I imagine the death knight who stands up with no gear after getting stomped may need some time to regroup and reconsider how to approach the problem...
If the circumstances of your group make it possible/reasonable then I'd totally build a custom encounter for the returned death knight to try again, but it seems very likely that the defeat will slow them down long enough to not be relevant to the rest of the adventure.
Just wondering if/when we might expect some of the community use packs to see any logos based on the 2E style?
I've got a convention I'm organizing part of in August where we're gonna mix in some 2E content to spark interest & we'll likely be putting some fliers in local game stores soon. It'd be great to be able to use 2E related art in the fliers as it may catch the eye of some people who aren't avid 1E players but might be intrigued by a new system.
Looking at the community use packs it doesn't seem any of the 2E stuff is available? I imagine it's a low priority with everything going on, but is there any ETA's around this or is this something you're holding off for now?
My view on the Vancian casting front is that I want Vancian, Spontaneous, and Arcanist style. Cause it gives us 3 distinct cool ways to distinguish caster classes, giving 3 distinct styles of play & making everyone happy. Wizards don't have to have Arcanist casting - Arcanists can!
I'm a little sad Arcanist casting didn't make the core at all, but I hope it'll show up fairly soon after (Given the class's popularity I don't imagine Paizo will miss that chance). That said the book is already very big, I don't think they'd have wanted to cut any original core classes, and I can understand their argument for Alchemist (needing the most rules support to work how they wanted).
I imagine the request to keep all the existing stuff but fit another class without increasing page count may have a few minor conflicts with physics, but aside from that I feel like it's a perfectly reasonable request... :P
In the playtest I felt the game had potential, I could see a lot of design space but there wasn't enough options, there were rough edges, and some of these really limited the game but I still had fun.
For 2E I played 3 delves at paizocon (30 mins, lvl 1) and was lucky enough to get into Mark Seifter's lottery game where I got to play as an Erinyes in a scenario-length longer game with a lot more story and roleplay (Everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly - though a lot of that is a good story/gm and everyone getting in character).
While none of that is any substitute for laying hands on the rulebook and running a game across multiple levels, my experience is that the 2E I'm seeing has cleaned up all my big issues from the playtest & what I've seen of options (and somewhat based on sheer page count) really fleshed it out & I'm truly excited not just for launch but also the potential I see for the system to expand.
The proof is yet to come - but first impressions are very solid for me :)
Little less convenient, but not a massive change. For my part it just means saving my vouchers to cash in later on my PC rather than putting them straight in paizo's site. Would be nice if something could be done to apply vouchers to a subscription which seems like the most legitimate issue above, but paizo's website is quite archaic in a lot of ways so perhaps there's just not a good way to do that...
For a little positivity I am happy that when confronted with the problem where they couldn't keep the existing model Paizo worked out a way to continue the idea of the program rather than canning it completely.
I hope we don't see a "plug & play" rune. I would be happy with a master or legendary skill feat for crafting that let you move a rune in the 10 minutes downtime though. Could make for an interesting set of options for a high level crafter being able to shift runes fast, while not making it ubiquitous like the "plug & play" rune would be.
Thanks for the confirmation.
Guess I'll go look into shipping costs... but in general everyone hates Australia. Odds are it'll be about 3 times that price minimum, and that's after waiting 20 days for delivery. Will ask the local stores again, maybe with the new set they'll have more options but I've had multiple shops tell me they couldn't get ACG stock before. Wish I'd realised org play needed those, I'd have grabbed half a dozen while I was there at PaizoCon.
I might hold off for a bit, play through the 2 AP's that come in the box outside the Org Play banner first and see if I get interest locally & see if they release any new class decks for the new rules before I go ordering.
Picked up new core ACG and the crimson throne expansion at paizocon after playing a demo & thought I had all I needed to take it back to Australia and try to get a bit of an org play acg thing going... however upon reading the guide it sounds like in addition to those sets you need a class deck per player to actually play in org play?
Just thought I'd check if I misunderstood anything here & the core set maybe counts as any or something like that? Pretty sure I've understood right but holding out hope since the game does have rules to make decks from that set...
Due to terrible stock availability in Aus for the card game (I've never seen any part of the ACG for sale anywhere) this kinda sucks & is quite a barrier for a new player (Not just walk up to the FLGS and grab one but buy a deck but get it shipped from america ordering it a month before the game, which I've heard some even had trouble with that for ACG stuff - massive delays getting it here). I was hoping with the core set+crimson throne I'd have enough to run some games. Worst case I just play with the set outside org play, but as a VA & with most the players participating in PFS & hopes of spreading beyond my local region at cons I did really want to bring the games under the org play banner.
Also was in on the unreality incursion - and that was amazingly fun. Was my first paizocon & I'm not sure if that game or the multitable or just meeting so many awesome people was the highlight but it's up there! Big thanks to Mark for running it & all the other players for making it great :)
The only fears I had left for 2E after playtest & announcements were:
Now I just have to go home & convince my local groups :)
Honestly I think the main problem with that lock in DD was that it was a playtest & the first exposure people had to lockpicking and it FELT unfair. I think if it wasn't the first lock people ever saw in the edition they may have gone "Oh, it's too hard for me? Ok...". As it stood it went "A lock! Great, time to try out the new system... what do you mean I failed I specialized in this! /rage"
I think the base system is fine, and the adventure was fine, it just didn't serve well as an introduction to the new mechanic.
My interpretation was the obols are more of a freak accident thing than a "everyone hit gets one" - so likely the number of survivors who got obols will directly relate to how many new PC's I need.
I think the hardest thing for me running this one is going to be explaining the unwillingness of the NPC's to be more helpful. Given they're chilling at a festival it's hard to say they have more important duties. Some of them have ulterior motives, and they're easy to play out in roleplay & not help the PC's too much, but the ones who legitimately would help if convinced... I'm trying to come up with ideas on how to keep them from directly helping the party too much.
Evni & Aylunna are the ones I feel like I'm at high risk of the party leaving me unsure how to in-character have them stay at the festival once they're convinced enough to give them magic items to support their investigations. I'm considering having them roleplay-wise start taking action after just 1 piece of evidence basically pre-fulfilling their "after catastrophe" stuff as a way to preoccupy them & let the PC's know how to contact them rather than staying at the festivities. I should be able to play off the value of mobilizing their assets as higher than anything they could personally do to help the PC's directly.
Honestly I probably wouldn't have noticed these threads existed if not for the fact that I look at Mark's recent post history far too often to see if he's posted anything about playtest/2E & saw the post there. So I can totally see how people miss it.
I'm actually coming in from Australia for PaizoCon. It's my first PaizoCon, though I've done the local (far smaller) PaizoCon Asia-Pacific multiple times. A big sendoff for PFS for 1E seemed like a good time to make the trip :)
Very glad I got this one too!
I'd happily put my hand up for a devil. Fighting each-other here seems rather unnecessary, I believe we're all agreed that reality is far superior and more orderly than unreality. While free will has made quite a mess of it, I'm sure the Prince of Darkness can more easily correct that mistake than form order without reality to start with...
Have you asked the players why they're not enthused by the kingdom building aspect?
Maybe it's become too mechanical for them - perhaps a more free-flowing design would be better. I modified it heavily for my group, mostly making them a little easier, because they felt like it had to be solved & that they were failing at it (They had some early bad luck & a few things that compounded it). By taking some of the sting out & also being a bit more free-flowing with situational bonuses around thematic ideas (Like giving them a temporary loyalty & stability bonus when they built a shrine for a player who died) they started treating it more as a cool thing they could build & less as a puzzle to mathematically solve.
Maybe they just don't like it as much as they thought - and maybe you should either make it less of a focus or even change AP's if you don't want to run kingmaker with a light touch on the kingdom side.
Without knowing why your players aren't engaged it's hard to know what fix would help.
I like the approach of just offering all the options via different classes so everyone can be happy... And as someone who actually likes vancian, spontaneous and arcanist style for different reasons I can enjoy all the different styles on different characters (Or if I'm feeling really insane use the new multiclass to do it on one).
I'm glad Vancian didn't get removed, I just wish arcanist style also made the core (Whether on an arcanist or any other caster). Hopefully the first arcanist-style caster won't be too many books down the line.
Was just curious what the relationship is between the River of Souls and the River Styx... Are they the same river just at different points in the journey, is the River Styx just one of many tributaries that feed the River of Souls, or are they both independent ways to reach judgement based on some criteria of the soul?
So... I've been trying to prepare for this & I'm a bit stumped on one element...
What if a character dies? How can you introduce a new PC?
I can't see any reasonable way to introduce another character into the mix in this book... and the Obols make me worried it won't get easier in later books? Have I missed something, or has anyone come up with any ideas around this?
Brutal Beating (Ex): At 3rd level, whenever a thug deals sneak attack damage, she can choose to forgo 1d6 points of sneak attack damage to make the target sickened for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 her rogue level. This ability does not stack with itself—only the most recent duration applies. This ability replaces trap sense.
Distracting Attack (Ex) (Advanced Player's Guide pg. 1): A rogue with this talent can make sneak attacks with subtle flourishes that disorient and distract her enemy. When she hits a creature with a melee attack that deals sneak attack damage, she can forgo the additional damage to cause the creature to become flat-footed against one target of her choosing until the beginning of her next turn. The rogue cannot designate herself as the creature gaining the benefit of this talent. Creatures with uncanny dodge are immune to distracting attack.
Can you use both of these abilities on a single sneak attack? They're both giving up your sneak attack damage to do something extra, one gives up all & the other only gives up some of it.
My gut says you can't spend the same thing twice, but I can see the argument that if you resolve brutal beating first & had at least 2d6 sneak attack you still have sneak attack dice to give up... so I'm not 100% sure.
I had read it and was actually worried the wording wasn't as modular as most of the playtest wording - which is something I thought was a great strength - makes me excited to see what you can build on it with in the years to come. The new paladin wording didn't seem to do that to me & worried me a bit when I read it.
The way there was multiple items which actually listed out the different Causes (Divine Smite, Mighty Aura & Aura of Vengeance) made me think you'd actually painted a bit of a corner with broadening them where you'd have to essentially errata these features with every splat book that added causes.
I was hoping the wording was just for the errata & in the real book would be a bit more like bloodlines to make a standard Cause template that declared the cause-specific items so it's easier for you to add more later without making a confusing set of "For cause X, Y, Z it's in the feat, but for B, C and D it's in the cause's rules, oh and cause A worded it wrong so RAW it has no aura but obviously it should have this thing.".
Maybe I'm just not seeing how you plan to expand it and will be wow'd when I see it...
If the ability is incredibly powerful, like replicating a top level spell slot, then yeah 2-3 uses per day is still powerful enough to me for it to be a signature ability.
Does that mean the rest of the class chassis doesn't have gaps when you don't have 5-6 uses of your signature move to carry you all day? Not necessarily, but that can be addressed itself. Adding more channels isn't the only way to improve the cleric.
If your comment is the feat was crap even before the nerf I'd agree. Someone else spoke about a fairly iconic build around it, and given it was already underpowered I agreed that feat probably got nerfed more than it needed to by this change & suggested something that might help keep it, and possibly other feats around channel that are on the weaker end, relevant (Having them work off heal/harm spells whether they're spell slots or channel pool).
I had little problem burning all my healing when I had lots. That depends on how groups play, really. Treat wounds is not a replacement any time you're time pressured.
As I said, there was 2 separate problems that can occur with cleric healing being as much more powerful than other classes as it was. All you're saying is you had the other problem still (which my table stopped having with Treat Wounds, but as you say different groups play different). That may be a comment on difficulty for your group once clerics are brought back in line, but they had to be brought closer to other healers for overall game balance to work (at least in my opinion) which is why I like the overall change.
The action economy for heal feels fine, and anything lower seems like it'd risk reducing us to the 1E mentality that healing in combat is a losing decision. I kinda like the fact 2E healing is powerful enough that it's not a downward spiral.
Clerics definitely had too many channels before. I think it's fine after the change, it's a lot more inline with other classes. MAD isn't as big of a problem with the way the ability score increases work now in my opinion. Given you increase 4 stats when you increase it's far easier to have multiple reasonably high ability scores as you level up & have a decent channel pool while still being viable for casting/melee.
Channel Smite as a feat was probably hit too hard by this change though. I wouldn't be opposed to letting Channel Smite also be able to use prepared heal or harm spells rather than just your channel pool.
If that makes the cleric a bit weak perhaps give some love to the domain powers or something else to keep clerics from just being relegated to the giant heal-battery (Which with 3+cha they basically were, and were practically mandatory until the out of combat healing change then may as well not have had a limit to their channels per day after because you simply didn't go through that many heals).
Yeah, A I didn't believe was right but it was a possible reading I could see. As I said I felt like B or C was more likely but the rules allowed for A so I listed it also.
As far as how B and C compare, the important part is when you save next turn. If your maximum stage is the maximum of the disease it's far easier to recover, but if you can keep going to higher stages & just have that effect you'll need to pass a lot more saves to recover.
From our example above let's assume the save was passed next turn:
I've frequently had problems with the old pregen sheets where relatively experienced players who don't GM were unable to work out how to help a new player cause they weren't used to reading that format & have had many ask why their sheet wasn't like everyone else. I seriously considered rewriting all my pregens onto character sheets but the effort was too high. Instead I printed multiple copies of every pregen so when I GM with a pregen I have it in front of me to tell the player what a value is if they can't find it.
I'd really like to see them given a real character sheet. At least for the front page. Page 2 & 3 I'd be happy to see compressed down into a single landscape page - everything in them is covered in the detailed rules breakdown suffix pages anyway. The front page though they have to frequently reference in the game & will turn to the player next to them and go "Where do I find X?" and that player knows the character sheet not the funky pregen format.
Page 1 is essentially just over 1 column of the landscape page, if you just move the other stuff across so it starts at equipment & you'll even have a little space for some backstory/fluff on there.
Personally when I run them I find the 1E pregens with monster stats great as a GM, but they're not beginner-friendly and they also make the transition to their own character harder.
I voted for Real XP cause it was the closest to what I'd like.
"Real XP" with 350 for a scenario would work better I think. First it's closer to the 1/3 goal (333.33) without making the math too hard. Second it puts the weird rounding error rarer (1/7 not 2/7) & makes the "rare" scenario a bonus not a penalty.
By which I mean I look at 300 and go "That sucks, every 3 levels it takes me an extra scenario". I read 350 and go "Wow, every 7th level takes 1 less scenario!".
Hell, I'd feel better about 250XP and one every 4 levels than 300, because I wouldn't feel ripped off twice every 7 levels.
I like the freedom this offers when sanctioning modules/adventure paths to give an appropriate level of XP.
You make a good point - they did acknowledge the healing issue & I guess I'd just jumped another step to "that's resonance related" based on how 1E played. They're probably pinning this to a different root cause and thinking around how it would be if that was fixed. Perhaps that's how I should be interpreting it.
I'm definitely holding out to see their solution & I expect it will be good. Their wording worried me that they'd missed this aspect - but I suspect you may be right that they're just not considering this a resonance impact.
I've been a bit disheartened listening to recent podcasts where Jason has been saying that we're really only getting to the relevance of resonance in the higher levels and it hasn't had much impact at low levels.
At my tables low level resonance was a HUGE deal. And the way the surveys asked questions didn't really seem to convey this well as they only cared when people crit-failed trying to keep using it but things like potions have a huge cost on just a fail.
To hear it referenced like it was in those podcasts leaves me very worried that Paizo's designers haven't really seen this impact. I sincerely hope they mean they haven't had a chance to see it with the issues it was designed to combat, which I do understand is very true (And if that's the intended meaning I apologize for misinterpreting/misrepresenting your position & eagerly await the fixes you come up with).
Are we alone here? Have other people's gaming experiences been that resonance has truly been un-impactful at level 1 and 4? (I'm not trying to propose we solve the problem here, just asking has it explicitly been a problem for others in actual games as opposed to theory)
More detailed breakdown of my experiences in spoiler:
Level 1 (2 games of Doomsday Dawn, 1 GM 1 Player, and 1 GM of the PFS scenario): We frequently had more consumables than we had resonance & making decisions about sleeping the night based on inability to drink potions. Every single player was discussing their resonance totals. The biggest impact was the death of a character when he was poisoned and failed his resonance check for a healing potion that would've bought him enough time to likely live (He started with 0 resonance as a dwarf with 8 cha level 1, and not realizing how bad that was had bought 3 healing potions). He didn't die, but someone else did while the druid ran to heal him. It wasn't as big a deal in the PFS scenario, I believe mostly cause the party wasn't pushed as hard.
Level 4 (1 game Doomsday Dawn Player): It was also impactful on our level 4 game. My cleric was the only one impacted really, and that's cause I had a wand and a staff. I actually found it an interesting resource to balance, and felt like it'd truly nailed it's goal for me here. Other players did comment they wouldn't want to manage as many resources as I was juggling (Resonance, Spell Points, Wand Charges, Staff Charges, Channel Pool, Spells Remaining & Hero Points - I had a wide range of tracking counters & dice out :) ), but personally I enjoyed it and felt I caused it with my gear choices so it's an option for those who want to manage resources. Resonance was typically the cause of our resting but it didn't feel too premature.
Except that when you lower the price of the higher level items to the price of the lower level items you haven't stopped the problem you've just packaged it in a higher level purchase.
The problem not be addressed is that if healing is going to remain remotely expensive (e.g. Making healing between fights a decision & not just a "Obviously we use all the consumables") you need to be able to set a price on healing which is actually relevant to the players. Health and gold scale at very different rates. Any price you can put on healing for a level 1 character will either be pocket-change to a level 10 character or completely unaffordable for the level 1 unless there's some other cost outside gold. Lowering the price of high level consumables to the same cost per HP or even lower just makes the price of healing even more inconsequential at high levels.
The idea of using resonance as a buff on the heal really doesn't seem to work to me, as if we maintain the current rough economic pricing the second highest potion (lvl 12) charges 4.8g per HP on average. Which is to say the designers while writing felt that was a fair price to keep healing a relevant expense at that level. To lower that to the non-resonance d4 option it has to be lowered to 1.2g per HP which is 1/4 the price... or 1/8th if half it's healing is tied to resonance too. That's very rapidly becoming pocket-change. If a regular healing potion healed even 1 HP without resonance, which would make it uselessly expensive without resonance for a level 1, it'd still be the cheaper option for a level 12 character.
Now you might not consider that a problem - the question of "Is X problematic?" is a lot more subjective than "Does this design prevent X?". If people want cost of healing by consumable to only be a concern for low level characters then the whole point is moot, but if you agree that aspect of the design goals of the original resonance system is a desirable goal then these don't achieve it.
My numbers are based on 1,000,000 simulated rounds at each level against each AC from 10 to 47. Crits were taken into account fully & I ran the simulations a few times to make sure the 1,000,000 was sufficient to even out randomness. External factors were not but most like flanking or buffs or assists actually skew it the other way by lowering the enemy AC so you actually have to find something CR+5/+6 if you can count on flanks or buffs reliably.
I'm fine with a niche feat, but if it's niche it should be good in it's niche commensurate to the rarity of the niche. Averaging 3-4 more DPR against specifically enemies with 10 resistance but only if you're able to identify the DR to know... or an increase against enemies which if you knew it applied you'd have known you should run anyway... that's way too weak.
It's actually not good against high AC enemies though. It's good on a narrow niche of 15 to 18ish to hit (varies slightly by level but it's typically negative or negligible outside this).
It's incredibly rare to find any level appropriate enemy in that range. When I went looking in the bestiary I took a few sample levels and the highest I found was 12 (admittedly didn't check all levels, just a few to sample). This basically means CR+3 enemies, which means only single enemy severe difficulty encounters that happen to also be one of the highest AC enemies & that you can actually work out have such a high AC... Talk about niche!
Perhaps it is meant to only barely break even against enemies with at least 5 DR on it's better levels and take at least 10 DR to get an appreciable bonus - that would make it a very lacklustre feat though. Especially when most enemies have shifted to weaknesses (which it's even worse against).
The 2 action aspect is already somewhat situational. It doesn't also have to eat 20% of your damage in the vast majority of encounters. Enemies with weaknesses are another example of where it's woefully bad but at least that's one an average person can understand without a spreadsheet or simulator.
Having ran the math, power attack from level 5 up (first magic weapon) is currently typically about a 0 to 18% dpr reduction over just taking two swings against enemies you need a 10 to hit (which is about things at your CR). It varies by level, but it's basically universally a reduction in damage unless either you need a 15 to hit or the enemy has resistance.
I've never even looked at double strike, just power attack vs use both actions to Strike. Have also done the math with true strike on the first swing which is still not enough to make power attack have a positive effect on dpr.
With your change power attack would be a tiny (1-2 dpr) increase at levels 10-12 and still a negative for 5-9 and 13-20.
And yeah, in the suggestion I made a +2 d12 weapon would power attack for 6d12 instead of 4d12 (or 5d12 for level 10+) by the current one. This is possibly a touch too strong, but it's the only non-convoluted fix I could think of. Maybe a minor accuracy hit could help narrow in on what they consider an appropriate power increase for a level 1 feat but magic items have such an impact on the math that any model not considering them has huge effectiveness spikes when magic damage kicks in. This resulted in a fairly stable bonus across the levels (as a % of average dpr) which is something you can balance from to find the % you want.
My checking with the math suggests that if power attack accounted for magic weapons it'd work fine. That is to say instead of adding 1 dice add 1+potency dice. That's about the same step vidmaster is referencing just with pre-assumed magic items.
Power attack works ok til magic items throw off the relative value of a second attack. Tying the solution to the problem prevents it over-scaling if magic items are rarer.
How is being invested a point to the staff? That's an extra resonance and the staff ALSO uses resonance when activated. So it seems like a net negative to me.
Also, you have 2 hands, so you can have a staff AND prayer beads. Given the staff isn't a holy symbol that other hand is occupied to be able to cast anyway so you may as well have prayer beads in it.
So yeah, buy the staff first, but the beads aren't useless.
I read it but I honestly didn't give it much attention purely on the extra effort necessary to have any idea how much damage everyone in the party has taken since they last got healed by this particular skill feat. Tracking how much damage each person has taken since last heal by this is too much, especially when other types of healing are in-between. It's just too much cognitive load for a single ability to add to the game in my view.
I intentionally avoided specific implementations, but if I was to try to give a solution I'd say a long duration use of medicine that increased it's DC for each prior use that day on that person (e.g. DC 10 first time, each attempt increases DC of next by 5, scale amount healed off proficiency, crit failure blocks further that day). The person with the skill just has to track how many times they used this on that person that day.
Realistically right now Cleric is in a category of it's own for healing. They have a dedicated pool of heals separate to their combat ability & it's at their max level & they get 3+cha (So proabably 5-6 at low levels) & they can stack buffs onto it with class feats. Other healers (bard/druid/sorcerer) have it competing for their top level spells. Paladin is actually pretty good with Lay on Hands & the right build too.
And for in-combat healing I think that's a great place to be. Clerics are the masters of it, let them be. Other classes can do it at a pinch. In-combat healing with the new action economy feels quite effective as a part of your activities in combat. Consumables can be used to supplement weaker healing options & due to new actions are actually probably more effective than before (At least til you hit the resonance cap).
Where I see the problem is the impact of not having a cleric specifically in the party for out of combat healing.
Clerics are currently the only class who gets enough healing to manage out of combat healing over a decent length adventuring day (3-4 encounters) without having to dedicate almost all their spell slots to it, and consumables have been made prohibitive by resonance (Either by sheer lack of it at low levels or cost of consumables higher). Multi-class cleric doesn't even give that much healing power, though if enough did it it'd definitely chip away. Expanded health pools and resonance have made using consumables prohibitively expensive as a primary out of combat healing method.
My preference would be to add more out of combat healing options outside clerics specifically. Leave them their niche, it's pretty cool, but give more options. A bard song of rest, a druid coaxing natural healing at an accelerated rate, using skill in medicine to treat wounds in a slow methodical way. Don't hurt the cleric's combat niche but give some options to lengthen the adventuring day for a party without a cleric.
If your party is spending 4 miles climbing a cliff, perhaps you're better off telling them "maybe you shouldn't go this way?". If they insist, then the cliff is actually an incredibly dangerous encounter that shouldn't be done in exploration mode as they have very high odds of falling at terminal velocity before the top of the 4 mile cliff.
More realistically they have 4 miles of rough terrain that includes a few small climbs. As the GM you're meant to assess what checks should be needed. If the only question is time & the climb isn't dangerous, give a climb check to see if they make good time (Similar to how the same adventure asks for a few survival checks to make good time in the forest). If it is dangerous then you'll want to go into encounter mode to handle particularly hard cliffs (Which the adventure also does).
1/3rd speed is averaging out the fact that you're not perpetually climbing and being approximate.
Happy to hear that, all the abbreviation/heading options seem like they'll make it far more confusing.
You're probably all over this already, but if you do add a "Basic Saving Throw" as a concept, make sure to add it to the index so it's easier for first timers to work out what it means - both under "Basic Saving Throws" and "Saving Throws". Also capitalize so it's clear Basic has a rule meaning & isn't just the literal meaning of the word.
I did a bit of math myself. The numbers weren't identical because I didn't add elemental enchants but the trend-line roughly matches.
The thing that jumps out to me is that power attack works out strongest when you need to roll about a 15 to hit... which rarely comes up. Even most bosses are unlikely to have this kind of AC. 10 to hit is normally more common judging by equal-level bestiary entries (Most are actually a tad lower). Plus situational bonuses & flanks etc just move this further against power attack. You're probably always looking at a small decrease in damage against enemies you'll actually fight.
So essentially... power attack is only useful if your enemy has resistance to your attacks or a reaction that might interfere with follow-up attacks. Which while I was writing a rant I realized may not actually be so bad. We're all expecting power attack to be amazing because it was in 1E but perhaps this niche use is actually the right power for it as a level 1 feat. Is it really that bad as a utility option compared to the other level 1 fighter feats?
Thanks for the extra info on what it may demand. As I interpreted it first with just basically offering lip-service to it's greatness my players to cross their fingers behind their backs and paying lip-service to him then leave high-fiving that they outsmarted a dragon.
I'll give it a run with a more in-depth set of demands, try to make the party realize it's more binding & make up a few oaths that should at least make the party realize they're agreeing to some serious stuff rather than just stroking the dragon's ego until he lets them past.
I actually like the more clear language on saves that has come from including it in the text not the header. For the more complicated ones in 1E often the header-save is misleading or open to interpretation. I'd hate to see that go away, but the space saving of not having it on every spell is hard to say no to... so I'll just throw out please don't make it part of the standard template like some are asking.
The "Depending on" phrasing reads badly to me - I'd prefer we just add "Basic" to the existing words.
Also, can we make sure that the definition of "Basic" makes clear how it interacts with non-damage aspects of a spell? My suggestion would be to say Basic saves only effect damage & any other aspect of the spell isn't affected.
I think more ancestry feats at 1st level is the best option. I don't think you need more trickling in later, but maybe something as simple as getting 2-3 ancestry feats at level 1.
Or even better make the number you get part of your race - this would open a bit of design space so they can include more baseline in an ancestry if they give you less feats up front.
Because of adoption & other ways to access other ancestries, all the feats have to roughly balance (so that we don't get everyone adopted by the OP race) which currently means all race baselines have to roughly balance (As they have the same number of roughly equal feats). This could help give designers one more variable they can use if they want to add some flair to a new base ancestry (Like a swim speed etc).
It would mean trying to add some more ancestries to some races though, currently a lot of races really have ancestry feats that are very specialized (Like goblin which has a ton that suit either rogue or alchemist, but nothing for anyone else) and need a few more well-rounded ancestry options that could apply to any class.
I dislike assurance because:
2) At some levels you're actually "Taking" a negative result. Level 14 is the first where it's actually explicitly negative even assuming:
3) Ignoring conditional modifiers is very vague, because it's unclear normally if the DC should be higher or a conditional penalty should apply. Many of the examples in the book suggesting why a DC may be higher are circumstances that could apply a conditional penalty... so this rule probably only exists to remove your own bonuses and penalties.
4) The only spot I've found where it's effective is covering your penalties. Armor check penalty for things like stealth. Though it also gets silly in that if you're sneaking past someone you can be good but if they're looking for you then you go back to being clunky (Assurance can help with your stealth check, but not DC to spot you). Thematically this feels wrong for what Assurance is meant to be.
5) One last spot is combat maneuvers to hide your multiple attack penalty... which strikes me as an abuse rather than an intended way to use it.
6) The old "Should I take 10? I'm not sure if it succeeds" is back, but even worse. As the GM quietly hides the difficulty of a check despite the fact your character should be able to assess how hard it is.
7) Feats that require assurance first essentially have a feat tax on them with the uselessness of assurance.
I'd like to either see assurance gone, or have it replaced by something where you roll but if you get below X, you get X. Even if you made it that without changing the numbers I think it'd be balanced. Though I'd probably make sure the ACP and multiple attack penalty apply even with assurance either way, as they already seem open to abuse.
I definitely found low-level resonance too lacking for non-charisma classes. I had a dwarf fighter who actually had 0 resonance and failed his checks for his first 2 healing potions, then just gave the rest away to other characters. It was a very "feels bad" moment where he'd planned ahead then wasted almost half his starting gear on potions that didn't even work. This actually forced the party to rest the night where if it'd worked they'd have pushed on.
When I played level 4, resonance seemed fine. That little increase meant even the low-charisma players had a few resonance to play with. People made choices based on their resonance amounts, but it felt like a resource to balance not a punishment.
I agree with the premise here. I have found myself looking at my skills to increase & not seeing much gain from becoming an expert, just a +1 which just lacks "wow factor".
This may just be a "more content" issue. I'd love to see a greater range of Skill Feats with proficiency prerequisites for each skill. They seem to have filled "Legendary" but not really given much love to trained/expert/master on many skills. Some skills have a good range of options, but others seem lacking and being a Master of those skills really just gives you +1.
I hope to see more options in the final rulebook on this, as currently skill advancements are very lacklustre unless you pick one of the skills that is actually fleshed out. For example Athletics and Deception both have a respectable set of core options. I'm sure splat-books will add more later but it'd be really good if every skill at least had 1-2 options at each tier.
I was just making a character & decided he was a noble so I jumped to the noble background, and found a rather confusing result.
It grants the skill Nobility Lore - seems sensible enough on it's own.
It then grants the "Courtly Graces" feat - a feat that allows you to use Society in place of Nobility Lore for Recall Knowledge...
So the background both grants you a Lore, then immediately undercuts it by granting you a feat who's primary purpose is to let you use a different skill instead of having to be trained in that lore?