Lord Magga

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These forums have become toxic to anyone not on the majority bandwagon. Love the game, but this particular community is not an enjoyable one to participate in.

The DM of wrote:
For those who are sticklers about having no metagaming knowledge, why do you do it, and do you think that’s more fun?

I want to hear from people who are strict about no metagaming. I provided my GM opinion as the context.

Oh, I'll also post our bestiary, magic item rule: No looking up magic items or monsters at the table. If you know something, fine, but no looking up all the stats, saves, etc. That's not in the spirit of our game.

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I don't work with animals. I don't study them.

However, I can recognize virtually every single one in my country and in fact most of them around the world. I know which ones are poisonous, which ones might want to eat me, which ones have unpleasant defenses, which ones are found in which habitats, which ones are related to others, what animal kingdom they're from, what common ancestors they had. I even know animals that existed for the past few hundreds of millions of years. I'm moderately educated and interested about nature, but there's nothing special about my knowledge. It comes from living in our world and having a natural curiosity about it.

I’m primarily the GM, and there’s very little people consider metagaming that I care about. It’s unrealistic to think that a twenty year old adventurer doesn’t know the common plants and animals of their world or even the fantastic monsters and their rumored powers. Whose grandma didn’t tell them stories of fairies and goblins and trolls and dragons, demons and witches, wizards and, well, all kinds of fantastical elements?

If a character wants to roleplay that they know or don’t know something their player has learned, I’m fine with it. You don’t have to pretend for the 20th character that you don’t know trolls need to be burnt to prevent them from coming back. It’s ok to get better at playing the game. Or don’t. Roleplay whatever floats your boat, but don’t harangue the other people at our table about it.

I see a lot of discussion around how to handle recall knowledge and other abilities to learn things like these. I don’t handwave those things off if a player doesn’t know them or want their character to know them and wants to use the ability for me to tell them. I have lots of new monsters that make the abilities worthwhile and rewarding. For those who are sticklers about having no metagaming knowledge, why do you do it, and do you think that’s more fun?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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cavernshark wrote:
The DM of wrote:
I also like poking the hornet's nest from time to time.
Please just stop.

You're one of the vocal forum posters who try to put down anyone who openly questions the new martial/caster dynamic of PF2. I have questions about it. That is after all why I came to a forum, to discuss it. If you don't think these threads have anything for you, because you know the truth already, good for you. Why are you posting?

Henro wrote:

Most of my combats don’t take place in actual “dungeons”, but rather in forests, caves, plains, on rooftops, in bedrooms, inside volcanoes, on other planes of existence, and more. The fight is wherever the party happens to be, and battlefields vary wildly.

You are rarely in a situation where every enemy is politely gathered in a clump around you unless the entire party has worked together to make that happen.

Totally agree!

You do realize, however, the majority of your locations are tight quarters though, right? Caster fireballs in bedrooms... epic but disastrous. Martial fireballs? Perfectly safe.

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cavernshark wrote:
...you've had to cherry pick... ...assuming none of the 12+ opponents do anything contrary and, in fact, cooperate with the Barbarian.

Your point about the theoretical upper limit is not the point. Agreed.

However, cherry picking is what I'm trying to avoid doing, and your assumption that the Barbarian's strategy is thwart-able is exactly the rabbit hole type of cherry picking I don't want to do. You can just as easily replace Barbarian with caster and pick apart the ways they can get shut down (counter spell, dispel magic, silence, AoO disrupt spell). I'm not going there.

Here are two common limitations to consider against the two in doing big area of effect damage in a common battle scenario:

Martial # of AoEs per day: Unlimited
Martial risk of friendly fire: Zero, so you can maximize the # of foes you can damage

Caster # of AoEs per day: Restricted
Caster risk of friendly fire: High which results in significantly less targets

Those are the two big ones that made me wrestle with this. Yes, there are lots of other factors, too many to consider, but here we have a situation that seems lopsided and makes me think.

Henro wrote:
The DM of wrote:
Someone also posted that the 500' range made the caster even more powered. Again, that's situational. Yes, it's a good weapon to have in the bag, but I agree, let's talk real encounter design. Most battles are going to involve the whole party, and almost no one operates efficiently at 500' out. That's an edge case benefit.
Encounters where casters get the edge are unfair to deploy but close-quarters combat where martials shine aren’t?

No, not at all, but when I design an encounter, it's going to be rare to start at 500' range, not never, but rare. When I do design a 500' range encounter, it would be boring for everybody who can't operate at that range if it stayed at that range. So I'm not going to force it. I'm going to expect the party to close fast or regroup somewhere else. I'm never going to expect one player to handle the whole thing. That's not fun.

Can the caster get a big drop up front? Absolutely, and I'll enjoy seeing them shine there. After that, assuming we move into melee, the fireball martial resumes unlimited explosions.

"Which type of encounter is most common in a dungeon?" is another way of saying the same thing. I'm trying not to get too specific on the parameters, because obviously you can rip this apart if that's your intention: "But my campaign is flying ship to ship!" Yeah, ok, long range is common. "My dungeons are all 500' cube room super structures." Ok, granted.

Laran wrote:

There is no answer if you have a person playing a spellcaster who says they wants to injure/incapacitate an enemy with raw damage as well as a martial. Similarly, there is no answer to a player who wants to play a melee class that wants to do as much damage at range as a dedicated ranged build.

You appear to ask us to address the rationale behind the statement that a wizard is told that they can incapacitate/injury a foe but they are not as good as damage as another class. The argument that they can indeed damage foes and groups of foes but they are not as good at raw damage as a martial was offered but is not enough. The differentiation of a spellcaster from a martial is that that they can provide multiple solutions to a problem unlike the martial.

This is good stuff. I agree with the versatility aspect of casters. However, the ability to do significant damage to large numbers of foes in a turn was once considered one of the versatile tricks of a caster. Debilitating foes was and still is a caster trick. Perhaps the real gristle I'm having trouble chewing this weekend is seeing martials do both better with this build that a fighter can achieve with only 2 of their feats. 2 feats for unlimited fireballs + debuffs in one turn. That's versatility + DPS. I'm still chewing.

Heck, even the glaive example has a 1 action debuff on a crit. Knocking opponents back automatically on a crit forces them to move forward again and burn an action before hitting you.

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Fair concerns with the scenario. If there's a takeaway, it's that there is no limit on the martial. There are many on the caster, both # of times they can do it and how many targets they can deploy against.

Someone said fireball wasn't a good comparison as other higher level spells do more. I think higher level spells are actually harder to employ to get enough targets to be comparable to a martial's whirlwind. Eclipse Burst is 60' radius. That's unusable in an enclosed encounter. Cone blasts in the midst of a melee with your party are difficult without exposing yourself to attacks or hitting your mates. A 20' radius fireball is actually more deployable.

A barbarian with an easily achievable 20' reach or a fighter with a 15' reach can deploy a fireball level attack all day without limits imposed by friendly fire. Will 11 large creatures be in range? Not likely. Will 6 be within 20'? Sure, plenty. That's SIX full attack bonus attacks for the martial. How many can the caster hit for damage once you've engaged? 2 or 3? Then that spell is burned? There's no comparison. Now switch the weapon from a glaive to a weapon whose crit knocks people down, and thanks to your high number of attacks, you're knocking someone down every turn on top of full and double damage.

Someone also posted that the 500' range made the caster even more powered. Again, that's situational. Yes, it's a good weapon to have in the bag, but I agree, let's talk real encounter design. Most battles are going to involve the whole party, and almost no one operates efficiently at 500' out. That's an edge case benefit.

Henro wrote:
I don’t think the people saying casters were good at debuffs meant martials had no debuffs.

No, they weren't. They said the role of casters was debuff, not damage. This shows fighters debuffing for free on top of damage. It's an interesting juxtaposition.

Overall, I like the game as it is. As a GM, I'm doing my part to accommodate all the players' styles including giving the casters opportunity to be impactful where others wouldn't have been.

I like the fighting system, in particular the 3 action system, but there are definitely some cases now where you can see a caster wondering how to stay relevant when the party's martials can do anything. PF1 being the reverse does not mean flipping that is a good thing.

Again, I like the system. I'm a fan. I also like poking the hornet's nest from time to time.

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Casters get lots of props lately as debuffers. Cast an L3 spell, don't even get a crit fail save, and your foe is auto debuffed at Condition 1.

Fighters get master proficiency with weapons at L5 giving them crit specials. In addition to doing double damage on a crit hit, they also automatically:

Bows - +d10 damage and pin foe to wall taking 1+ actions away.
Brawling - Fort save or Slow 1 until end of their next turn.
Club - knock foe 10' away in any direction.
Dart/knife - 1d6 + item bonus in bleed damage.
Flail/hammer - knock the target prone.
Pick - +2 dmg per die (not to mention ~quadruple damage fatal).
Polearm/shield - knock foe 5' away in any direction.
Sling - Fort save or Stunned 1.
Swords - make their foe flat-footed.

Only 2 of those debuffs grant a save. That's a lot of auto-debuff for free on top of double+ damage.

By Level 5, you could also have:

Snagging Strike, L1 feat: If you hit, target is automatically flat-footed until start of your next turn.
Aggressive block, L2 feat: On shield block, knocked back 5' or auto flat-footed.
Combat Grab, L2 feat: On hit, auto grabbed.
Intidimating Strike, L2 feat: 2 action, if hit, Frightened 1 or 2 on crit.
Knockdown, L4 feat: 2 action, hit, then trip attempt at full attack bonus.

Already out of the gate, the fighter has virtually every caster debuff at her disposal without sacrificing constant damage or running out of debuffs.

I especially like critting foes with a maul and intimidating strike. Nothing like 2x 1d12+4 damage, auto-knocking down my foe, and making them frightened 2. Would love to get some debuff help in there. /s

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It's amazing how quickly folks on this forum try to shut down discussions of martials vs. casters in PF2. Even when someone says they aren't trying to sway the argument one way or another and just want to discuss something, out pours a torrent of triggered responses.

Chain Lightning was a good response. I think it shows what a caster's power to discriminately inflict damage is like at this level. (I would use the larger damage Eclipse Burst, but it's incredibly situational. Assuming you blow it up against a wall, it's going to extend 60'. There aren't many enclosed spaces that won't take out some of your party or limit your targets to only a couple to avoid hitting your own.) Anyway, at 7th, its heightened damage averages 58. Within line of sight it can jump around to zap a theoretically unlimited amount. However, it has a major caveat, "The chain ends if any one of the targets critically succeeds at its save." Out of 20 targets, you're likely to get a crit success in the first half. Let's be generous, assume you target weak creatures first and bosses last, and get up to 12. We'll say they're L-3.

Caster L15: 1 crit success (0 dmg), 4 success (112), 4 fail (224), 3 crit fail (348) for a total of 684 damage in lightning. We'll assume no resistance for fairness.

Martial L15: Here's a conservative melee comparison on a grid map. Our martial can fit the same number of enemies successfully hit by the caster in a front. I've made them size Large so this is a direct comparison. With a 20' reach, he can hit all 11 (excluding forceful dmg): 3 miss (0 dmg), 5 success (245), 3 crit (294) for a total of 539 slashing damage.

The caster does more damage. But wait, you say the caster could have hit more. Sure! This is a conservative example. Double their damage and assume only 1 in 20ish crit saves. They're at 1368.

Actually, the martial can fit in 2.5x more large creatures in its space and hit all of them. He's actually at 1347.

Well, there you go, the caster still edges him out, but wait there's more. Here's how many mediums our martial could reach. That's 4,508. That's every round. With a speed item, he can move into a mass of enemies and whirlwind every round. Somebody keep this guy healed. Why do we need a wizard? He runs out of chain lightning in fight 1.

Again, to the people latching onto this with their, "No, casters have a role! They debuff better than ANYONE!" I get you. I really do. I've made that argument, too. Other players in PF1 have asked for more choices, more versatility, and more impact. Now if a wizard asks, how do I do what the CRB says I can and injure and incapacitate a big foe or a group of smaller ones, they seem to get told to debuff instead.

That's the dynamic I've been giving thought to lately. It's interesting to hear the responses that aren't direct attacks to asking the question.

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Gorbacz wrote:
Martials are DPS, casters are debuffers/buffers, working as intended.

I hear this a lot on the forums from posters. I never see this quoted from Paizo in the CRB. My point isn't to say I'm on the overnerf side, but I will reply with quotes from the CRB:

CRB p191 wrote:
Sorcerer, During Combat Encounters: You use spells to injure your enemies, influence their minds, and hamper their movements.

The first listed activity is damage. The third is debuff.

CRB p203 wrote:

Wizard, During Combat Encounters: You likely try to stay out of the fray, carefully judging when to use your spells. You save your most powerful magic to incapacitate threatening foes and use your cantrips

when only weaker foes remain.

The only listed activity is "incapacitate foes." This is not a debuff, a diminisher of activity, it's flat out shut down which is done traditionally with damage to the point of death or by a spell so powerful they are quote "incapacitated" like utterly paralyzed.

Neither description says buff the party.

CRB p203 wrote:
Wizard, Others Probably... Consider you to be incredibly powerful and potentially dangerous.

I'd like to hear discussion on this, but the "Discussion's over, casters buff/debuff, working as intended" response is as misplaced as "casters are overnerfed, this game doesn't work!"

Paizo hasn't said either.

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This is not another casters got nerfed rant. I still think casters can be cool. I think martials have more options to be interesting in more spheres of capability than ever before and that that is a good thing. I do want to shine the light on one of those capabilities I've been dwelling on:

Unlimited martial fireballs. It can be done by either Barbarians or Fighters at L14 by taking the L14 feat Whirlwind Strike, and you max its range out with Giant Instinct and the L6 Barb feat Giant's Stature to get 5' extra reach. Let's imagine we're using a d10 glaive with 5' reach. Barbarians can get another 5' reach with L12 feat Titan's Stature for a total of 20' vs. 15' for fighters.

L14 Barbarian - 20' reach, Avg. Dmg 38
L15 Barbarian - 20' reach, Avg. Dmg 49 (thx to L15 Greater wpn spec.)

L14/15 Fireball - 20' radius, Avg. Dmg 49 (Heightened L7)

(L14 B: Rage+Spec-13, Str-5, Dice 3d10-16.5, Elem.Rune-3.5 = 38)

The martial can "cast" her fireball every round, no limits.
The caster might be able to keep up for one long battle if all they do is focus on being able to cast fireball.

The martial can "cast" her fireball in the midst of allies and damage 0 of them.
The caster can only use the spell situationally with constant concern for friendly fire, so it's impossible to use every round as above.

The martial, especially a fighter with enhanced accuracy, can crit commonly as they are attacking at full bonus for 98 damage.
The caster can crit if the target crit fails their save for 98.

The martial can miss and do no damage to some targets.
The caster is more likely to do half than no damage but must worry if their damage type is the right one to avoid resistance more often.

Yes, I know the caster can do some tweaks for more damage. This all has a little variance. The martial's glaive weapon actually does more, because it's forceful, so an extra 3 on 2nd attack and 6 on third attack+, which means crits really can be 110 damage, fighters do less damage but crit more, etc, etc, etc...

Anyway, what's the point? None really. This one just gnaws at me a little.

Samurai wrote:
The Ranger has a version called Deadly Aim, an 8th level class feat, pg 174.

Yes, they do. Other classes have ranged feats. You're welcome to make a comparison to one of those if you have an opinion.

Fighters have Power Attack. They also have archery feats focused on getting off more shots and mitigating MAP.

No class currently has a ranged version of Power Attack. If a class offered it, would it be worth it? How would it compare to fighter feats as a baseline?

Lightning Raven wrote:

I created a Giant Instinct Barbarian and simply ignored all the Giant feats. It definitely changes up the initial paradigm of "normal guy" wielding a overly large weapon. That's certainly not something I was expecting to be the sole theme of this instinct. Hopefully in the future new feats are introduced to this class path.

Gladly there's a lot of other cool feats that Barbarian has access to, so I didn't felt pigeon-holed into the subclass feats.

I think this is a cool concept. The rage description says you might be someone with over sized emotions. Considering his love of heavy swords, I could see someone using Titan Mauler to recreate Kirito from SAO, skip the giant instinct feats like you have done, and get Ranger or Fighter feats instead to make him more sword skill lethal. That plus the insane damage is cool. Driven by his strong will and desire to protect those around him, he risks his own life in an impassioned attack. Normally, he doesn't reveal his biggest sword, but when raging, he goes two weapon and draws the big one. You could even go large long sword and large short sword to get agile for more accurate 2nd/3rd attacks. Since it's large, titan mauler says it gets +6 damage off the bat so no half damage for being agile (This last part admittedly sounds weird. How can it be agile and clumsy? If it is agile, is it half bonus dmg anyway? etc. I'm sure someone will rage over this, because... internet.)

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The more actions you and your allies have in a round and the less your opponents have is the fundamental dynamic for advantage in PF2.

Nefreet wrote:
Pathfinder is a permissive rules system. What you need is evidence showing you can hold or save your increases for a later level.

I'm not able to find the word permissive in the core book. Page 444 talks about "Specific Overrides General," but I'm not finding statements corroborating that broad of a paintbrush across the game. It's unreasonable to expect everything you can do in a roleplaying game to be limited to what's "permissively" written in the book.

Page 444 also talks about Ambiguous Rules where if something sounds too good to be true, use common sense. There is a precedent for Class and Skill feats not being able to be applied at a higher level (saved or retrained). They both have a level. Saving up several Class feats until L8 or 10 for example is abusive. You gained a Class feat 2. It should grant you that level or lower.

The only limit written for skill increases is that you can't achieve a proficiency ahead of its minimum level, in this case Master at 7th. The skill proficiencies themselves are level agnostic. Their progression is UTEML.

I see where the No's are coming from on this. I was hoping for a reference that clarified one way or the other.

However, as I was about to hit submit, I added the word retrained to my 2nd paragraph and realized I didn't look in the downtime retraining section for statements. There is actually one that I would say makes this a clear No on page 481:

"You can spend a week of downtime retraining to swap out one of your skill increases. Reduce your proficiency rank in the skill losing its increase by one step and increase your proficiency rank in another skill by one step. The new proficiency rank has to be equal to or lower than the proficiency rank you traded away."

Thus if you gained Expert in S1 at L6, rose to L7, and then retrained that skill increase, your S2 Expert skill would be ineligible to be raised to Master.

Thanks for the replies. Edit: Ninja-ed by ofMars while posting. Good one.

Assuming you're replying to the second question, what are you referencing for that?

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Castilliano wrote:
I don't find bears that scary viscerally.

As I sit on the couch this morning sipping soda water while I wait for an answer to my own rules question, this really resonates with me, Castilliano.

I don't see language about this one way or another in the rules or forum. Has anyone heard if it's come up?

If I get a skill increase at let's say Level 6, can I save it until Level 7 to increase one of my Expert skills to Master?


It gets complex. What are assumptions? Probably 3 attacks per turn, but that's complicated by power attack, so maybe a 3 attack matrix to begin. That's complicated by agile and forceful and doesn't include sweep, so where to begin?

For my light pick analysis, I assumed 3 attacks and then did a hit chart much like yours assuming averages for damage. Add ratio of normal hit damage to crit damage for comparison. The light pick crit damage was so much higher that it turned out always superior to the long sword further helped by agile (assuming ya know maths).

A chart like that could be a start. Then you could add on check boxes for things like agile and tweak the end calc formula to factor them or not. Some of it could just be left to the viewer's imagination to infer advantages I'm sure. You could spend all day on this stuff.

It's less true in this edition that you won't know the AC. There are more ways to narrow it down than in PF1 where you hit on a 15, miss on a 14, and now know what it is.

Now you can do the above, plus crit without a 20 (know you're 10 over), crit fail without a 1 (know you're 10 under), see the opponent shield block (or parry depending on how your GM describes things) for no damage to know you're within 2. You can now narrow it down more quickly.

Thank you very much for putting together this chart!

Now that you've done it, could you add a weapon damage evaluator to it that includes number and size of dice, deadly/fatal, mods, and the works so that we can do a damage assessment vs. AC? I know it's a small request, but you're so amazing at this!

Seriously though, this was a great share. I did some crude similar comparisons to try to analyze light pick vs. 1d6/1d8 type weapons and found fatal d8 picks higher in damage. However, I can't remember the statistics rules very well, so it ended up being too manual to use for other comparisons. This is handy.

Interesting points, especially depending on how you read Studied Strike. I'm left raising the question from another thread, "Why does the Investigator need to be its own class?" I'll leave that to its own thread.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
The DM of wrote:

The Investigator ability in this discussion has been misrepresented starting with the 14th level premise scenario against a boss. How it can actually play out is like this:

Take the Case - Open Case
You spend 1 minute to make a foe the focus of your investigation. This is typically a boss, and you don't have to know it specifically just know that it's there. That easily applies to the dungeon delve scenario under examination and could have been done before the dungeon was entered.

In theory, sure, but it won't always be available by any means.

The premise under which the Investigator is said to be failing is against big boss battles. I would put forth they should have a case open on 99% of those, or they're not really playing an investigator character. You don't even need to know what the boss is, just have a clue that there is one. There's no excuse.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

An extra 12d6 a whole 5% of the time. An extra 4d6 another 15%. A Rogue (whose focus on skills is almost as great) gets 9d6 without meaningful effort every round (by flanking).

I'm snipping a bit here, but I think you missed the rules explanation. That's partly my fault for paraphrasing.

Study the Suspect works as a free action and gives you a +1 to hit on next attack. If you critically succeed, it gives you a +1 to hit on all attacks this round. This is not related (except as a prereq) to the next ability that gives them 4d6 extra damage which is:

Studied Strike: If your foe is successfully Studied, every single hit you score does +4d6. This isn't just on crits, and the percentage from your three attacks is going to be way higher than 15% (which is incorrect even if you only hit on a 20 as it ignores 2 and 3 hit possibilities) considering an Investigator of this level has a generous Master level weapon proficiency, and we know it has a +1 circumstance bonus on at least the first attack.

This seems reasonable for being free on a non-martial.

Rogue comparisons are difficult in a boss situation. Many bosses can't be flat-footed when flanked by lower levels, which is the scenario here.

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The Investigator ability in this discussion has been misrepresented starting with the 14th level premise scenario against a boss. How it can actually play out is like this:

Take the Case - Open Case
You spend 1 minute to make a foe the focus of your investigation. This is typically a boss, and you don't have to know it specifically just know that it's there. That easily applies to the dungeon delve scenario under examination and could have been done before the dungeon was entered.

Study the Suspect
Perception check against foe's Will DC - this is the part complained about as 20% success or less for 1 action and 1d6 extra damage. This is incomplete and inaccurate. This becomes a free action against foes who are the focus of an Open Case, and you get a +1 circumstance to next attack or all attacks this turn (crit).

Studied Strike
Damage is not 1d6. At L13, it's 4d6, and it's on every strike on that investigator's turn. That's a possible 12d6 extra damage in a (non-hasted) round for a free skill check against the boss.

Frankly, this seems generous for a class whose focus is not martial.

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There are a couple factors here that diminish the proposition:
* Converted PF1 module
* Single encounter
* Assumptions of success vs. higher level opponent (<20% given as example)

PF2 encourages a variety of strategies against different opponents. The +level based system creates power disparities. Low level foes become easier to hinder and unleash greater damage on. Higher level foes resist being taken down with the same tactics.

Martial-Skill Tacticians being able to "pick a target, use their skills to get an advantage, and gain strong single-target benefits (damage burst or the like)" is what higher level foes are supposed to be better at resisting for a more statistically challenging fight. Players should have to work more closely together to combine penalty conditions on the foe and bonus conditions for themselves in order to land a strongly advantageous condition in order to inflict more damage. A 20% success rate seems great to me against a boss (as opposed to an "only succeeds on a 20 or 1" 5% like in PF1). To that end, some characters will and should be better against some types of monsters in certain situations than others.

I'd like to hear more situations, scenarios, and details before I consider significant changes. In my group's sessions, we have not come to the same conclusions. We haven't done L14 adventures yet.

Edit: I liked reading the proposed changes. Good discussion. I'm just not bought into the premise of this example.

Yeah, you're right about Second Wind. Oh well. Fatigued is only a -1, and hopefully your prey got 1-shot.

What about Furious Finish? Anyone hear any errata or rules against it being used like this?

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According to the definitions of "strike," this appears legal though it makes no sense.

Rage Sniper - The idea is to do the absolute most damage you can before battle begins (or when it begins as well).

You can start Barbarian or Ranger and archetype into the other. This build is done at Level 4 (I like low level ideas).

Feats: Crossbow Ace (L1 Ranger) and Furious Finish (L2 Barbarian). That's it.

1d12+2 (xbow ace) + 10 (furious finish) + 1d8 (hunter's edge precision) = 14-32 dmg with an average of 23. At L4, that's large. If your target is unaware, you can Hunt them for free, then on the attacking round you 1) Rage, 2) Fire your loaded xbow, 3) Free

Furious Finish is the sketchy option. Why would a rage feat let you do +10 damage on a crossbow shot? But it does. It says, "Make a Strike." It doesn't give any of the "melee/unarmed" restrictions that Rage gives in order to qualify for its +2 damage.

You fatigue and end your rage immediately, but if you pick up the L2 Barbarian feat Second Wind, you can spend your 3rd action re-raging.

Also, if your prey isn't aware, you get a +2 flat footed for a higher chance to crit for 46 average damage. Later on, you can pick up Rogue to add sneak attack damage and poison.

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That was effective. I took 25 mental damage just thinking about it.

swoosh wrote:
The DM of wrote:
I'm wondering if this is an almost all purpose mega spell.

Can't be all that 'all purpose' if you keep having to redefine your criteria.

But yes, against this hypothetical big bad who resists everything except mental damage and has a low will save it's a really good spell.

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.

What are some incorporeal creatures with mental resist?

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.

Cold resistance is not uncommon, and shield counters MM. What's the defense against mental?

Range 30 feet; Targets 1 creature
Saving Throw Will; Duration 1 minute
Illusory pain wracks the target, dealing 2d4 mental damage and 1d4 persistent mental damage. The target must attempt a Will save.

Critical Success: The target is unaffected.
Success: The target takes full initial damage but no persistent damage, and the spell ends immediately.
Failure: The target takes full initial and persistent damage, and the target is sickened 1. If the target recovers from being sickened, the persistent damage ends and the spell ends.
Critical Failure As failure, but the target is sickened 2.
Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 2d4 and the persistent damage by 1d4.

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.

Caster version

Non-caster version

Sample Fighter
Sample Diviner

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You can run your fantasy world however you want in regards to magic without there being a right or a wrong way for how it fits in with the world's society.

How you run things is not wrong if it's fun, and neither is anyone else's, so there's no point to proving your way is "right."

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Here is the spine.

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Thank you, Paizo, for getting me my core book early. I am leaving the country for three weeks Saturday, and now I get to bring it with me making 20 hours of flying bearable!

It's gorgeous.

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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.

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My group is playing P2 playtest rules until August. They're not the final version, but we can't go back to P1 after trying the more evolved version.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

This would be easy to do mechanically in PF2. Verbal and Somatic are both actions, but some spells already involve multiple actions of one type to cast, making spending, say, two actions both on Somatic components (instead of one each Verbal and Somatic) entirely workable.

I dunno if that's exactly how the rules will work, but it's really easy to implement.

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.

Good topic.

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Can't wait! I never buy deluxe versions, but in this case the extra $20 was worth it to skip WAR's art on the cover.

Read through the fighter feats for multiple examples. Other class's feats have some as well.

Ediwir wrote:
I am very disappointed you didn't name this thread "flais are a flop".

lol, what's that word for the anguish of not having said something cool or funny after the moment is over? Feeling it!

George Castanza wrote:
Yeah well the jerk factory called, and they're running out of you!

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.

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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:

morphail wrote:

I love weapon traits. They make for interesting gameplay and help with simulating melee combat.

Therefore I think weapon traits should have a bigger impact on the game. Weapons that allow disarm/trip and so on are great because they give more options for strategy (I'm ignoring if these are powerful/useful strategies for now) . They make the weapon shine in doing whatever it's designed to do. We need more of these.

Examples I think should be added are:
Armour penetration. Weapons such as (war) hammers and picks were specifically designed to overcome heavy armour. A trait such as "penetrating" could allow a two action attack against a target in medium, heavy or construct armour. This attack targets TAC instead of AC. GM can decide that additional monsters are considered "armoured" such as giant beetles or earth elementals.
This trait makes hammers and picks very powerful against specific enemies (reduced in power because of action economy). If this trait seems too powerful, it can be dealt with the same way as Forceful, Agile and Reach are treated- having smaller damage die. This way a sword (d8, versatile) is better when fighting lightly armoured people (and most monsters) while the new warhammer (d6, penetrating, shove) is better against heavily armoured enemies.

For flails you can go another route. Flails (arguably) are used to overcome shields. So a simple way is to give flails some form of advantage against raised shields (or even against cover). But I thought of something more fun with the shield mechanic:
New athletics maneuver called "depress shield" has the attack trait and requires an empty hand: target enemy with raised shield reflex DC. On a success the shield is no longer raised- the target loses its bonus to ac and can't take the shield block action until it raises its shield again. On a critical the target can't raise the shield until the end of its next turn.
Now flails can have a trait that allows them to use this maneuver without an empty hand and gain item bonuses (just like trip and disarm maneuvers).

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