 1d6 Bludgeon | Disarm, Sweep, Trip
How I want it to look: Martial, 1H, 1d8 B/P | Shield Bypass
There are crit specials and feats that enhance your blows by moving an opponent 5' or making them flat-footed. There are some higher level feats that let you choose between the two. That higher level option is a good benefit. I would argue that the "options" that don't let you choose are problematic and unwieldy in a game and should be removed in favor of always letting the player select and select direction.
Problem 1) My opponent gets moved 5' away and is no longer in range - Unless you are intentionally doing this to clear a path, you have just gimped yourself as it wastes an action to move 5' towards them to get another attack in. This is not a reward of getting a critical. It's a punishment.
Problem 2) When it's the DM's choice to move an npc or flat-foot them, how do they fairly choose? - If I know my player needs to clear a path, I either have to give it to them knowingly helping them, or I have to choose flat-footed and intentionally thwart them. This is a silly, unfair burden on the game. If I'm flipping a coin, that's a mechanic. Why doesn't the feature resolve the problem itself?
I think the Move or Be Flat-footed "non-choice" mechanic is negative and should be removed, because it is not rewarding as intended and not handled well as a mechanic.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Not to downplay the awesome Precise Debilitations at all, but I'll note that Vicious Debilitations is in most cases even more powerful if you're a ruffian and your party members match your damage type (or you use versatile weapons like swords to ensure a match with, say, the archer's piercing damage), since 5 damage to everyone is going to be more than expected 7 to just you unless you represent around 2/3 of the group's weapon damage or just can't match damage types.
I vote this most glorious run on sentence in the history of the playtest! I'm still trying to cipher it out, but I already know it is great and have therefore cast my vote (despite knowing some may not find it as popular), since waiting isn't as accepted in contests such as these over more waiting unless the vote is postponed by two thirds as many days as are votes or you just don't vote.
I'm sorry for being bad.
A very important thing to remember is that if you can get a +1 to your main shtick, you will.
With crits the way they are, it's true that +'s are more valuable. That does not mean offering a +1 let's say with one weapon will be chosen as an option over another option like Furious Focus (+5 on a miss) or Sudden Charge (+1 circumstantial action). There are trade offs, and it's possible to create a system where a +1 to a weapon exists and is not a "must have for every combatant" option. To say it is must have is an oversimplification. Proficiency itself is a +2 per. Strength is an automatic +4 then higher.
I'm not saying there has to be +1 options, but I am entertaining the concept. Why? Because two fighters of the same l evel are identical swordsmen now. You choose the sword group to master in, I choose it, and we're both identical. But maybe you choose power attack and go with bigger swords, and I choose something one-handed and want to be more accurate and proficient. Right now, that's not possible. We're all carbon copy masters.
If having a +1 difference is as game-breaking as folks here are discussing, why do we have stats anymore? Every build I've seen posted assumes a strength fighter has 19 str at L5 and 20 str at L10 for the +1. Personally, I'd rather have +4 to two non-str stats for +2 more bonuses elsewhere than another +1 to str. Did I just break my fighter? If so, why do I have a stat choice at all? Hard code my stats.
Options exist. Options should exist. Options can exist without breaking the game. Otherwise, you're not playing pathfinder anymore. You're playing something less customizable and locked down like D&D5.
Darksol, I believe your stance is too far-reaching. There are ways to differentiate capability in weapons and armor without breaking the game. You are right that one person should not become solable. Concepts should not usurp the others'. There should be a sufficient cost to expanding into another class or concept.
Right now, no two 5th level fighters are any different in skill. If I want to be a swordsman like no other, there should be a way... like weapon focus... a +1 doesn't break the game. It should be available at an opportunity cost. Same goes for armor proficiency. Saying it's too hard and too complex is not productive. That's what we're paying Paizo for after all. ;)
Whoa, nice math find on Forceful. I have been discounting it as inconsequential, but adding up the dice and minimums for use with Certain Strike is brilliant. Ignoring what happens with your 1st attack, that's a minimum 53 points of damage that is unstoppable.
To the point of the OP, there are lots of neat rogue builds that look like they do great damage in cool ways. Every time I've built one, I've found a simpler fighter build whose math is superior. Nettah's build is another check for the fighter as the better... well, fighter. That is rightfully so I think.
Again more good points on the overall +'s affecting combat in ways potentially negative. Also enjoying reading the ideas on armor DR options. I'm hoping something like this gets implemented to differentiate armors, because as they are, the options don't look good and neither does their limited proficiency system.
The options Loreguard puts down sound fun. I can't see this bogging down combat:
DM: The ogre hits you with his club. You take 17 damage.
Seems straightforward. Maybe dents only occur on crits? That would simplify things and give players some reticence to keep the DR maneuvering on after a couple dents. Losing a shield is one thing, but a suit of chainmail would be severe.
Maybe there could be a stance or action required so this isn't a default superior option making shield users obsolete. Attack, raise shield, position armor. Turn over. Or... maybe you get your base DR at all times, but if you want to enhance it with armor proficiency, it takes a readying action?
We know resonance is out, completely. Therefore in our P2 campaign, we have dropped it. No item limits. Magic items powered by resonance handled on a case by case basis reflecting typically how things worked in P1.
Other than that, I think it's totally playable and more fun than P1. We all understand that in a few more months, it will look different, and we're fine with that. Still that's no reason not to enjoy the new dynamics now.
Giving heavy armor resistance is a solid idea. I would base it on proficiency. Every point of proficiency gives you some kind of resistance. I would even be for across the board damage mitigation of all types potentially. Quality/enhancement can impact this, but the idea of "I can reduce damage taken through skill in wielding my armor defensively and proficiently" is cool, believable, and fun.
Good points on the +'s all around and how armor works as well.
There are more options than "sorcerers get as good as barbarians." There are:
I don't propose a non-martial class simply getting martial proficiency with a feat, but how about a single weapon? How about an ability to take a Trained armor/defense to Expert? There's nothing right now.
There are no active choices to make to improve your armor proficiency past trained at all. This is disappointing. There are also no choices to increase your weapon proficiency. [I define choice as a feat or path you select, not the current locked down method which is waiting until you're 13th level and your class or feat progression earns an Expert proficiency or the like. That's fine but not the kind of choice I'm looking for. A comparable choice is the general feat for gaining Trained in light armor for example. I choose it. I get it when I spend the feat.]
Early dev discussions discussed the fighter as having the best weapon proficiencies. Paladins had the best armor proficiency. "That's the dynamic."
Why is this class-locked? And why aren't there options to improve proficiency by choice?
With the introduction of the new shield dynamics, it's fun to get creative with fighter feats around defense. I say "defense," but the only two choices are parry and shield feats. There are zero armor feats. There are zero armor proficiency choices. (The same goes for weapon proficiency choices.) This is a disappointment. A defensive fighter is a perfectly valid concept. Yes, you can play it with shields, but armor is completely overlooked. I can never choose to be an Expert with my chain shirt. I can never gain Mastery with my breastplate. Getting Expert in medium armor at level 17th is a slap in the face. (Side note: The high level delays in simple things fall flat as a game design. Rarely will campaigns reach this level, so you're consigning things that would be cool at a lower level to a nearly unreachable level where it's going to be inconsequential at that point any way.)
In further customizing my warrior, I would like to be able to select feats that give armor bonuses and abilities. Same goes for weapons. The loss of anything resembling P1's Weapon Focus is a disappointment, also. You shouldn't have to take the Fighter archetype and wait until the uncommonly high level of 12 to get any sort of bonus to your weapon skills (as in Expert proficiency). Sacrificing some offensive options to gain defensive ones is a trade some players would like to make, but it isn't available in P2.
Pre-rebuttal to the "yeah, but a fixed to-hit progression makes for an easier to balance game" response: If my player has a +2 hit bonus higher than any other person of her class for her level, I bring balance back by throwing higher level monsters at her and knowing she can handle them. Or I can introduce the occasional scenario where she must use another weapon of lower offensive value. These are GM101 moves that are fun for everyone. Pre-pre-rebuttal to the "well what if I don't have that +2?!? it's not fun for me to watch them have all the fun" response: Ugh, this is so tedious. You don't get to be the best at everything. You pick what you want to be good at and relish it. Don't get hung up over what everyone else can do. It's not a competition. It's a party sport.
Anyway, TLDR - I would like more choices for weapon and armor proficiency and armor feats as well. It's perfectly fine to give Fighters and Paladins weapon and armor proficiency improvements naturally over time, but having custom choices around those is desired.
Action economy is very important in P2, and shields are a way to enhance it. Having a feat that lets you automatically raise your shield when already hit (Fighter's Reactive Shield) is like having a 4th action every round. Quick Shield Block which gives you an extra reaction for shield blocking each round is like having a 5th action every round. Combine that with Furious Focus, and you have a highly accurate attacker with lots of damage reduction and defensive capability.
Trying to discount mooks is a less effective way of looking at combat than your overall capability each round. What can you do on offensive? What can you do on defense? Can you be effective with as many of your actions as possible each round and amplify how many actions you can take in a round? There are some sweet ways to do that with shields that make combat more fun than P1.
When your shield goes down, being able to put two hands on your weapon is a good fall back. The bastard sword v. the great sword. Who would ever have the latter?
Right now I still think you end up with a better PF1 ranger by multi-classing fighter and druid together, although I have never been a super big fan of animal companions, so I personally don't care that the multi-class druid essentially has to choose between a companion or casting (if they want to be decent at either). Being really good with a bow and having druid spells feels more rangery to me than having a companion and the hunt target ability. Luckily, I can build that character in the playtest, so I am pretty certain I will be able to do so in PF2 as well, so I guess I agree that it would probably be better not to have the ranger class than to force it to exist for legacy sake, but have a multi-class character that doesn't even pick the base class feel more like it.
Up until now I've thought the ranger/spell threads were non-issues due to archetyping. Who cares if they lost a crap spell system when you can pick up any spell list you want now with archetyping? It's not like their feats are great anyway, so you don't miss out on anything. End of argument.
But you're right. You can be a better ranger by being a fighter and having higher weapon proficiency. Then go rogue, druid, cleric, whatever. This blows the ranger class away. Traps are so ridiculously situational, you can scratch them off the play list. Animal companions are [personal bias] not why I play rpg's. I want to be the hero, not my animal.[/personal bias] That leaves Hunt Target and its limited ability to do more attacks and +1d6 dmg 1/r.
No point to the ranger class (for me) in this state.
Interesting. This isn't directly what was looked for since wands don't fall under the Items Worn Limit being discussed, but it's a good hack worth discussing.
It's hard to say how broken the final version will be since we simply don't know anything about wands at this point. Jason Buhlman even brought this up on this week's twitch feed saying what seemed to be that wands were wide open for new interpretations.
Final playtest updates and 1.7 dropped forms of resonance restriction, but how that interacts with wands is unclear. My point here is that the wand as designed in the playtest CRB assumed you had to spend resonance to activate it. That prevented the abuse you're describing.
However, I will give it to you that a 1-verbal-action spell that gives you two to-hit rolls has lots of potential for abuse if left restricted only by gold AND that gold amount was only 2.7gp per cast.
Casters should be looking for exploits like this for short bursts without expecting to do it 10 rounds in a row. For example, having a scroll in hand could let you do the trick round 1, then you could cast it for real round 2 and have a double super accurate couple rounds.
Wands will always take a hand by definition.
Here's what I captured from the twitch feed after 1.6 that is unofficially my 1.7:
* New Conditions (Str -1, -2... dex, con) (No details) - Doomed 1-4, Dying Condition at which you die is lowered - mega bad condition
As a consumable not currently restricted by the updated PF2 rules, this example is outside of the item limit scope, but pricing-wise it is a good topic at 30gp.
Is it really breaking is my first thought. It takes an action to drink, and depending on what you need to have in your hands, could take several more to pull out, drink, and then re-equip yourself. 1min duration, so you can't have this effect on you for long enough to explore.
I will think of an example. Shield and Sword warrior enters room, attacked by ogres, goblins, baddies.
In this example, it is not until turn 5 that our warrior breaks even on actions and round 6 before he nets 1 more action than never having drank the potion. With MAP not allowing a 4th attack to be very useful, this example would prove to be a very poor magic item use.
I know a 1 handed person with the potion in their second hand does better, but unless you drink this ahead of battle, you are behind the action curve.
What do you think from seeing your players' usage?
Items do not have to be nova-able to be a problem, true. Being restricted to once per minute is very effective if the item cannot have a stronger effect than an equivalent character of approximately the same level wielding a magic weapon.
Thus the Ring of the Ram example. Standard does 3 actions for 6d6 or greater does 9d6. That is not better than an equivalent character with a +3 longsword doing 4d8 x3 with the potential for crit (24d8).
Well thought out post, Shinigami02. You're getting into the sensibility side of this that I'm for. I agree the door should be opened on wealth without having to worry about overuse and misuse of magic items. My campaigns keep those kinds of items inaccessible enough that it's not a concern for my groups. "Guys and gals, if you want to run a magic item economics game, that's not really what this campaign is about."
So far PF2 items are ludicrously expensive and underwhelming. The cost factor is so strong of a factor, there's no need for an item limit system. I don't agree with that. However, even if they were cheaper, they're all written such that they can't be abused with stacking. I think that part is good. Having a magic weapon that gives you 3d8 damage and somehow buying another magic item that boosts that to 6d8 on top of the magic item plus scale is the kind of thing that breaks the game but is absent from PF2. Blasting someone with a magic item for 8d6 with 3 actions is fine, but doubling up on those to get 16d6 is not. That kind of thing is again prevented through the action economy requirement system.
Isn't the action economy system limiting most abuse all on its own with the way items are written?
Shinigami02, you claimed you made valid points towards proving the need for an item limit. I called you out that you had been refuted in your 1 erroneous example. Rather than admit it or contribute towards the discussion, you post that you had another post since then and ignore the fact that you are arguing on a tangent. I can't make heads or tails of what you're trying to get across with this rambling or by shifting to the word "balance" instead of game-breaking, which are terms on the same scale.
The only part of what you wrote that I understand is "...it's still better to have an item limit now if only to prevent abuse later." Which is ridiculous. There is no current need for one. You are conceding that. Yet you still think we should have a limit anyway, just because who knows what the future holds. I'm not going to argue theoretics with you. I am interested in what we can see from the ruleset we currently have. If you want to have a theoretical discussion on how to balance the unreleased PF2 core and its future unreleased source books, that sounds like another topic. Consider spinning up another thread.