Travelling Sasha's page

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Personally, I'm really hoping for an Inquisitor, or something analogue to that! I'm really into Golarion's religion and I always play religious characters, even if I'm not playing a religious class. But for those times when I do want to play as a dedicated priest of some deity, I don't know. Sometimes I feel like the available chassis's (Cleric's or Champion's) doesn't quite hit the mark for plenty of how I imagine the typical priests of some deities being like. I think that an Inquisitor-analogue could provide the flexibility.

But honestly, and I know this is a very big ask, what I'd really love is for religious archetypes, emulating typical abilities the followers of certain deities might practice, like the divine fighting techniques from the first edition or just new stuff. But, if they didn't come on Gods & Magic, I'm not sure they're ever going to be a thing. :|

Karmagator wrote:
A topic I would have mixed feelings about is the Andoran-Chelish war they have dropped hints about. Usually, that would be absolutely my cup of tea, but given current events... yeah. Probably not so much.

What! Feel free to ignore me if my prodding is too much, but when and where were these hints dropped? I really like the idea, even if I'm reticent on what the consequences could be.

It's a long shot, but between Sayre's comment about hobgoblin weapons and another prediction on reddit about a release with bugbears as a playable ancestry...

We could be getting a book about goblinoids, in a similar vein to Book of the Dead! I'm not sure I'd put my money on this and honestly it does seem a little tight of a thematic (vs. Fey: The Book, or Aberrations: The Book), but who knows! They could expand the theme around it somehow so it's more than just goblinoids, or just... Include a lot of new content about them, too!

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Losonti wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Losonti wrote:
Speaking of armored skirts: did you also do the lore for Falayna in Knights of Lastwall?
I did! Among many other sections. ^_^
Of course, your name is on the front and all! Just wanted to let you know I loved her whole write up. I had only sort of vaguely known Falayna existed prior to this book, and now she's easily one of my favorite deities.

Just wanted to add my two cents and say that I love her write up too! It's very evocative. I've known and liked Falayna since the first edition, but that section really made me want to play as one of her followers, and I'm definitely planning to include a group of her followers as faction for my next campaign.

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keftiu wrote:
There’s a tiny part of me that thinks we’ll see an intrigue/espionage hardcover next year.

And there's a big part of my that hopes that you're absolutely right???

I've had tremendous success using the influence subsystem, and it's great... But having a complete lack of premade statblocks is a small issue, imo. A few arcs ago, my players attended a ball where they chould schmooze and secure resources for their efforts. And it was great! But oh god, having had to prep 14 statblocks was very, very tiring... I can easily come up with a homebrew creature if needed in a minute or two, but these statblocks took time.

Anyways, I'm a fan of social mechanics. and I'd really look forward to any book like that, even if they didn't expand on the influence subsystem.

That aside, I'm willing to bet that we're going to be seeing a Saga Lands book sooner than later. If we do, I hope that we see something interesting about skalds — I never cared too much about them, but after reading the occult section on Secrets of Magics, honestly, I can't think of any other class/archetype/cultural identifier more fitting for the tradition than them, even a little more than bards! (who they might end up being anyways)

Personally, I feel like it's a little unlikely but I'd love to have another playtest. It feels like while since the last one.

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keftiu wrote:
Is there any kind of Giant-kin ancestry in Pathfinder canon?

Hmmm, it depends a little on what you are asking? I know that Half-Ogres exist for example, but they're the offsprings of ogres and other giant ancestries, like trolls, hill giants, etc. I'm also pretty sure that giantkin is the umbrella term for giant ancestries in general (titans, ogres, trolls, cyclopes, etc) but I'm guessing you're using it as a correlation to geniekin, right? Correct me if I'm presuming wrong. :B

I'm pretty sure that there was no playable giantkin ancestry in the first edition, at least. The closest that we got were the Trox, I think.

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Oh! Well, to reiterate and reinforce what I meant to get across, I do not mean to dismiss your experiences in any way or capacity, Vamp. I largely agree with your reasoning that needing certain proficiency prereqs for tasks or challenges that cannot be circumvented in any other way isn't fun design!

I just wanted to offer another perspective on combat encounters specifically. I don't mind having my character be possessed for an encounter, for example - which does not mean that your experience is any less important than mine. It's just that I like abilities like that, but I do emphatize with your frustration. I just... Wouldn't like to see them gone, I guess?

I'm not sure if you referred to me as well in your last post but I do apologize if my post aggravated you in any way!

Edit: In fact, I myself made a similar thread a few years ago, more focused on the matter of quantity of combat encounters if I'm not mistaken. I'm not sure what linking it could bring to this discussion, but there might be something of value there aside from my bad english. :B

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Hmmm. . .

First of all, OP, I just want to say that your experiences are completely valid. I myself agree with you in a few points — Having to need anything that you cannot have in the moment isn't the most cool situation. In the case of hazards, this often means having to wreck it, or power through them... And I feel like, sometimes even these are not options at all. Having to need a rogue is even more bleh. I'm playing an EC campaign right now and the poor ranger had to invest in thievery because of that. With that considered...

I haven't ran a Paizo AP for a while, so I'm not sure how the difficulty is working out in the recent APs. More experienced players than me have actually told me that they find AV more lethal than AoA for example, although from what I see online I'm not sure if that's generally considered true. With that said, I will say that these... What, gimmicky fights? Are my favorite sort of fights. When the enemies does something special, I mean. Be it posession, Clay Golem's curse wounds, being able to do a super three-action combo if players finishes their turns adjacent to the enemy that is able to do it, having a cool bat wing reaction, etc etc. As a player myself, it pulls me in into the game and etc. Imo, these are the fights that makes people go "Ooooooh!" or "Nooooooooo!" or "Ohmygod Sasha you're dying 2 from the crit!!!". I do realize this is probably a group thing. Keeping the mood up and hyped is pretty important.

I say this as kindly as possible but imo, having a creature with a gimmick and not being able to use that gimmick defeats its point in the first place. Simply put, an enemy with Posession in meant to take a player out of the game, a Clay Golem is meant to make players waste their healing elixirs, etc. I get it! You're not saying that you don't enjoy gimmicks. A potential solution to these would be toning down these abilities... But again, would they be so memorable (if not frustrating, true) if they were toned down? Wouldn't they become another forgettable creature ability?

I'm not saying that these abilities's designs are perfect! Just offering some food for thought. These last questions that I made aren't necessarily literal, and are more there to get a point across.

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I don't recall my players having any issues with hit chances when we tackled Starfinder. It's a great game, with a lot of cool ideas — but honestly, what eventually killed the game for us were combats in general. They felt like a slog. :| They're waaaay too long, and that's mainly because of how little damage you do, especially if you're not melee.

I've skimmed through the entire thread and people have already made their points about the earlier premade adventures, have already spelled out useful and not implicit advice, and etc. I'd love to offer and extrapolate another perspective, though, for the discussion's sake. This is a big post, by the way. :B

And that is of a GM's. I'm not sure how new your GM is to the game, but I will say that GMing Pathfinder 2e is both an incredibly easy experience and, at first, an uncomfortable one. People often say how players should readjust their expectations and paradigms when playing Pathfinder 2e, but I'd say the same thing counts to GMs as well. I have never GMed another game out there that has the same precise fine-tuning in difficulty that PF2e has. I can genuinely say out of all the encounters that I've tailored,a good 90% of them turn out exactly as I thought they would, difficulty-wise.

And this is a powerful but sensitive feature to have! When I GM, I dunno, PF1e, SWADE, heck, Vampire The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition — all these games require a more flexible mindset when designing challenges and encounters. Of course they have their own nuances, but I can more or less adapt pretty swiftly to them, shooting for a difficult in any of these games is exactly that: A small bet. Sometetimes it pays out, sometimes it doesn't.

And sometimes GMs do not realize that that's not only not needed in PF2E, but can also cause trouble. Yet, the issue that I want to point out is not even that. At this point, a GM has to wonder: Do I want my game to be difficult? Heroic? Trivial?

And that can be an issue. It might not, but it can! For a long time I've myself thought that challenging encounters are more fun! And sometimes they're great. But when players are fighting for their lives in every single encounter, well...

It can cause what you're feeling, I think. In my group's last encounters, my 5 level 9 PCs faced a group of... Six or seven? Elite Brimoraks. Fireballs were thrown, Resist Energy was cast, a surprising amount of damage was dealt to the group... But the Fighter got to use their AoA a bunch of times, the Monk was able to trip using Assurance (Athletics), and the Ranger used their frost crossbow to great effect. The optional boss of the dungeon has already been teased, and they are more or less ready — though they do know that the boss is a strong enemy, and know that they will have to adapt accordingly and suffer anyways, because it's a boss. And feeling powerful and then facing a powerful opponent, that might be on your same group's level? That can create great tension, imo.

Anyways, just food for thought. I hope you can grow to like the game, OP, because I've had great, great fun with it. And I don't mean to drop this on the GM or anything: As I said, GMs have to readjust to the game's paradigm, yeah, but so does the players, at least for a fun experience. And if you don't... It's not the end of the world. People can like what they like.

Knowing what actual AP you’re going to play might help gauge how difficult it actually is supposed to be, OP! In a few some adventures, having party members going down might almost seem inevitable in some of its parts, for example.

People have given lovely suggestions, but I’ll be the boring one and suggest something a little more traditional but that would complement the group very, very nicely… A Cleric. A Cloistered Cleric, specifically.
It might not matter how much exponential growth a party member could bring its group to the table — from the moment that someone is knocked down, the strength of the group will waver! While in the majority of the cases APs are completely playable without dedicated combat healers… Well. Some adventures do require precise tactics and an understanding of the flow of the game that not everyone has, or is interested in having, which is okay. Going with a Cleric will help the whole group stay up and fighting, and that is particularly important since you’re four instead of five!

As far as “making the GM cry” goes, having been a GM and seeing all the damage that a boss did in a crit being whiskered away by one of the Cleric’s two-action Heals, and knowing that they probably have like ten more slots, well… It has never made me cry, but it certainly has made me go “Huh”.

Just make sure to suggest Sanctuary as one of their spells. :B

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I can see any primary martial doing great in this composition, really. Champions are incredibly durable and their AC scales very, very nicely — which is even more relevant since you guys will play Fists of the Ruby Phoenix next. If you would wrap it up at the end of AV though, you'd only enjoy the AC difference in the last module, I think.

A pretty great alternative is going Fighter and picking up Champion's Dedication and Champion's Reaction at levels 2 and 4 respectfully! Champion Dedication can be kind of a not that great of a feat for a Fighter, that's true, but you do get training in Religion out of it and more importantly, access to Champion's Reaction.

A more offensive approach would be going with the Paladin's Reaction, which Fighters really enjoy thanks to their better weapon proficiencies. The Redeemer's Glimpse of Redemption is a great conservative and defensive reaction, and the Liberator's Liberating Step is a little more circumstancial but, depending on the occasion, can really shine! If the Thief isn't planning on taking that feat that allows them to sneak attack whenevear an ally is also adjacent to the target, then I'd consider going with a reach weapon.

Ganigumo already mentioned it but, going with the Ruffian racket is a pretty good option too. You can pick up Sentinel if you want to be a little more tanky, and honestly, I'd also maybe consider the Champion Dedication because the champion's reactions work great for any rogue, even though rogues do have a surplus of reaction options down the line. Plus, rogues in general perform great at those levels, you'll be dealing some nice damage with the Thief. If both were to pick... Uh, Gang Up, I think? At level 6 if I'm not mistaken, I mean...That's pretty much just giving free sneak attack die for both of you. Though it will always be awkward deciding who goes first.

Any martial class is going to work, though. What may really sell your survival is your guys' in game tactics! Try to always go after the Bard inspires courage or... Dirges of dooms, I guess, so you can enjoy it's benefit (if doable), never go too out of the reach of the Cleric, flank if useful, bottleneck enemies's against doorways if able, etc etc. Good luck and, most importantly, have fun!

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They also usually have a +Dex/+Cha spread instead of +Dex/+Int, no? I'm not sure if that's like, very important to Drow fans, buut yeah. There's also that!

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keftiu wrote:
I wish I felt like there was any chance of 2023 being the Golden Road's year, but it just doesn't feel like they've gestured toward that region much at all so far. It's a shame; it would be really tidy to have all 3 regions in Garund like that.

I'd loooove if they surprised us with a Golden Road year! But if there is any foreshadowing at all to be considered, then I really think that the meta region that they're going to tackle next is the Eye of Dread. The recent undead content segways very nicely into there, and with Knights of Lastwall coming out soon-ish...

Or I'm terribly missing my mark here. Anyways, let's cross our fingers for a bunch of Golden Road content being announced in the next conventions!

The only thing I'd love even more is if we got a LO: Darklands book! People love their Darklands ancestries, and me personally, I'm just after more Darklands goodies and info.

(No, Into the Darklands and Darklands Revisited is not enough...)

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No updates, OP. :|

I've always been under the impression that the Drow is a very popular choice in any medieval fantasy-esque TTRPG, and I swore that they'd show up in some way sooner than later in this edition. It is a little funny that you can technically play as Drider but not as a Drow yet, though. (Because of the Fleshwarp ancestry. I did say technically!)

There's also a chance that the Darklands variants to the core ancestries (Drow, svirfneblin and duergar) could also show up as heritages or something of these ancestries. Or ancestry feats with specific prerequisites (in the same vein of nationality ancestry feats).

If they do show up as their own ancestries though, then I'd bet on them being on a Lost Omens: Darklands book, so keep an eye on anything that might foreshadow something like that, OP!

Saedar wrote:

Are you actually talking about the entire TTRPG industry or just D&D/PF/Similar?

The general TTRPG industry! And I have actually played Agon before — it's a great, great game, though pretty niche. When I said big or relevant, I guess I did mean more like, in popularity. Maybe it's a me thing, but if I think of a superhero ttrpg, there's Mutants & Masterminds! Or, If I think of a hardcore simulationist TTRPG, there's Gurps. If I think of Cyberpunk, there's Shadowrun and, well, Cyberpunk 2020; if I think of low fantasy or grimdark or whatever, then Warhammmer or Shadows of the Demon Lord comes up. Urban Fantasy games? The White Wolf line. Pulpy games? Savage Worlds... Horror? Call of Cthulhu.

But I dunno, nothing comes to mind when I think of norse or greek inspired games. But I know there's some around! I know that Gurps has a supplement for everything, and Mythras has great supplements for certain periods of time. Saga of the Icelanders is more about, well... Icelanders, but it's sill thematically similar to some; and Fate of the Norns seems to be a proper Vikings: The RPG. I've also have heard of Yggdrasil too, but very lightly.

RE: Ustalav, you guys are right! Thinking back, there is a lot of content on them. Though... I dunno. Wouldn't it make sense to invest more on gothic fantasy because of Ravenloft's success? Or no?

Personally, if we were to get a book dedicated to a more traditional region, I think I do lean a little more towards the Eye of Dread. Although, with so much stuff on undead coming out, maybe we won't be getting to them so soon? The again, if not now, I'm not sure when is going to be more thematically approriate (although it doesn't need to, I guess).

(also give us Iblydos Paizo plz)

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keftiu wrote:
They've said we won't see Iblydos until we get Mythic... so I want Mythic for that, at least.

Could be a great place to (re?)introduce some classical thematic ancestries, too. Cyclops, merfolk, minotaurs, centaurs, harpies... I'm not even sure if all of them are supposed to be a big deal on Iblydos but hey, there is a lot of options.

Yeah, I'm personally not interested in explicit post-20th level content at all. Honestly, I'm not sure what I want from it, aside that I really want it haha — and I don't love the idea of it being a post-20th level thing.

I dunno, I like Paizo doing their own stuff, their own way — like their reimagining of ancestries. Free Archetypes sound like a very easy way to to configure mythic archetypes into the game although, to be honest, the idea of them being balanced with existing content sounds a little off. A player choosing Dual Weapon Warrior instead of Ultra Mythic Warrior at level 2 because they get double slice sounds a little unintentially funny. I know a lot of people are not into the idea of mythic messing with the game's math, but the idea of turning mythic tiers into a mythic proficiency bonus does sound cool and easy to balance around. Though, who knows! "Mythic feats" kind of already exist to an extent, since most high level (skill, I guess) feats are already pretty epic in flavour, so I'm not sure what they could do there.

Hopefully we will actually get to playtest it first.

But getting back to topic: I know that the Knights of Lastwall are not technically from Lastwall anymore, but if we were to try to see it as a hint to the next metaregion that is going to be released after Impossible Lands... Maybe the Eye of the Dread isn't that far away at all!

Plus, I'm so very sure that people love gothic fantasy (or well, people seem to like Ravenloft a lot at least), it always came off as interesting that Ustalav wasn't more prominent.

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Travelling Sasha wrote:

Edit: Do you guys also know what place would be perfect to feature mythic rules with? I certainly don't, cough cough.

Okay, I am just going to say it: It's Iblydos. Iblydos would be a great place to introduce mythic rules with.

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I do like vikings and norse-inspired fantasy, even though it's not something that I'm absolutely crazy about. If a Saga Lands book does come out, I think I'd be pretty excited for that and general Ulfen info, and probably a deeper look at the Shoanti. Concerning the latter, I'm very curious at how they're handling the rise of New Thassilon, considering their past with the Thassilonians of old (are they even aware of it?).

I also don't think, despite agreeing that norse-fantasy has been something pretty popular, that there's any... I don't know, any big or relevant norse-inspired place within the ttrpg scene, is there? Like, somewhere very famous. In fact, I think there's not a big or relevant norse-inspired ttrpg itself at all. Something to consider!

There's also no big greek-inspired place within the RPG scene as well, Paizo. Something for you guys to consider. Oh, if only you had the perfect place to explore for that... A place that starts with I, and ends with blydos. I guess that place would need to have an iconic ancestry pertaining to a mythological creature, huh? Like... I dunno, descendents of Medusas. Oh well, something to dream about.

(I know that Glorantha is considered pretty hellenistic, don't ruin my pitch here).

Edit: Do you guys also know what place would be perfect to feature mythic rules with? I certainly don't, cough cough.

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The Raven Black wrote:
Isn't Razmir currently in Absalom, waiting for the right moment to take the test of the Starstone ?

Ah yeah, that's true! Or well, at least that's the (very likely) theory going around.

Honestly! I don't know. I really like keftiu's hook, of his followers suddenly gaining divine powers after he kicks the bucket; so I'm very open to a possibility like that... But Razmir has always been such a charming villain of the setting. Sending him to meet Pharasma after never actually having him do anything... I dunno.

As for my guesses: With Knights of Lastwall coming out, I'm guessing that the next adventure is going to be related to them. Really, with what I've seen from the preview, the book seems surpisingly flexible! Does anyone know if the book is written from the POV of someone?

Just a little tangent on the writeup of a certain goddess:
Iomedae's section came out as particularly severe to me. Reminded me of Geb talking about Pharasma on the Book of Dead a little bit? But maybe that was just my impression...

As far as books on regions go, hmmm. So far we've gotten an entire, beautiful book on the Mwangi Expanse and we're getting another probably similarly beautiful book on the Impossibe Lands. I think that they're either going to keep doubling down on the most non-fantasy traditional places, or either focus on one again.

So my bets are either on LO: Golden Road, or LO: Saga Lands. I'd love if they came out with LO: Broken Lands tbh! But, with no support of high-tech stuff on sight, I'm not sure they'd release a book with Numeria... And they did came ou with both Guns & Gears and an adventure set on Alkenstar before announcing LO: Impossibe Lands. (Which, decidedly, doesn't say much, but it could be a pattern!)

And while I have never been the craziest fan of Varisia, I know that many people have lots of love and nostalgia for it, including plenty of the devs. It seems like the most natural region to revisit, if they want to splash some traditional western fantasy on their LO line again. Though alternatively, I'd love to take a look at the Eye of the Dread — so many things happening there!

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People like the monk because they like what it brings to the table. I’m not sure if there’s anything beyond that, really. High mobility, potentially good defenses, interesting options for control, easy and automatic way to deal with damage reduction, stances being an engaging mechanic…

It’s a complete package wrapped around a theme that people seem to like a lot. I dunno? I’m not a big fan of the monk either, but I can see why people like it. I feel like you’re right that they don’t bring anything particularly unique or incredible though, but that’s not a reason for people to not like it?

I mean sure, other classes can do some of the stuff that the monk does, but better… It’s just, at that point, isn’t that true for most of the other classes as well? Why play an avenger-like Champion if you can play a Fighter and snag the Champion’s reaction through the Dedication? Why play a rugged TWF Ranger if TWF Fighter probably does more damage and really, who needs Survival anyways, or a Giant Instinct TWF Barb who does big numbers and big numbers feel good? Why play an Alchemist if you can just try to convince your GM to play with Free Archetype, pick up all the relevant alchemist feats and then play as a fighter-alchemist? Why have a diverse party, if a party of Fighters + something else will probably be able to handle all sort of challenges?

I hope this does not come off as a rant or anything like that, I do like th Fighter! lol But it’s worth considering, is it not? That it’s maybe not about the numbers to these people, but about the available options that are there, and how they sound, and how they sell themselves. More of a matter of optics, really, and how these optics tell apparently well-adjusted expectations, and how these expectations translate well to the game.

To keep the ball going: But then, isn't it strange that a lawful good character would be fine being a member of a faction in which some of the orders are known for crushing hope or dealing with devils? Or are the orders truly independent enough that such association wouldn't be natural?

Hell's Rebels question:
I started playing a Hell's Rebels game recently, but unfortunately it fell flat. But anyways, we did hear a rumour about what could the Order of the Torrent. My impression is that the survivors would've become allies. Is that what happen? What are the repercussions between the orders, if any?

Hmmm… Aside from the obvious “it depends”, I do think that it’s very important that we all remember that this is — above roleplaying, above number crunching, above tactical choices — a group activity. In this way, expectations are set and met by the group, usually lead and orchestrated by the GM but, then again, not always.

I’ve been in plenty of groups where conflict is more than welcome by the players, for example. Rogues would lie and steal from the party; champions would impose themselves whenever any sort of plan of action that flirted with the idea of maybe doing something not that good would come up, etc. And plenty of times, it was more than fine!

Other groups hate interpersonal conflict, and they’re there to hit monsters and get the loot and forget about everyday’s problems.

Many, may enjoy nuance. I, for example, am not a fan of having a PC steal from the party, but I am more than okay with more dramatic interpersonal issues between the PCs.

In your example — and I understand that you don’t necessarily want the discussion to be about it, but it’s the more obvious example that everyone will have at hand — your expectation as a member of the group is that a player would not act in a way that could potentially cause “unfun” to the rest of the party. Their expectation is that their character were their own: Not the GM’s, not the group’s, and therefore they should dictate such matters themselves.

Personally, as a GM, I’m only certain of what I don’t want to do, or narrate, or happen, or offer, and that’s where I draw a line, and it's an absolute line. If there’s something that I feel reticent about, then I try to get a feel on how strongly the player like that, and depending, if it affects other characters, I say that I think it’s important that other players are informed of that, and then we proceed as a group.
But realistically, if a player does a thing, and they are doing it wrong, and that’s a very important part of their character, then what happens when someone shows up in the within the narrative and says that they’re doing that wrong?

Oh wow, I have to say — I really like the bit about efficiency. It makes tons of sense, too, and something very to be expected from Hellknight orders. Even the most amoral of knights should recognize the utility of a Paladin. Sure, using a hammer for a drill's job might work if you're handy enough, but the tool will be worse for wear — and eventually, it will break. And what will you have? Nothing but a broken hammer. That's not effecient, nor smart. It doesn't lead anywhere useful or practical.

We can extrapolate from that, too. Creating an enviroment where a very useful resource cannot exist seems very self-sabotaging, no?

Ironically, I'm beginning to think that a Tyrant is not quite the best fit for a Hellknight, either. It can work, but there's a certain arrogance that the Tyrant requires that makes it a little impractical for a Hellknight to hellknight. I can see, maybe, a hellknight high in the hierarchy becoming a tyrant, but starting from 0? Considering someone higher in the hierarchy "lesser" than you can surely be a big problem for the tyrant. But they could work if they're ironically more compliant, I guess!

For those that unaware, the videogame Pathfinder: Kingmaker has showcases a short appearance for one of the orders. What do you guys think about that representation? There, they do come off as the silliest of baddies, in my opinion. In a very impractical way I guess, in retrospect.

Rysky wrote:
I don’t know what book specifically had it listed but it’s probably on the wiki, it’s not some secret or implied, there was the Chelaxian civil war where you had Orders against each other and then after Thrune demanded obedience and The Rack jumped at the chance and the other Orders went “nah”.

Hmmm, I see, I see. I vaguely remember that some order was hunted down by the Order of the Scourge after the Chelaxian civil war, and I presumed by that, that "in-fighting" can in fact occur, but I was still under the impression that more orders other than The Rack worked closely with Thrune.

Rysky wrote:

As for torture, it’s neither moral nor efficient. If you torture someone, you’re torturing them to torture, not to get info out of them, that’s a pretense. It’s evil. You can be ruthless and evil and avoid torturing, for many reasons. Sloppy, giving in to baser desires, not-efficient, time wasting, impeding an investigation.

While I very much agree with you — and in fact, in the favour of your argument, I recall a bit in the Character's Guide that talk Hellknights using the order to be gratuitously evil being severely punished — I always presumed that some orders do use these sort of methods. Is that a misconception of mine?

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Kasoh wrote:

The Hellknights are horrible people who band together for strength under the pretension of 'Law' and 'Order'. Because they conveniently only obey their 'Measure & Chain' they get to ignore any law of the land at their whim and force their beliefs on anyone they want through violence.

And they'll come to your place and do it for money. Then maybe kill you because you failed to uphold some standard they set you to.

This does not make them different from a lot of adventurers in many respects.

Sorry, but I'm not quite getting your point, I think. Is that that plenty of adventurers may behave the same way that Hellknights do and, therefore, adventurers should be considered bad as well; or are you genuinely demonizing the orders?

Kasoh wrote:
Spicy Alignment Hot Take:

Well... Yeah. It is convenient, because I'm trying to illustrate my point. :P It is meant to be presented as a creative exercise, not a player dilema — to be able to understand more correctly the nature of the Hellknights, and how to present them in campaigns.

I do apologize if that wasn't correctly implied. In fact, I'll rephrase the example to something more specific and with less room for extrapolation: If the most practical solution to a problem at hand that would align with the order's interests involves cruelty — would a Hellknight be bad at hellknighting for seeking an alternative, moral solution? If yes, why; if no, why?

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Very interesting answers here! Here's some (friendly) prodings, as to help the conversation flow.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
(...) but at the point where you have to choose whether or not to obey an order from a superior to bring an escaped slave back to captivity, you're not going to be both Lawful and Good.

And I imagine that most lawful good hellknights do care more about the lawful rather than the good part, and a action here and there wouldn't automatically shift their alignement to evil. And so, the question is: How often must a Hellknight act cruelly for the sake of order?

Here's what we know of the third link of the Chain, mercilessness.

The concept of mercilessness, the Hellknights’ third philosophical link, teaches that all are guilty of some infraction against order, and compassion is damaging to civilization and inhibits social progress. Exceptions to this rule, the Hellknights believe, pave a path to anarchy. As all have transgressed, none are worthy of mercy— including individual Hellknights themselves, who hold themselves to the highest standards of their own tenets.

My reading of this is that, actions borne out of compassion can impair effectiveness("social progress"). In this way, torture is an acceptable form of extracting information from a criminal — if a Hellknight refuses to do that, especially on moral grounds, then he fails at being a Hellknight. Is my interpretation too liberal? Do keep in mind that I'm not an english native speaker, please! :B

Rysky wrote:

The Hellknights are not an organization.

They are multiple organizations and they are independent of each other. There was even a rift over those who formally aligned with House Thrune and those that refused.

Oh, this is very interesting! Do you know where this bit about the rift is from? Are any of today's Hellknight's orders openly oposed to House Thrune?

Realistically, this is what I've always interpreted. That they are different knightly orders with the same ideology, but as they are separete entities, they may struggle against each other and disagree sometines. And it makes sense: We don't know about any Hellknight Higher Court or similar. Here's my question, though: Is this confirmed anywhere, or just incredibly heavily implied?

The Raven Black wrote:

A Paladin can be a Hellknight.

The order of the godclaw is the more paradoxical one IMO.

How does your friend feel about LN deities like Abadar, who have both LG and LE Clerics and Champions ?

For that matter, what about Nethys or Gozreh or Calistria ? All of those have Good and Evil servants rubbing elbows in their churches.

I hadn't thought about that! It's a good point. I'll consult with them the next session. But I know that they aren't too keen on Abadar anyhow lol.

The Raven Black wrote:

Law and order are not intrinsically Evil.

No no, of course. Ironically, my friend does strike me as someone that, hmmm... Sees themselves as Chaotic Good and, as such, tends to be wary or dismissive of the lawful aspects of the game. He jokes as dismisses Iomedae a lot, for example, though I feel plenty of people do that. :/ This could be it at play.

The Raven Black wrote:

For that matter, how about a LE Hellknight who has to obey the orders of their LG Paladin superior ?

I dunno. I mean, this does bring us back to the Measure and the Chain, right? How do them incentivize the Hellknights to act? Can a lawful good Hellknight not commit an evil action for the sake of order? I don't want to keep using the same example but I'm sleepy and it's the only one that occurs to me, so, say that for example:

A Lictor from the Order of the Torrent is faced with a dilema. A Cult of Norgorber has been kindapping people for the last two weeks, and their investigations point to a old norgorberite ritual of mass sacrifices that will occur in the next week, so time is short. They've managed to capture one of the cultists, but they aren't talking. There's magical protections that hide their mind from intruders that the Order can't pierce in place right now. But they're there, present, lucid, and physically responsive.

There's still alternatives. There's still nooks to be searched, spellcasters in town to be consulted, etc. Wouldn't the precept of mercilessness stop the Hellknight of not being "practical" here, and making the Lictor proceed with ordering an "interrogation" to be made?

The question about a Lawful Good character acting under a Lawful Evil was more about the blind eye argument, that they could skate through the fringes of the order, not actually performing evil actions. In these cases, that doesn't seem quite possible, right? Or does it?

keftiu wrote:
entire post

I imagine that's the case, too, but I like to think there's some good in the bad guys. What? Yes, I like bad boys, sue me!

Jokes apart, here's an interesting tidbit: Most positions of power in the more problematic orders are actually filled in by lawful neutral people, not evil! (Or at least that's what I gathered from scouring around the wiki).

Perpdepod wrote:
Also, for someone wondering what that good might look like, I'd suggest keeping in mind the adage that good does not mean nice, and also the idea of "scared straight" turned up to eleven, or maybe twelve.

While I certainly agree that good characters don't have to be nice and can lean into being more firm or stoic or whatever, there should be a difference between that and turning a blind eye to what your order is known to do, no?

Also, second bonus round, for comparison's sake: Can a Tyrant be a Hellknight?

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Hi, friends! First and foremost, I hope you’re all having a nice day.

The infamous Hellknights are knightly orders that base themselves in the strictures of Hell as to bring absolute peace to Golarion. Each order concerns themselves with different objectives. The Order of the Scourge hunt those who hide behind perverted laws, the Order of the Rack seek to destroy unnecessary knowledge, etc. Many orders have undeniable ties to Cheliax, and especially to Cheliax’s infernal queen.

Last session, an argument ensued at the table. I had noticed that one of my players — a friend — had a very negative view of the Hellknights. Personally, I really like them, so I decided to prod.

To them, most of the order’s undeniable relationship with Thrune paints them in a very bad light. They use fear as their weapon and mercilessness is a part of the Chain, a philosophy that they follow. When I mentioned that LG Hellknights do exist, he wondered how that was even possible.

Take the famous Maidrayne Vox. She already is part of an order with potentially problematic connotations. Then, there’s also the fact that she only is Mistress of Blades! That means that she is subservient to the Lictor, who is LE.
How does that happen? When the Lictor orders Maidrayne to commit an evil act for law's sake — what happens then?

The caveat here is that the Measure, the actual laws that they are supposed to follow, are an open-ended narrative resource. That means, we don’t know what laws they actually follow. I was under the impression that these are based on Hell's, but information on the Character’s Guide is sparse. My impression from what I’ve read is that they are inspired by Hell’s stricture, specifically, and… That’s it, actually. But back to the Measure: It’s completely possible that the actual laws are Lawful Neutral in nature. That way, no matter the hierarchy, if all members are subject to the same law — If the Order of the Nail’s Lictor can’t just order torture to happen as to extract information from a target, then that changes everything. But we don’t know that!

In the end of our discussion, my friend believed that Hellknights are merely not that consistent, and they absolutely should be a LE organization, with maybe a few LN members, and mostly for very evil baddies, because that's how they make sense (to them). I think differently: I believe these open ended resources are there to not boggle down page count for otherwise very unimportant bits. I mean, imagine if Paizo actually published the entirety of the Measure! But as such, we do have to take what information is given to us, as — … wait for it — law. And the Character Guide does say that there’s a place for morality in the order… Even if they wield fear as a weapon and have this very specific interpretation of mercilessness as part of the Chain. It’s… Strange to me though, how a lawful good character be part of an organization whose plenty of orders associate themselves to Thrune, for example. Actually, are the orders independent of each other? Would a member of the Order of Torrent not be morally bothered by the actions of another more evil-leaning order?

Honestly, I’m just hoping that people will spitball interesting thoughts about hellknights. And maybe getting a 202, because I do feel something is missing. What do you think?

Bonus round: Can a Paladin be a Hellknight?

A lot of good and interesting points have been reasing by plenty of folk, so I'd just like to offer my opinion. I'm going to put it in a spoiler because that's just an offer of my insight, followed by my actual opinion. :B

My insight as someone playing with FA:
I've been playing in a game with FA recently and it's been great fun. I'm playing a Ruffian Rogue that picked up Sentinel Dedication, then Steel Skin at level 3, and so I plan on picking Dual Weapon Warrior at level 4. Because I'm wearing a Full Plate, Bulwark helps with those dangerous saves, but I also plan on eventually picking up Mighty Bulwark too because that's just plenty of good, though that's a little down the line. Anyways, going with DWW lets me pick up Twin Parry at level 6, and I do plan wielding a parry weapon, although I'm still quite not sure which. Finally, Multitalented at level 9 will give me Champion Dedication, and I will finally be able to snag the Glimpse of Redemption at level 10, I think?

Realistically, this all started with the concept, kind of. I didn't compare a lot of graphics and went around the internet looking for the best combination ever, but still, it comes together really nicely, I think, and I kind of chose whatever option felt more intuitive to the concept. The concept itself is of a shelynite that failed to train to become a champion when she was younger, and can't quite love herself because of background reasons. She uses a longspear (for now) because she never quite could get how to use the glaive properly, although I do describe most of her strikes as rather accidental, trying to be emphasize that she isn't really comfortable with the longspear. She'll eventually embark on the journey of learning to accept herself, and love herself; and that she doesn't have to wield Shelyn's favorite weapon or anything like that to be a good devout, and only when she actually learns to accept herself, she will become a proper champion.

Truthfully, a loooot of stuff can happen during the campaign that might change what I'm planning to do with her. But honestly, her character (arc) is totally doable without FA. In fact, I'd lie if I said didn't go out of my way a little to optimize her a little, though that's because there's only her and a swashie as frontliners in the group.

In my tangible experience of GMing plenty of games without FA, and playing some games without FA, and now playing my first game with FA...

It's definitely benefitial, I think. I wouldn't say it breaks the game or anything, but I also wouldn't say that the amount of optimizing players do is what solely impacts it. The quantity of players has an impact, too, and whatever other optional rules are in place. Imagine a game with FA, gradual ability boosts, and with six players; and then compare it to a group with only four players and no additional optional rule.

I plan on GMing a game with FA soon, but I'm definitely going to limit archetypes to thematic options; because that's what I want to get out of them: The reinforcement of themes.

I was under the impression that they worked like archetype feats but for ancestries, too, and that they would follow the typical progression paths that ancestries normally get as the characters level up.

So maybe vampires would get feats that gave them a fang unarmed attack, some occult cantrip, or pest form, the skeleton would get a feat that allowed them to thrown their own head somewhere and Demoralize someone (essentially better reach for demoralize), etc. Does anyone know if, in fact, some are actually going to be normal archetypes? I was a little worried that vampire would essentially be a control+c of dhampirs!

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Hello, friend!

I hope I do not come off as strong, because your feelings are very much valid, but I do think it is a good idea to put things a little into perspective.

In this game in particular, classes have much more of a tight role. It isn’t to say that they don’t have much leeway, because they do! But in this fashion, the Champion’s chassis is supposed to be one of a great tank. So, most of its abilities are either circumstancially ofensive, or generally defensive.

Champion is one of my favorite classes, and I think a lot of people would happily say that they’re the best class. This, of course, might not mean much, because everyone values different things, and that’s okay! But I think that most people would agree that the champion’s strength comes in the form of how much they can contribute to the party. Between Lay on Hands, high AC(that does take a little while to start coming ahead from other PC’s, that might be true) and its punishing reaction, the champion is meant to be a big giant nuisance in the battlefield for enemies; or to be struck all the time.

If the second starts happening, well… Even if you have high AC, you will not be some sort of impenetrable fortress, really. Your main strength is that, thanks to your armor class, you might not be critted as often against dangerous enemies, though, which is pretty powerful but not all-denying. Thankfully, just in the way that you help your allies, your allies can help you too.

A 2-handed “holy avenger-type” Champion is a completely usable concept! But because the chassis of the class pushes it to, well, get hit, the lack of a shield — which helps both with AC and damage reduction to your own self — you’re more diversifying than investing in its own natural strengths. Which, again, it’s completely doable.

If you want to capitalize in the big die, I’d recommend picking the Mauler dedication up. There’s plenty of cool feats that grant usable, active actions instead of reactions for you to pick up. Realistically, champion feats are kind of not the most flashy ones, so looking some dedications up is a good general idea as well. In the future, also consider going with a fighter yourself, and then picking the champion dedication up for a more undeniably offensive interpretation of the holy avenger fantasy trope.

Your observations about the class are all spot-on, but they are supposed to be its strengths rather than weaknesses. Also! Remember that Retributive Strike is a MAPless attack. It works great with reach weapons too, but that’s not a must. I hope you can find what you’re looking for in the Champion, and have a fun game!

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I never stopped to think about this, but maybe the noninterventionism thing may in fact contribute with certain deities seeming ineffectual. I can kind of see it with Asmodeus and Pharasma, but I think that generally, it's worse when deities do try to intervene in some way (when they otherwise wouldn't).

I mean... C'mon friends, Iomedae? After finishing the WotR PC game and browsing around, people seem to really dislike her. Like... You know. Calling her useless, egostical, arrogant, and even framing her as downright malicious sometimes. And she was the only deity that was trying to do something more actively!

Meanwhile ms. look at the bright stars and dream nice that will totally dive right into the abyss to kick some demon's butt for personal justice/revenge, no matter the consquences, was floating around space looking at the pretty sun.

(Totally love Desna btw. Also really love Iomedae)

But more realistically, I dunno. If deities could just walk around freely, wouldn't the world eventually kapoof because of holy war and whatnot? How other settings justify this?

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ALSO! I just remembered something else, just after sending the post. But, hero points, man! It's horrible, to watch a player go from a pyrrhic failure to a crushing critical failure because bad luck dice. We've had a whole discussion about this, after a session. Very politely, of course. First, on how to earn them.

It's recommended that a hero point is awarded from thirty to thirty minutes, more or less. Yet, as one of my players themselves remarked, in a game about heroism — either only great heroic actions are the ones where the reward feels right, or the GM look for excuses to give out hero points constantly.

The first one feels the most right — to our group, at least — while the second feels a little... I don't know. Unrewarding? A player said something akin to "I like trying to gain hero points. If you'd just look for excuses to give them out, I feel like I wouldn't try to be awarded anymore, you know?".

The issue is that, independently, hero points don't... Feel particularly heroic, most of the time. I've been recommended the hero points deck for juice effects and what not, but ironically, I just entered a game with that anddddd the first time I decided to cash in my hero point for a hero card or whatever it's called, I got the ranged shot opportunity thing. With my melee sentinel rogue. :c

I wonder if upgrading a degree of sucess with a hero points sounds like, way too good. It does, right?

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The Raven Black wrote:
There are 75 feats and 3 focus spells with the Metamagic trait.

Oh wow! I hope this doesn't come off as a little leading or anything like this because that's really not my intention, but despite having played a wizard from level 1 - 20 (before APG came out, tbh) and having GMed a good few short campaigns already...

I mean, if anyone had told me that there are only ten or fifteen metamagic feats in the game, I'd genuinely have shrugged and said something like "Sure, sounds about right". :/

I'm curious about what people thought's are about metamagic options, so I think, hmm... I think I'll create a new thread!

Also, here's another grievance that I have with the game, and this is actually something that I find a little, substantially (but respectfully), annoying: Recall Knowledge insta-locking after a failure. I mean, I get the idea behind this: A failure should mean something, narratively, and the resolution that you don't know anything more about the subject sure is something.

But at least when using it against foes and enemies... I mean, I dunno, I feel like it should an extra clause or something. Narratively, it's as easy as saying "The battlefield is always chaotic and interrupting, and a failure in using Recall Knowledge against foes during an encounter represents the character not being able to concentrate instead of not knowing anything else about the subject".

But, I'll concede that I'm not sure what are the repercussions for that.

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Sssooo, getting back on track…

One of my favorite things in the game is the three-action economy system. It gets to interact in a pretty nifty way with a select few spells, and while I will take this opportunity to say that the more of them, the merrier, I want to actually point out that I’d love to have a more universal, maybe external way of interacting with spells in general. Oh, wait! We do have a way, metamagic options!

Yet, but, however and nevertheless, there is just so few metamagic options… I loved Secrets of Magic, but before what kind content it would have was announced, I was so hard under the impression that it’d have like, a bucket of metamagic feats, that when I found out that it’d barely have any kind of class feats — god, it kind of hit me hard hahaha!

And I mean sure, it’s also worthy pointing out that, generally and personally, I do feel like the caster class’ feats aren’t as exciting as everyone else’s. But, if it’s really an issue at all, my problem here is how wide the design space for metamagic feats seem to be for this edition, and how little explored it is still. :c

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Aaaah, it do be Andoran for me. I feel like... They draw a little too many problematic or suspiscious parallels from its... Inspiration, to genuinely be NG. That it is, makes it come off too on the face, or at least naive. Honestly, narrative-wise, I think it'd be pretty interesting if they went through some sort of heel turn.

But I concede that this perception might be from playing with multiple people playing PCs from Andoran, and they themselves reeaaally trying to sell Andoran's theme. Similarly how people feel about dwarves, from playing with other dwarves PCs that came off as problematic in their own way, hahaha :B. (Which, does not mean that there's any problem with dwarves themselves, for example).

I also concede that I felt similarly about Taldor and then GMed War for the Crown and really like it nowadays. I guess Andoran never really got its chance to shine though, to an extent. Is there an AP set there? No, right?

What else, what else... Oh, I'm also kind of saturated from playing a lot in Varisia throughout the years, and from the flush of content for Absalom, but I still like both places well enough. Could easily see myself playing or GMing in both places... In a few months. Maybe not right now.

Otherwise, I think most nations or regions in Golarion have really interesting seeds and hooks, but could use some rework, expansion, revision or to be cleaned up.

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keftiu wrote:
(I'm less sure about Thuvia and Osirion, but I believe they do, too)

As someone that is just about to finish their own little campaign set on Osirion, I can offer some insight! Osirion has participated in slave trade as much as other countries at some point but, in their introduction to the setting, they were depicted as having gone through slave revolts that called for reforms, inspired of course by totally-not-america. After the death of Khemet II, Khemet III took the throne, instituting the Laws of Equitable Use (which restricted slavery as punishment to specific crimes).

Then, the Ruby Prince chartered the Council of Liberated Slaves as a body of deliberation to help advise himself; made up of slaves and children of slaves, and then made sure that five of them had direct access through an election to positions in the Council of Sun and Sky, the actual governing body of Osirion. The current First Speaker (a position that alludes to a Prime Minister of sorts) of the Council of Sun and Sky himself is a former slave, elected through the Council of Liberated Slaves.

As for how I'd like to see them depicted, hmmm. I would like for them to be an emerging power. Osirion is a place of history, of magic — why shouldn't they utilize their own resources for the sake of the country? They have a strong past, erased by imperial powers: Are there no political wings that call for the reinforcement of their identity? It was andorian influence that molded the current political spectrum of the country; it's the pathfinders and the adventurers, and the taldans and chelaxians, and Aspis and whatnot that go marauding around the country, whisking away their history and past. Don't people get annoyed at this?

I've always been so confused about the Pharaoh being considered a divine ruler of sorts. People don't seem to worship him there, so I've been depicting this facet as him being incredibly popular (pff, Abadar is backing MY king, what about yours?). How the osiriani see the Pharoah? Are there relevant diverging opinions? Or being considered a divine ruler means nothing?

How do the people feel about Qadira?
How do the people feel about Katapesh?
Who are the people that live in Osirion?
What is living in Osirion like?

Honestly, with the matters of slavery fading away from the scope of coverage, there's just a lot of space f cleaned up, revised, and newly-developed content. They can make the Golden Road feel alive, exactly as they did with the Mwangi Expanse.

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Kobold Catgirl wrote:

This thread's more benevolent counterpart.

Friend, hi! I just wanted to point out that I think that your (and your last) thread is completely valid and very important and I really didn't start that other thread because of yours or anything like that!

As for criticism, hmmm... I'd really love if they had a way to errata a little faster. And caster class feats! I wish they came off as more fun. They're good! Effective. But I don't know, they're not... That fun, to me.

I also wished that there was a way for lore skills to advance independently from other skills. Maybe a level 10 General Feat that increases one lore skill to expert?

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Hmm, slavery has always been a relevant part of the setting. It has never been the focus of the setting, and it is not a core part of the setting, but it is an element with a lot of moving parts. There even is a little diagram about slavery, with who reinforces it, and who fights against it in the Inner Sea in LO: Legends.

There’s the Council of Liberated Slaves in Osirion, the Bellflower Network in Cheliax, the Steel Falcons from the Eagle Knights. Ulfen lands have thralls, Droskar is a deity of slavery (decidedly, among other things) and Milani is the deity of fighting against slavery (decidedly, among other things). Liberators, of course, liberate.

But… This is a tangent, isn’t it? Because this decision was taken as a real life decision, on a real life issue. This isn’t a “Oh, what’s better, if we have the Tarrasque be the big bad monster of the setting, or something of our own like Treerazer” situation, because this involve real life people. In this way, the setting is… Almost secondary, really. But of course, I’m not trying to be disingenuous: The question that this thread tries to pose, from my perspective, is if it’s worth to remove slavery as a narrative element in the setting. And eh, I think it is. This is something that is very terrifying for a lot of people, and very exasperating. Well being of people should take priority over a narrative element that isn't even that important to the setting, shouldn't it?

People that homebrew in Golarion can just add it back with the consent of their group or whatever and, as I pointed out, there is still a wealth of information about this issue on the setting for those that want it. Personally, I do think that it leaves the Liberator in some sort of odd place, especially if they are talking about a completely removal of all slavery and not just state-reinforced slavery. But I mean, there’s still evil kings and queens tyranning over their own people, I'm sure that everything will be easily accommodated.

I’m more interested in how they will do this: If slavery is just going to kapoof from the setting (i.e not be mentioned again), or if the waves of reform and revolution over this issue that have been hinted multiple times of happening will finally take place.

Frankly, to me, I hardly ever have used this as an element, and probably would not with a group of people that I don’t know well, or trust. I’ve also always found it pretty obtuse that the biggest majority of nations with slaves in the setting were the totally-not-non-western-countries, and the nation that has always fought against it despite international consensus was the totally-not-super-america.

And I do hope that if slavery is actually removed narratively from the setting, that it’s mostly done by the people that suffer it, or/and the people of the country. That Osirion finally outlaws all form of slavery thanks to the relationship of the Council of Liberated Slaves and the Pharaoh, that the Bellflower Network and its allies has struck so many times successfully against the slaver institutions in Cheliax that the country has no other option but to ban slavery, that a thrall ends up becoming a linnorm king and strongarms the other linnorm kingdoms into outlawing slavery, etc. No “eagle knights swoop in to save the day”, pretty please.

(But I'm more than fine with it going kapoof as well, to be honest).

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The Raven Black wrote:

I love this thread, just for its title. Too many Let's bash PF2 threads these days for my taste.

Thank you.

Aww, thank you! As someone that has started a few negative sounding threads before in the past(but never with any ill intentions), I remembered that one of the devs mentioned in one of them (I think it was in one of them, at least) that positive reinforcement works just as well as negative reinforcement, concerning feedback. And, as you yourself said, there's been a consistent flux of threads with, hm... Punitive, I guess? Feedback.

Of course the forums represent a small portion of the player base, but still, it makes sense to me. Letting the devs know what we do like (especially when our expectations tended us toward a more negative view) lets them know in what to invest in the future as well, especially if there isn't a lot of content for that yet or it can be explored more deeply. cof influence subsystem cof /s

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Knee-jerk reactions are pretty common through life, especially towards change™. Unfortunately, I tend to judge things very impulsively but, because I am aware of that, I also make a conscious effort to keep an open mind when dealing, talking or interacting about something that I think that I am not into.

I found myself going through that a few good times during my experiences with the game. In this vein, I’m wondering if I’m alone — or if you, too, judged something in particular too quickly about the game, but then grew to like it.

To me for example, that was the influence subsystem! Well, technically it’s pretty much translated from the first edition, but still. I was very confused by the mere need of rules for intrigue, but I gotta say: As far as structured social rules around influencing and schmoozing goes, it plays really great! The only downside is that influence statblocks require some good work. My players just finished participating in this party, where there were… 14 relevant, influenceable NPCs? And I think I had to nail down two or one and a half hours of scribbling per day for three weeks, to get them all ready. But, I mean… There’s no fix for that, ofc. :B

What about you? Did some part of the game surprise you more than you expected, and why?

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I'd personally love to see minotaurs, the merfolk and the stheno — and while we're at it with the hellenistic-inspired ancestries, I'm very curious about harpies as ancestries as well, if doable. But harpies-harpies, not harpy-like non-harpies or the the secret descendant of the harpies. :B No shade of course, I really like what we've seen from the Stheno.

Also the whole Darklands bunch as well. Isn't it a little odd, to think that we still have no Drow despite two years of released content? Ideally, I'd love a Lost Omens on the Darklands with a bunch of Darklands ancestries and heritages, but I always thought that, I dunno... Drow would come sooner than later?

But I support them taking their time to reconsider what they are in Golarion, or just be careful with it. Still hoping for a Darklands LO release though, any time soon™.

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I would personally love more content for alchemists and casters, especially! Actually, really, what I’d really love to see is more investment on the itemizer role, to be honest. Is that an alright word for it? I think Paizo has a real chance to break off from the typical d20, medieval fantasy paradigm if they want to, in the sense that the alchemist does really feel like something outside from the typical martial-caster paradigm. Like… A third kind of role (that isn’t gish, something more separate). But there isn't a whoooole lot of class content for it. Aside from the Alchemical Sciences methodology from the Investigator, I think that’s it, right? I guess archetypes kind of help with that though, a little. We’ve got the Herbalist, for example… Archetypes that specializes on making a particular sort of item do sound fun tbh.

But that’s a little beside the point of the thread, I’m sorry! I’m sure we’re going to get continued support as the years go by, but… Well… I genuinely do not want to ruin anyone’s expectations, it’s just that after Secrets of Magic, I am not sure if we are going to get any sort of substantial amount of, say, class feats on a single release. Because, I mean… Was there any better time throw a bunch of class feats for a specific, limited group of classes on single book than SoM? But we’ve barely gotten any. I think that for Paizo, it probably comes off as a better investment to work on more universal options. So it’s easier to pump out spells, archetypes and items, and probably more worth it. But, say… More oracle mysteries? Investigator methodologies? I think we will get those in a similar format to how we got the phoenix bloodline for sorcerers. One option here in this book, another option there in that book, that sort of stuff.

Like, I fully agree, I’d love to see more specific class content. But... Setting expectations right is important, I think.

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A three-part AP involving the orcs of Belkzen kicking undead’s butt. Ideally having the characters be an orc-only(or, well, half-orc) group working under Hold of Belkzen’s leadership, and culminating on the creation, development or further steps towards the emergence of a belkzen nation-state, (forcedly) recognized by the rest of Avistan and Garund because they’re just waaay too badass (and because they dealt with whatever the AP would involve on the Gravelands).

Preferably, this wouldn’t culminate on the end of the gravelands or anything like that, though… I think that the idea behind it is just way too cool to disappear so soon from the setting...

I knooow, I knooow, a little way too specific, but oh well… I do like everyone else’s ideas, though! I like a lot of the crusader-ey stuff too, and everything that it involves (Arazni, Knight Reclaimants), sooo yeah.

Oh wow, I just stumbled on this thread by chance while I was talking to a friend about APs that we’d like to see and play!

I realize that in the past, I’ve made one or two little threads that might have felt a little negative, even though I do always try to be as kind as possible — so before getting into it, I would like to take the chance to thank all the people involved in these APs. I can’t imagine what it must feel like, to pour hours of your life into creating this creative work and then putting it out there for so many people to judge, positively or negatively. I guess that, realistically, people have different preferences over minutiae and that’s alright, but it must be hard to try to offer something that pleases, well, most. I, personally, have grown enamored over many, many, different aspects that these modules have offered to me and the people that I share this hobby with over the years, and for those many hours of enjoyment, I’m entirely grateful!

Also, before getting into specific examples, I do want to say that like many others, I love the idea behind 3-part APs. With the barrier between work-life and personal life becoming more muddled than ever, being able to enjoy and finish a story is, well, great! I do also think that they tend to make for more focused and concise stories, by structure alone, which I greatly enjoy. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like the classic 6-part AP, by the way.

I also greatly enjoy specific, tight premises, haha. I wouldn’t mind an AP where certain ancestries are disallowed (or only a few ancestries are allowed), or even a few handful classes are permitted. (We at my group have been doing that

As for places with specific story beats that I’d like to see::

— I’m a huge fan of a premise counting with most of the PCs not being actual foreigners to whatever region it is set on. I think that connecting a PC to the AP’s region immediately creates a more direct connection than otherwise.

— I’d love to see Kyonin again, and have the chance to see how kyoni elves are supposed to be like (compared to their depiction in Second Darkness). In fact, I’d be super content with playing as kyoni natives! Maybe, hmm, I dunno… Playing as newbie members of the renewed Shin’rakorath. What was their name again? Lantern Bearers, right?

— I’m surprise we haven’t seen much gothic fantasy yet! The first module that I got to play was the first book of Carrion Crown, and I loved the grubby, melancholic and creepy theme it had going on. With many 5e players flooding in, I think that an Ustalav AP could work as a pretty good foil to Curse of Strahd, and also give the opportunity for it to present itself independently, as its own thing as well. Also, big fan of pharasmites, changelings, hags, vampires, werewolves, and moody people. Like, really, maybe I just live in a bubble but most people’s favorite genre of fantasy that I know is gothic horror.

— This might sound a little negative at first, but if there was a place that I really had absolutely no interest on, well, that place was Taldor. But then I ran War for the Crown and ohmygod — amazing. It helped a lot that it’s depiction is way less Arthurian than, for whatever reason, I initially imagined, but the way that APs hypes Eutropia it’s just, amazing. The first chapter of the first book is, personally, the strongest start of any other adventure that I’ve ever seen, hard period, and then it just goes upwards from there. So, yes, I’d love to explore more of the eutropian Taldor, with all its struggles, problems, traditions, and reforms. Also, single most evocative piece of art for an campaign that I’ve ever seen? That one where Eutropia’s face is painted on a wall in Oppara. Super, super evocative.

— As an addendum, my players loved the intrigue sub-system in the first edition. Being able to use ride to talk about horses is such, well, and obvious and elegant solution. I’ve tried it on my homebrew campaign and of course it still works great so, you know, more of that as well, please.

— Generally, more faction-specific APs! I’d love to play an adventure revolving around a specific faction of Golarion. Honestly, Strength of Thousands kind of does this, so yeah, give me the Hellknights AP, the Red Mantis AP, the Knights of Lastwall AP, please and thank you.

— I know it’s a hit or miss for plenty of people, but I like adventure paths were the character’s name grow exponentially as they increase their powers. And a pretty natural way to achieve that narratively, is having the manage their own thing. So maybe… An AP where they are part of a mercenary guild, and then start managing it? Think about it: It could have something like a sandbox-ey book where players can either accept or refuse some missions, manage resources (including other recruited mercenaries, NPC that they meet during their adventures), and so on, so on. That also screams the River Kingdoms for me, but I’m just happy about the premise!

Honestly, I’ve had plenty of others interesting hooks in mind, but I’m kind of tired of writing? So maybe I’ll get to it some other time. But yeah, for now there they are! As a plus: I’d love to see more of the Golden Road and Arcadia.

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Hmmm, I want to offer another view to OP. I think that a lot of people are trying to give sound advice, but something in specific did jump out to me from all your posts, OP: That you're playing Extinction Curse.

Having both played and GMed it a few times, I can understand where you're coming from! Its first book can be pretty tough, and for newcomers that aren't used or aware of this edition's paradigm, it can naturally be pretty disheartening. Honestly, someone else even pointed it out, adventure paths tend to be harder than not. Things do get, hmmm, ampler let's say, as you level up and get more tools for the job.

Still... That's not necessarily everything that this edition has to offer, really. Simply enough, in APs most encounters are just severe or extreme encounters. I do recall, though, and I think that's a mistake a lot of GMs make... Uhm, well, I don't know. It's about the fight that you mentioned...

worm guys:
If you're talking about the vermlek encounter on the church, they are supposed to be all useless and try to shove the players into the graves they were digging. If the GM missed this information, I don't particularly blame them because I almost did, too, but yeah, there are a few encounters like this.

As I was saying: I'm running a homebrew campaign right now, and most of the encounters are trivial to moderate, and this does change the feel of the campaign. The "issue" might just be that APs go for harder encounters than not, maybe. Unless your problem is that you can't trivialize an encounter that is supposed to be hard(which, personally, is pretty immersion-breaking for me), then do consider this perspective. I see it as... Well, it might not make a lot of sense, but bear with me: Instead of being, I dunno, Achilles facing a bunch of greek soldiers, you're usually just facing other Achilles's, and plenty of time some Heracles's too.

And FYI, difficulty does vary from book to book, and from AP to AP. Usually, the first books from the first APs are the the most " " " aggravating " " " cases for this. It's really a matter of taste though, in my experience.

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Hmmm, I think that most of the pros and cons have a little more to do with what someone expects out of the game, to be honest. What I consider good might be dulled to a person that already has decided that they don’t like the game, for example, because of a variety reasons. And okay, fair enough, someone that really likes the game might disagree with some sort of criticism that I have to offer. That probably sounds a little too obvious, but it’s still a good idea to keep that in mind as you comb through the replies, OP.

But — of course! You are asking for opinions after all, so yeah. Keep in mind that I have both played and ran some APs (or, well, some of their books at least, in most of the cases) and am currently running a homebrew campaign, set in Osirion. Here’s the pros:

— From the GM’s side, I think that what jumps to me the most is the encounter building. Running a homebrew campaign, I can count the number of times on my hand when an encounter went unexpectedly. If I make an encounter thinking that that encounter is going to be tough, then it usually is. If, otherwise, I want it to be an opportunity for the players to show off their capabilities (i.e how strong they are/have become), then that’s what usually happen. There’s some nuance there, still: A high DR enemy will prove to be difficult to a more melee party, an enemy with high saves is going to be a sour experience for spellcasters, etc, but once you get a feel for the system, those hiccups that might happen will not happen anymore. But it’s not how tight the whole encounter building feels. To me, the biggest pro of this aspect is how much time I waste compared to other games. I know that you don’t want to start and edition wars, but I can’t help but compare: When I first got into the first edition, I had just started college, right?. Time was tight, and I remember spending hours building these encounters, thinking that they’d be a big challenge, just for them to become a cakewalk. These villains were amped up to be these enormous threats, and... They just didn't come through. It felt... Antithetical, I guess, to the narrative. I think that you can, absolutely, provide tough challenges for your players on the first edition, but it requires so much time from you that you have to ask yourself: What exactly are you trying to achieve, here? As someone that doesn’t have tons of time on my hands anymore, I’d rather spend my time prepping about different challenges, story beats and etc rather than one or two encounters. Though, if time isn’t an issue for you, then that’s probably kind of bleh.

— From the player’s side, being able to build a character without, well, gimping myself, is plenty of a relief. I can absolutely pick up eh options for roleplay reasons and be fine with them. That’s not to say there aren’t better options, there absolutely are, but because of the way that the math works, it’s usually fine. In different games, you could otherwise kind of be dead weight. In some other games, if only one player optimizes their character, then any kind of semblance of balance in thrown off the window.

— It goes without saying that the internal game systems are a work of elegance, tbh. Like… The degrees of success, the way dying works, the action system, how different sorts of feats work, the introduction of a metacurrency etc. Of course, not all of them are original to the game, but still. For new players, these cliqued way faster than any other internal systems of any other RPGs, aside those that are plenty light ofc(like the many PbtA games). I will concede that hazards are a hard exception, though. They are hard to wrap our head around, at least for me, and even now that I do understand them, there’s just something off about how they work.

Now, for the cons:

— Hmmm… Interestingly enough, I do think that veteran GMs might have a harder time understanding the system than newbie GMs, and that’s because we often learn to, hmmm, how can I say this? “Read the implications of the rules”? I’ve played plenty of other RPGs: Cortex Prime, Shadowrun 4e and 5e, Fate, D&D 5th, Savage Worlds, many PbtA(though they’re not relevant to my example), and in most of those, you do have to overtone on your encounter building, compared to the guidelines that you’re usually given to follow for that. You do have to trust the system while learning from it, I guess, because a game of PF2E runs very differently than other traditional RPGs, and that can be jarring, if not disheartening, initially.

— Mild gear, ahm, I’m not sure of what synonym can be used in here. You know… The one that starts with a p and ends with a n. Most gear offered play exactly into the breadth perspective, but my players have consistently held on to them to later sell them, and have refused to buy them (aside from drakeheart mutagens and, ofc, runes). They instead in saving for the essentials (i.e runes), even though we’re playing a game that has been advertised in having a hard limit on the access of item levels because of the situation (siege). For those that like to spend hours scouring through the gear to find every little advantage that you can find, well… There’s plenty of useful stuff, but eh. It’s no PF1e, much less no Shadowrun.

— Veeeery different paradigm: And this is the biggest con. The game does nothing to soften whatever blow might be felt by the people that come to it expecting an experience more similar to DnD 5th or PF1e. I’ve heard a player say that they feel their sorcerer was weak, for example, in the end of the same session where they did like 180 damage from a lightning bolt on level 8.. And I’m not dunking on them, I can absolutely see where they are coming from: But I don’t think the problem is the game, specifically, but the fact that what classes can do or what they should do isn’t telegraphed well, even if class roles are more rigid than ever. Though, I will concede that I'm not sure how they could do that aside from being very on the nose about it...

Edit: Oh, here's another con! When people talk about the difficulty of this edition, I do think they are usually coming from APs. And that's true, adventure paths tend to set the bar higher rather than lower for that. And because most of APs are, of course, heavy on combat, when most of them are severe encounter or similar, then it can naturally feel like a slog. They're otherwise excellent, and on higher levels that inherent, rigid difficulty does alleviate without completely going away, but depending on how you and your players like your campaigns, if you do go for an AP, consider trimming your encounters or offering(not allowing, offering) alternative solutions to them, that's okay.

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Hmm! See, while I agree that the concept of the class seems to lean more towards wisdom rather than charisma, I do think that having charisma as its key class ability has more to do with its ties to the occult than anything else, as the tradition is described on SoM. Even if, well, its ties aren't that direct. That's my guess, at least.

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Hmmm, but I think that there is plenty of content for divine spellcasters in SoM, right? The new divine spells kind of helps with the much needed — in my opinion — breadth issue that the list sometimes seemed to have. Most of the archetypes work okay with them, there's plenty of useful items, if a little too circumstancial sometimes but that's always been the case for consumables...

What there isn't a lot of are class options, but that's not exclusive to divine spellcasters in any way. Of all caster classes, only the druid got specific stuff, unless you include options like the new Runelord archetype, which sure it's interesting, though not universally accessible. But it's been known for a while that specific class options (class feats, sub-paths, etc) would not be a focus in this book, anyway. Which is unfortunate, sure, that's content that I'm personally very interested in... Still, doesn't mean it might never come.

I'd personally would be super into different books focusing on each tradition more deeply, and this time with actual class content in them. lol still, SoM does a lot for magic. It's just more general!

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Oh, and I'm not sure how people might feel about this, but a Gods and Magic 2.0, focused more on religion. Maybe with archetypes for followers of the most relevant deities?

Now, you might say: "But Sasha, you can just pick the Cleric Dedication for that" which, yes, it's fair. But, what if I want mechanical support for characters that are not granted powers, but still have a deep relation with the faith and its practices? I mean alright, you can just bump religion for that, yeah, but there's some really cool room for development in there!

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I’d fall in love with a Darklands book! It’s literally where the first ever adventure that I ran was set. And honestly, while the Darklands have always been the Paizo’s response to the Underdark, I really think it’s the the opportunity for them to revise their material and make it, well… More them, I guess. Like they’ve done with goblins and technically elves, and plenty of other creatures in this last edition. They could make it creepier, for example: Or more alien!

I’d also really like for them to include in these regional publications a table or something denoting which ancestries and versatile heritages are common in a specific country/kingdom/region, and which might not be. I’ve recently have been running a game in Osirion and that could’ve really helped. :B It doesn’t need to be anything too formal, but at least some clear mentions.

Like many others, support for Mythic would be really grand. A friend of mine is running their own game where they have been homebrewing that to an extent, and I don’t know, I’ve really liked their solution: A mythic trait, which lets anyone with it rolling against any challenge that doesn’t have it treat its degree of success as one higher. I think it translates pretty well into the structure of this edition, without necessarily breaking too much. At least as far as I’ve heard!
Though, obviously, there’s way more room for mythic content than something as simple as that. :B

I would also really dig faction booklets. I’m not sure what format would be ideal for this, but a book with a small number of pages with information about a particular relevant faction of Golarion, including mechanical support for characters participating in that faction and plenty of hooks on how to involve them in your adventures or, better yet, how to run an adventure with all the players being from it.

Also anything that includes a merfolk ancestry, please and thank you. <3

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