Vampire Seducer

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Organized Play Member. 608 posts. 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 7 Organized Play characters.


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Leaving individual changes aside, I really love this new process. It's a much needed improvement. Good job. :)

I hope this means we'll see errata for Secrets of Magic, as there's a number of things in there that have been waiting a long time for it.

This one comes with a boon, but I can't find what that boon actually does anywhere.

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Chaotix Note wrote:
So this truly changes the portrait art and token art of every Bestiary entry in the Foundry VTT Pathfinder 2e compendiums for them?

Looks like it, yep! Everything I've tried from a Bestiary didn't have art before and does now.

It doesn't touch creatures already in the game, either because you already imported them or made them yourself. In that case you can bring it in from the compendium again, or assign art manually.

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8Brit wrote:
I'm struggling here, I bought the package and activated it on my Foundry account, but I can't find this module in Foundry at all. It's not in the install module listings, even as 'unowned'. I'm running an older version of Foundry (v9), is that the cause? i'm reluctant to update in case it breaks my current AV campaign.

The token pack requires Foundry v10.

I've migrated multiple campaigns, including Ruby Phoenix and Extinction Curse, both of which were brought in using Pdf2Foundry. As long as you import every book *before* doing the migration, it works fine out of the box now that v10 has a few fixes. (If your AV campaign is using the version you can buy on Foundry itself rather than an imported one, then just update that at the same time and it should be fine.)

There's a couple modules that didn't carry over (Token Auras is busted for PF2 in v10), but most are updated and working fine now. So unless there's a module you just can't live without that isn't updated, you should be fine at this point.

Do make a full backup first of course, as the upgrade instructions say. That way if it doesn't work you can roll back.

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I'm so glad to see another high level adventure. Ruby Phoenix is great, and one of the reasons is that since you get to start at 11, you're already big important people and you can do absolutely any wild backstory you can think of.

With the Harrow worked in here too, it sounds really interesting.


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I see, thanks. That's frustrating.


Hi. A group of players I GM for just finished book 1 of Fists of the Ruby Phoenix. I gave them their chronicles, and when looking at the list of boons in my organized play page, this is listed as one of them:


Fists of the Ruby Phoenix: Despair on Danger Island - Expanded Summoning

Gain access to new creatures to summon. Must have played Despair on Danger Island to download.

What I can't find for the life of me is a list of what those creatures *are*. Is there anywhere that explains what this boon actually does? Do you have to buy it before it tells you or something?


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That's great! I love how the style is so bright and whimsical.

Onkonk wrote:
So as someone who got into Golarion with 2E I basically know nothing about Korvosa and what happened there before, will this adventure be suitable for such a group?

They usually include enough info to make it work, but I doubt it'll land with as much as impact as it would if you had played Curse of the Crimson Throne.

We just finished that one and the preview of this makes me want to dust off my Bard and dive right back in.

HammerJack wrote:
That's correct. Spellhearts have no rule about needing the spell to be on your list.

Great, thanks! Think I'm going to have a happy player.

Castilliano wrote:

Yes, it's not tradition specific so you can use your best spell attack roll, or your best DC too.

I'm more surprised it would allow them to cast a Cantrip not on their list(s), but if so, they're good to go.

I never even considered that might be a problem, since they don't say anywhere that you need the spell on your list (unlike wands and staves, which do say that). It reads like "you can activate this thing to cast this spell".

So I don't think that part is an issue.

Hi. One of my players is a True Neutral Divine Caster, and thus has a severely limited selection for damaging cantrips. Looking at Spellhearts, I came across this:

"Spellhearts are permanent items that work similarly to talismans. You affix a spellheart using the Affix a Spellheart activity, which is otherwise identical to Affix a Talisman. The limit of one talisman per item remains—an item can have one spellheart or one talisman, not both. When casting a cantrip from a spellheart, you can use your own spell attack roll or spell DC if it's higher."

Being able to make spell attack rolls isn't tradition specific AFAIK, so the way this reads, a Divine caster could say use a Flaming Star to get Produce Flame, while using their normal spell attack roll (because they have a spell attack roll). The other spells in it don't work that way, but I'm specifically focused on the cantrip.
Is that right? Because I can't find where in the rules it says otherwise but that seems much stronger than I expected.

Thanks! :)

This is awesome news! Only thing I'm disappointed by is that I'm currently running both Extinction Curse and Fists of the Ruby Phoenix and would love some of the extras here (like the ambient sound and fancy maps), but they're not available for purchase yet.

And I 100% understand that. It's impossible to do everything at once, and it makes total sense to focus on the new stuff coming out. When I run one of those, I'm really excited by this.

I do hope the other 2e APs get the same treatment at some point, though. :)

Yeah I'm baffled that this hasn't been clarified yet. Just because there's a bunch of different pieces of text that don't all line up well in what they say. My interpretation is "mundane tools are fine" but you can make a case that it's not based on the wording.

It seems like such an easy thing to clarify that I don't understand what is taking so long.

Any word on when an errata/clarification is coming for SoM?

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I mean, I don't feel that "I shouldn't doxx my customers" is holding anything up to a higher standard. If a freelancer or customer service person had done it, you'd have probably fired them. So that an executive can do it and just promise to not do it again is not any kind of high standard.

"I shouldn't doxx my customers" is an absolute minimum standard for anyone working at any company.

roquepo wrote:

Completely agree that healing downed allies in the hope that they contribute to the fight is a bad tactic (doing the bare minimum so they don't die is not though, this is still a role playing game and unless you are playing a douche I think most people would try to save their comrades).

Healing so another ally can take 1 more hit is okay, but instead of that, I would prefer to focus on contributing to the progress of the fight and remove the need of in-combat healing in the first place. On average one wall spell will do 10 times more than any heal spell of the same level.

I think this specially applies to the early levels, if you are likely to be downed in 1 hit, there is no reason to put you in your feet so you go down again.

Probably depends on edition. In PF1? For sure. In PF2? I find my Medic Cleric pretty surprisingly routinely in severe PFS encounters is bringing multiple martials back up from down in a single turn (Doctors Visition Battle Medicine one, two action heal another), and that's enough HP that each can typically take a hit and stay up afterward. Turning my 3 actions into 6 party actions is IMO way more effective at getting a severe encounter down than most of what the frankly pretty weak Divine spell list can throw at it. It doesn't seem like enemies should be downing multiple people in a single turn, but a couple of crits from them can really wreck someone's day and this happens far more than I'd expect it to. Maybe it's less of an issue in an AP where we're all the same level.

My experience has a DM is that unless I throw lots of AoE mook encounters at them, blasters feel weak. My 8 year old son plays a greatsword fighter (which isn't even an optimal fighter) and can outdamage any blaster on a single enemy encounter easily, and it's not close. But casters doing other types of magic can really hinder enemies or help the party a lot, and while some people just don't like the more support caster playstyle, it's really effective in this system.

If you really want to play a blaster, you need to have ways to target weak saves or teammates doing things like Demoralize to lower saves so you can land your spells. Because those boss type enemies are probably not failing their good saves very often. (A lot of players also don't use Recall Knowledge enough to find enemy weaknesses, when it's very rewarding to do that in PF2.)

Grankless wrote:
The eidolon trait states that the eidolon can ONLY use items with that trait, but all other text - including in the same trait - implies that only refers to magic items. Can this be clarified either way?

This is what I want clarified as well, since with one version an Eidolon can use nonmagical items (like tools), and with the other one it can't.

Both of them mention investing, so it seems like both mean magical items, but it's not very clear.

Eidolon: A creature with this trait is an eidolon. An action or spell with this trait can be performed by an eidolon only. An item with this trait can be used or worn by an eidolon only, and an eidolon can't use items that don't have this trait. (An eidolon can have up to two items invested.)
Your eidolon can't wear or use magic items, except for items with the eidolon trait. An eidolon can have up to two items invested.

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James Jacobs wrote:

Yup, Merisiel (and the author) is bisexual. And thank you so much for the kind words, folks! This is a story I've been wanting to write for a LOOOONG time, and when I was doing the initial art brief for the APG and saw that heartbond was in there as a ritual, the way I wanted to illustrate it was a no-brainer... love how it turned out! (insert a long line of heart emojis here)

EDIT: Reading the responses has me weepy eyed too! In a good way!

Oh man, heartbond is in there? That's awesome! Definitely something I'd love to have in my games.

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HLO is immensely frustrating, since they had something that worked in HLC and abandoned it for the new thing. Okay, fine, that happens. The new thing is worse than the old thing in a lot of ways (no custom content, doesn't work offline, etc).

The new thing is also more expensive than the old thing, with the double-dipping subscription model and relatively high price for minor things like AP player content that used to be free.

So lets summarize this. It's more expensive for less functionality. It is not shocking why HLC users would be balking at this. I totally agree that things like family plans and an all-in single subscription would help significantly, but until that stuff is actually delivered, it's meaningless to talk about it.

I don't think it should ruin anything for a group, simply because Hero Lab isn't nearly as necessary in PF2 the way it was in PF1. The math in PF2 is much simpler, you aren't going to have to try to figure out how seven buffs interact with each other, and in general it's a simpler game to run. It'd certainly be hard to let it go when you're used to having the toolchain (like I am), but PF2 is far easier to play with paper and pencil, so it's a thing you can adapt to.

Maybe HLO will one day become better than HLC and get a pricing model that's more palatable. But right now it's just not there, and I'm not sure if it ever will be.

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graystone wrote:
IMO, it has nothing to do with the how wide the gap is: You're ALWAYS going to have one big enough to cause an issue if you try and it'll just get worse as more options come out.

No you won't. You will always have a gap, because if people can make choices some people will make better ones than others. It is in no way set in stone that said gap will be big enough to cause issues. It was just that wain PF1 and it's ancestors because those systems had wild power disparity between options, or even classes.

Hell, we had a guy in the PF1 game I'm in remake a character because his first one was just ineffective in our group. His new, far more effective one? A ranged Slayer with the "standard archery feats everybody has to take to make archery work". Not exactly some broken or OP build. That's how ineffective his first character was. Same guy, no particular attempt to break the game. Wild disparity.

There's all kinds of room to close that up without them being equal. It's not that big a deal if one character is better than another so long as both feel useful and contribute to the group. It is a problem when one character so totally eclipses another that there's a question as to why the second one is even there.

(The d20 system is riddled with those kinds of issues, which is why we need all these social conventions about trying to match power levels to each other in a party.)

quote]If people ignore the social contract and knowingly make characters that don't fit in with the rest of the group, it isn't a game issue...

If the game requires a social contract or it fundamentally breaks because people use the same rules and come up with characters that can't form a functional group due to one being a sword waving guy and the other being a demigod... then that is absolutely a game issue. It's a failure of the game to make such a situation even happen as a standard outcome of following the rules normally.

Maybe you should try 'twinking' out a normally bad/sub-optimal character to make it workable so you can work on na wierd build AND not put out other people as the total power level isn't blown.

That still requires knowing what everyone else is doing, because if he does that and the rest of the table shows up with the most OP things they can make, he's now the one on the wrong end of it. Which isn't better.

You know what I never needed to ask in the playtest? "Hey, are you guys using totally broken builds or low power ones, so I can make something to try and line up?"

That I never had to do that is a huge positive.

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heretic wrote:

Look folks.

You are missing the point.

You can have different flavours of pulp adventures, you can have different flavours of super hero adventures.

When you do pulp superhero stories ala old school superman/batman and the afore mentioned Doc Savage you are dealing with something outwith traditional heroic fantasy even relatively high fantasy.

High jinks and craziness are all par for the course. Being homo superior by level 1 or 6 or 20 isn't.

Anyway as I keep saying we'll see what the final product is like but the fundamental break with tradition that the +1 per level to every thing for every member of the adventurer super species with addition of the UTMEL to differentiate between the supers who have left base humanity so far behind is noticeable and deeply felt.

No, we get the point. We disagree with it. Those are not the same thing.

Right now I'm playing a Cleric who can literally walk on air, conjure enough food for 324 people a day with only a single level's spell slots, banish relatively strong demons to their own plane by uttering a few magic words, imprison a champion of a big bad wielding an artifact sword into my scimitar (true story, was great), bring the dead back to life, and call down literal Miracles. I can do all those things at more or less the same time in one day, and still have enough power left over to wield fire and lightning, heal impossibly grievous injuries, cure nearly any disease, engage in diplomacy with nearly anyone successfully, sing a pretty great aria...

I mean, this isn't an exhaustive list. This is stuff on my spell list from two game sessions ago and a couple of skills that are jacked right up (although I haven't had to feed an entire town lately). And that's not even a particularly powerful character, I built a healer because they're fun. :)

So I mean, if you're trying to say that +1 somehow breaks tradition because PCs aren't world altering forces at high level... my not so optimized Cleric wants to say hi. And so does the God King Wizard who actually did try to become as powerful as possible, because that guy is beyond superhero.

And since they changed it so untrained doesn't get that +1 anymore, my Cleric even gets to keep his comic ineptitude at Stealth!

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Ah! So you're saying we can treat HP as an abstraction rather than actual damage done to your physical body? Excellent.

Going by that line of logic, we can likewise treat AC as an abstraction rather than merely how good at dodging you are in-universe. It's a combination of that, and luck, and plot armor, and a host of other things both in-world and out. Just like HP is.

I mean...what's the difference between a greataxe that hits you for 1/10 your HP and one that misses entirely due to your level-based AC narratively speaking? It's not a large one, and in both cases can be attributed to almost the exact same list of causes.

The argument that somehow level-based HP makes sense while level-based AC does not is what bewilders me, since the same justifications that are used for HP almost universally also work for AC even more easily.

Yep. I'm not sure if you thought I disagreed or was just using my quote to reply to someone else, but I agree with that entirely. :)

Level based AC scaling makes perfect sense if we have level based other stuff scaling (which we do).

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graystone wrote:
What needs to happen is everyone has to be on the same page. If you're playing a casual game, you know you're a jerk if you hyperspecilize. If you know you're playing a tooth and nail epic fight for the universe, you as much a jerk for bringing in a casual character. If you build a character to actually fit your group, it's not an issue.

In order to know that you're going into a tooth and nail epic fight for the universe and that you shouldn't bring in a "casual character", you need to know that much about the game, and also need enough system mastery to know what a "casual character" is, and how to avoid it.

Anyone relatively new to the game or with low system mastery is incapable of doing that. And that's where the whole mess gets going and the DM has a bunch of extra work to do.

The system mastery power gap in PF1 is massive. It's so huge that it necessitates groups figuring out this stuff in advance, sometimes with players who have no understanding of what the problem even is or what they're supposed to do about it.

It seems to me that a better solution is to reduce the size of the system mastery power gap so that groups don't have to do this, because there's no lack of systems where it isn't necessary but there are still differences between character power. They simply don't allow one person to build Superman while another builds "Varkon the mall cop" and expect them to be in the same group battling the same foes.

The playtest did go a long way to alleviating that.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:

I really and sincerely do not understand why a 10th level Wizard having a minimum AC of 22 or so is more immersion breaking than them having the 100+ HP they often do in PF2. I am honestly befuddled.

I mean...all the complaints about the lack of realism/explanation for the AC bonus apply even more to increasing hit points, so objecting to one and not the other makes absolutely no sense to me.

I mean, even in PF1 with a Raging Power Attacking 1st level Barbarian critting them for around 57 damage on average, most 10th level Wizards I've seen would survive that. That's a full on greataxe to the face kinda situation, and they're basically fine (indeed, even absent magic, they'll be fine in less than a week). I find them learning to dodge better a lot more plausible than them gaining that level of physical durability ever was.

Seriously, when people can block greataxe blows with their face, other minor feats of superhuman physical prowess seem par for the course.

Because if you go there, you're also going to have to explain why ANYONE can block greataxe blows with their face. Human skulls do not become more durable by training with swords, so there's no logical explanation for why Fighters are more likely to survive a direct headshot from a greataxe than Wizards are. It makes no sense whatsoever.

Which of course, it doesn't have to. HP are an abstraction. Always have been. They have always represented more than how many direct greataxe hits to the face you can take without dying.

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I mean, are we talking Fighter feats? Sure. Playtest Fighter feats are generally pretty cool. Lots of them do interesting things. I found more than one I might want to have at some levels. They're an improvement over a lot of feats from PF1 for Fighters.

But that isn't true for all classes. Cleric feats are... not that. So much so that it often makes sense to dump them into getting Paladin feats instead. Because yes, you can make the case that Channel Life is better than all the Cleric feats it costs to get.

Skill feats were all over the map, general feats were largely uninteresting even if they are good (the "add +1 to a thing" feat did exist, it just bumped your proficiency in a save, and Fleet with it's +5 movement was certainly useful but not what I'd call inspired).

I kind of feel like you two are talking past each other simply because you're talking about something so broad that you can both be right at the same time depending on what specific subset you're looking at. :)

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I think it's important that something resembling it exists. That is: Wizards/Clerics have access to a wide variety of spells, can only use so many at one time, and have to generally speaking decide that when preparing for the day, barring scroll/staff usage.

It's been an iconic part of the game for a very, very long time, and by losing it entirely I think you're losing something. That said, there is no requirement that it work exactly the same way, and something like the often discussed arcanist casting (where you pick a set of spells but don't have to assign them to individual slots during prep, so you can cast two Create Food spells without specifically preparing two of them) would make the classes generally more accessable and less prone to being so swingy power wise, without taking away from the setting.

Mostly it just solves stuff like "oh I only prepared one Restoration today and two people got crippling effects, so I guess we're done adventuring for the day despite having all these free slots".

(I also don't think this is the same conversation as the mechanics discussion in the other thread.)

I believe that's correct. Cost may be listed elsewhere. For example, Cleric Domain powers work like that. The Cleric section is what says "all basic domain powers cost 1 spell point, the advanced ones cost the listed amount."

graystone wrote:
For me it isn't the lack of "narrative justification", but the lack of one that explains why EVERYTHING advances at the exact same rate: attacking the same as defending. Mental strength the same as reflexes. Skills the same as all the above...

That's only true if proficiency never changes. When it does, the gap between things grows further.

But even then, there is also no narrative explanation for the inverse: when I'm dodging fireballs all day, why do my reflexes still advance at half the speed of the fortitude I'm never really being tested on?

There's no real narrative explanation that explains those rules either. The rule came first, and the narrative that "oh, Clerics are just bad at dodging fireballs and never really get better at it" followed.

This is not trying to change something at the narrative core of the game at all (as opposed to removing divine magic from the game entirely, which would be a huge narrative shift). Clerics are still worse than Rogues at dodging fireballs in the new setup, and Monks are still better at not getting hit than Wizards. The narrative hasn't changed all that much, and it wouldn't be hard to come up with a narrative explanation for how the new rules work after the fact, exactly like what was done with the old ones.

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Mark Carlson 255 wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

Those are fair points.

Personally I have a lot of faith in Paizo, and I also strongly feel that the success or failure of PF2e is going to be in the Adventure Paths, which have always been the flagship product. I don't think what PF2e looks like even matters that much as long as Paizo continues to be the only company regularly publishing quality prebuilt adventures.

But I also don't play PFS, so I can't speak to the trepidation there; I can understand worrying about that, though.

This is a topic of discussion a group of us has, if the AP's or adventures are good to excellent but the main system is less than that, will people buy the AP's or adventures? Is there or has there been any example of this from the past? And does it apply today?


Some people will, for sure. Some others will buy and then convert the mechanics to a system they like more. But on the general market, if the system itself is unpopular, content for it tends to not resonate that well. It turns into a problem where even if the AP itself is good, people who don't know that see the system name on the cover and immediately move on. That makes APs a much tougher sell.

Hopefully the system is popular because it makes the whole question moot.n

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Bluenose wrote:
Megistone wrote:

I don't get why a wizard becoming better at attacking (even physically) is ok, but a wizard becoming better at defending is absolutely not.

The only explanation I can think of is: because it used to be so.
Why does every character become more skilled with their weapons when their BAB increases, including the ones they aren't even proficient in? Why does the spellcaster who never casts a single necromancy spell turn out to be able to cast them perfectly when there's an 8th level one they like? Why does killing goblins make you better at opening locks because you level up and that's where you put your skill point(s)? It's all a great mystery.

The assumption was that during downtime you were practicing whatever you put your skill points into/researching the spells you'd learn/practicing the new feat you got/etc, which handwaved all that away.

Which is fine, and can still do that. There just has never been a justification for "your ability to hit goes up but your ability to avoid being hit doesn't" except "because game mechanics." Which means game mechanics can absolutely change that so they do both improve.

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Starfox wrote:
As it is the sorcerer isn't really a viable class. Hopefully, we'll see the sorcerer go through a lot of evolution, including adding multiple beefed-up bloodlines.


I'm a bit skeptical about how well it the divine bloodlines function as written, and to a lesser extent the aberrant bloodline. But the primal and arcane spell lists are great, and any class with access to it is perfectly viable. Having great charisma also makes them amazing with Demoralize as a third action.

Yeah. My wife played a Silver Dragon Sorcerer in Mirroed Moon and loved it, while she was a useful member of the party too. That's pretty good for "not a viable class".

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pjrogers wrote:
Tridus wrote:
You don't try to balance class power by making the OOC game mechanics obtuse and complicated to use to their full potential. That simply gets you a wide disparity...
I guess I don't see how selecting one's spells at the start of the day as prepared casters do is "obtuse and complicated." It seems fairly simple and straightforward to me.

I think people have described their feelings on that in the other thread. :)

And for those who'd refer not play prepared/Vancian casters, there are numerous spontaneous caster options - oracles, sorcerers, etc.

Those aren't really the same as they move the issue to level up instead, and leave you without the same versatility. I like picking spells, I don't like "well I took X and Y because I thought we were doing one thing, but now we're doing something else so 2/3 of my highest level spell slots don't exist today." With how much magic was nerfed in the playtest, the power level loss caused by that simply hurts too much to make vancian casting tenible for me.

I can handle it more easily in PF1 simply because with so many more spells per day (and generally stronger spells, and less need to heighten things to make them effective, and longer durations, and scaling...), getting one or two wrong simply doesn't hurt as much.

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pjrogers wrote:
Helmic wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Five months and was there not a single question on whether we should keep or remove Vancian style prepared casting?
I think of all my criticisms of PF2, this was the biggest. I think it had a knock on effect that made every casting class feel subpar.
Personally, I'm very happy they're keeping Vancian casting for prepared spell casters (one of the very few things in what we know about PF2e that I am happy about). For me, it's a fundamental part of D&D writ large.

Except for the most popular version of D&D ever released, by a huge margin?

This next bit is not a criticism of the folks I'm quoting but a more general observation. I find it odd/interesting that there is both concern about the alleged "caster-martial gap" (something that I don't think is all that real) and also unhappiness about Vancian casting which would seem to be a limit on caster effectiveness.

It's not a limit on caster effectiveness. If anything, it enables the disparity in the first place, because it makes caster power so widely variable.

The power spread between a vancian caster played by someone who gets their spell selection perfect and one who doesn't is huge. It's effectively impossible to balance against martials who aren't doing it, because which point do you balance for? If you make a near perfect vancian caster balanced, anyone falling well below that on a given day's spells will be at a severe disadvantage relative to the party. This is where the playtest came closer to, and it made magic feel awful for people who simply didn't get those perfect spell selections.

If you make a suboptimal spell selection what you balance for, then the perfect one becomes far more powerful than everyone else and you have the very problem we've had in the past.

You don't try to balance class power by making the OOC game mechanics obtuse and complicated to use to their full potential. That simply gets you a wide disparity between people playing the same class.

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Man, I hope they don't use Twitch as the primary means of getting information out. The last thing I need is an hour long video to cover something that can be done in 2 minutes of reading.

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Matthew Downie wrote:
Repeatedly trying to escape from ropes seems like the sort of thing that would occur in gameplay often enough that it would be good if the rules could handle it. Something along the lines of "natural 20 counts as a +5/+10 bonus rather than auto-success, a certain number of failures / critical failures in a given hour / day fatigues you".

This would make more sense in general. Instead of auto-success, treat it as +10. If that's enough to make it a success, then it is. If not, then you simply can't do it. That'd also push anything that was already a success into crit success territory, so it's working on that front too.

That's fairly elegant, and provides an easily understandable situation of "no, even a nat 20 doesn't let you succeed on a DC 50 check with your +3 modifier" without any DM fiat required.

I mean, how many bloodlines does the CRB really need? This is the type of thing that it's really easy to expand over time, which is what I expect they'll wind up doing.

There won't be any more playtest updates as it's now over. It was in a stream. Resonance itself is gone from the release version of PF2 aside from something like the "you can only use X equipped items at once". Resonance use to activate items is gone. Focus is gone.

Wands themselves won't be the same thing either, which makes the most sense. Since the thing they waanted to get rid of was wand spam, changing wands (something which people aren't generally that attached to working a certain way) is a lot more straightforward than coming up with these huge systems to try and do it.

Malk_Content wrote:
Tridus wrote:

This is so true. I feel like auto success isn't taking that into account right now. The rules simply say that a nat 20 is a success and don't say "this only applies when you could realistically actually do the thing in question".

Yes there is. Pg 292 "If you lack the proficiency for a task in the first place, or it’s impossible, you might still fail on a natural 20."

Oh hey, so it is. Good to know, thanks. :)

Was certainly an interesting experience! I'm looking forward to seeing how the final rules turn out.

Helmic wrote:
Tridus wrote:
dmerceless wrote:
This is the overnerfing part almost everyone was complaining about. I didn't mention it that much because it is already being fixed, but I still think removing /caster level scaling was a good move, they just need to buff other things. Personally, I'm not sure if increasing spell slots is necessary, I'm most inclined on buffing the effectiveness of each spell and increasing versatility in how to cast them as solutions.

With how many spells require heightening to be effective as you level? Yes, more slots are seriously needed.

Right now we have so few spells that most casters don't feel like the pure casters of old. They feel like hybrid classes.

I mean, unless we went to Arcanist casting, in which case having 4 slots per spell level is plenty.

True. :)

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Mathmuse wrote:
Tridus wrote:

Vancian asks the same question, but instead asks them to do it by going systematically through every slot and picking exactly what they want to do with it, at every level. Metamagic? Figure it out in advance. Think you might need a second one of something? Better decide with no idea what's actually happening tomorrow. These three slots are special and can only hold certain spells from some other list? Gotta track that.

Playing requires the full list, all the time. My current PF1 level 18 Cleric has such a list: it was more than a page long in Notepad++ before I transferred it into Hero Lab (trying to do it manually with pencil and paper just wastes so much table time everytime I need to change the list that I long ago abandoned that).

One trick experienced players learned was to leave some slots unprepared. Then, if the party had a need for a particular specialized spell, the wizard could take 15 minutes to prepare that spell in the empty slot and then cast it.

Yeah, I do that. The other caster in that group (a Mystic Theurge) does it a lot more because they have so many spell slots. There was a stretch where they missed several sessions and I was playing both characters at once. Let me tell you, playing two high level Vancian casters and having three spell lists was not a fun experience. It was just exhausting to keep track of that much stuff.

Leaving slots empty isn't an option for Clerics in the playtest as there's no way to fill them later, and I missed it. Of course, with half the slots we had in PF1, it's also somewhat more expensive to leave a slot empty.

The last time I played a prepared caster as a PC (I GM mostly these days) was a D&D 3.5 cleric. That cleric had no channeling but could spontaneously convert prepared spells into a Cure X Wounds spell of the same level. Thus, I decided how often I would need to cast a Cure spell and filled those slots with specialized spells. As I healed people during the day, I gradually lost the specialized spells. I worried in which order I should lose them, since I would be embarrassed to throw away a spell right before a hazard where I needed that spell, but that was my only worry.

Yep, I do that too, although I also have so many spells now that if a couple of them wind up being not needed, it's not a disaster to my effectiveness. I have lots more I can use.

The playtest really exacerbated that aspect, as with half my spell slots gone, any badly chosen one (especially the higher level ones) was severely painful and specialized stuff was hard to take on the off chance it might be useful. You just don't have the resources.

Honestly, the playtest soured me badly on Vancian casting because of this. It's the first D&D style system I've ever played in (since 1990 or so) where I enjoyed Fighter more than the caster classes. That has never happened before. So, kudos for making a fun Fighter, but damn.

I had asked yesterday about using spell points to recall spells. However, today's posts seem to be about the problem of predicting which spells would be needed. What if Pathfinder 2nd Edition developed a system to overwrite prepared spells? The wizard had prepared Fireball, but the party needs Water Breathing, so he pulls out his spellbook, gestures for 5 minutes, and rewrites the spell slot containing Fireball as Water Breathing? Technically, that is very slow spontaneity, but it should be enough to make the wizard feel different from the sorcerer, especially since it puts the spellbook front and center. What do you think about that?

I think someone mentioned Quick Preparation already does that for Wizards. Would help if Clerics and Druids also got that, I think. It's certainly a helpful option for those narrative and restorative spells that come up surprisingly in an adventure and this option helps avoid the "oh we need X and can't get it, we're camping for the day" problem.

If it's costing spell points, it should probably be more of an in combat thing: I need it right now, so I spend 2 spell points and can cast it directly out of my spellbook/prayer/etc.

Of course, you might want that option even in an arcanist casting world, but with how limited the playtest is casting wise, it feels desperately needed.

Helmic wrote:
Jesikah Morning's Dew wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Unless it's a PC tied up, in which case, they'll often be unhappy with "I know the rules say, but there's more dramatic tension if you just stay tied up." They'll just start making Acrobatics checks and be out in a couple minutes.

Bad place for an auto success on 20 rule.
Each roll doesn't have to represent a single attempt at breaking free. The GM is well within their rights to limit the amount of rolls based on time, fatigue, etc. One roll could account for an hour of trying. Just like you can't sit there and roll over and over again to lift bars. Or at least, the rules might not say you can't, but the GM and the narrative are under no obligation to allow endless attempts at it.
It is much, much easier to bend the rule 0 in the players' favor then against. Any PC attempting to do nearly anything that isn't 'jump to the moon" impossible but still well beyond their capabilities is going to expect the game to work consistently, and is going to view any GM fiat of that nature extremely unfavorably. "You can't do this thing the rules say you can do because I said so."

This is so true. I feel like auto success isn't taking that into account right now. The rules simply say that a nat 20 is a success and don't say "this only applies when you could realistically actually do the thing in question".

They would either have to adjust that, or add an extra rule about how if you can't possibly succeed except by the nat 20 success (ie, the DC is higher than your highest possible check result), the DM can disallow rolling entirely and the auto success doesn't apply.

But saying "a nat 20 is a success" in the rules without any further clarification, and then expecting a DM to tell their players "I know what the rules say, but you're not allowed to do that anyway" is... not great. This isn't some weird edge case like trying to shoot a dragon in the eye with a ballista at 400'.

The system assumes that anything that is attempted has, at a minimum, a 5% chance minimum of either success or failure or that what's being attempted is preposterous for anyone to attempt, like jumping to the moon. It doesn't, RAW, take into account people who just lack the ability to ever succeed like someone else night, nor does it handle repeated attempts very well.


Struggling against ropes barely requires a minute of actions which isn't even fatiguing, so repeated attempts here result in a weird amount of success for characters with no investment in the skill. Disabling traps is another example, requiring a lot of repeated rolls where nothing happens, waiting for either a critical failure to trigger the trap or a success to finally disable it, and since the DC's are so high to make critical failure a real threat it means 10 results, or 50& of all rolls, result in nothing at all happening.

Disable device seems like a case where +/- 10 should actually be +/- 5 instead, just to limit how many rerolls are going on. Narrow the window for success or failure and let the game move on. Nothing is gained by making us sit there rolling nine times in a row until we get a result that actually does something.

The old system in PF1 did at least give the GM the option of citing the character's own lousy stats for why the roll won't work. As a random, poorly thought out example of an improvement, it could be adjusted so that if a character would critically succeed on a 1 or critically fail on a 20, they do that automatically, ignoring the normal rules for 1's and 20's. You can still have the player roll their dice and tell them what happened, as things generally do happen in those cases that void the need for further rolls, but the GM no longer needs to rely on fiat for doable tasks that nonetheless require superhuman capabilities. And also keeps high level adventurers from ever failing DC 5 checks.

This makes sense, but it's only going to apply when you start getting to higher levels. Until someone has a +14 total in a skill, they won't be able to reach the necessary 15 on a nat 1 to meet the criteria.

Similarly, with a 0 in a skill, the lowest one that a 20 roll would still be a crit failure is a DC 30, and you wont' be seeing many of those at low level.

I'm not sure what the solution is, but I agree that the status quo is a problem. There also shouldn't be infinite retries. That was what take 20 was for (avoiding wasting everyone's time by rolling over and over again to go 20 fishing), and if you couldn't succeed on that, then there was no need to roll at all and you just couldn't do it. So maybe that's an option: if it's something that allows retries and you could succeed with a 20 on the dice (excluding the auto success), you can simply take 20 and do so given enough time. If you couldn't succeed with that, then the auto success doesn't apply and it's impossible for you to do it.

Dunno how to fix the trap problem other than to have a better way to handle repeated attempts so it's not just watching someone roll dice endlessly. Half of the possible rolls shouldn't be "nothing happens."

Well, one option there is what I mentioned above to lower the crit success/failure thresholds from 10 to 5, causing those to be much more frequent and the range of "does nothing" results to shrink. Another option is to lower the DCs across the board and make a normal failure do something.

But, what we don't want is what I've seen with people trying to recover from dying, where they get dying 2, succeed to get dying 1, fail to get dying 2, succeed to get dying 1, fail to get dying 2... Someone did that for five rounds in a row in the last playtest game I was in, it was just silly.

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dmerceless wrote:
This is the overnerfing part almost everyone was complaining about. I didn't mention it that much because it is already being fixed, but I still think removing /caster level scaling was a good move, they just need to buff other things. Personally, I'm not sure if increasing spell slots is necessary, I'm most inclined on buffing the effectiveness of each spell and increasing versatility in how to cast them as solutions.

With how many spells require heightening to be effective as you level? Yes, more slots are seriously needed.

Right now we have so few spells that most casters don't feel like the pure casters of old. They feel like hybrid classes.

Yes, that sounds like the best solution.

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Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
I have never found wizards confusing to play. I have been playing them since 1st edition. The people who talk about how confusing it is to play a wizard... I don't know what it is they don't get.

I mean, I don't "get" people that find a command line interface confusing to use, but I recognize that the vast majority of people do. Get immersed in something long enough and it's pretty hard to see it from the outside with fresh eyes.

That said, "confusing" probably isn't the right word. It's not that confusing to explain, it's just overly complicated, especially as you get to higher level. "Obtuse" is the word I'd go with.

Fundamentally, Arcanist style casting asks a caster every day to answer the question "what do you want to be able to do today?" They answer that by picking the X spells they want to have access to from some list (the spellbook, Cleric list, whatever), and that's it. When playing, all you need is your list of "I have these X spells today, and I have the following slots left."

Vancian asks the same question, but instead asks them to do it by going systematically through every slot and picking exactly what they want to do with it, at every level. Metamagic? Figure it out in advance. Think you might need a second one of something? Better decide with no idea what's actually happening tomorrow. These three slots are special and can only hold certain spells from some other list? Gotta track that.

Playing requires the full list, all the time. My current PF1 level 18 Cleric has such a list: it was more than a page long in Notepad++ before I transferred it into Hero Lab (trying to do it manually with pencil and paper just wastes so much table time everytime I need to change the list that I long ago abandoned that).

One of these is much more cumbsome, tedious, and unwieldly to handle than the other. The tradeoff for putting up with all that was that you could do almost anything with the right spells, thus we have this silly situation where people complain about casters being too powerful but they're so annoying to use that lots of people just flat out won't play them despite the power.

That all made lots of sense, once. But we've seen from experience that game design has improved since then and we can make a better system.

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graystone wrote:
Tridus wrote:
"Thievery" doesn't cover all of its uses either:

Which does it miss?

Pick pocket? check
Shoplifting? Check
Bypass security? Check
Open a lock? Check

To me, it covers all 4 actions. Please point out where it fails as I don't see it.

Literally any use that isn't "theft", as evidenced by the first two pages of this thread. That's the whole problem.

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Jeven wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:
Yes, thievery has obvious negative connotations that all of its uses don’t deserve but it gets across what it does pretty well.

The point is that Thievery is but one use for the skill set.

In practice, if you look at all of the APs and modules, the skill is almost never used for anything approximating theft.

Rather, it is a standard dungeoneering skill used to circumvent or manipulate the mechanisms of a site (locks, traps, machines, etc.) -- and the site itself is usually the lair of a villian or monster and/or a long abandoned ruin.

Sure, NPC thieves use this skill for their profession, but adventurers generally use it for something else entirely.
So a name that captures the Indiana Jones and Lara Croft and MacGyver type skill use would be better.

"Dungeoneering". I like it!

Raylyeh wrote:
My point is that after over 100 posts no one in this thread has come up with an alternative that covers all of thievery’s uses satisfactorily without being even more problematic in their own way.

"Thievery" doesn't cover all of its uses either: all the non-thievery related ones are excluded. So it's not like we need a flawless replacement when the thing being replaced is itself flawed.

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BryonD wrote:

I am 100% onboard with a *BETTER* solution. But it is a complete non sequitur to jump from "there must be a narrative REASON for the math" to "the items we have are boring". Fine. Give me a better solution.

Right now I have a GREAT game that certainly has areas where improvement is called for an would be welcome. But the same 'ole same 'ole logically fallacy keep coming around that just because *SOME* change is welcome it must be true that *ANY* change is an improvement.

+1 Rings are boring. They are a boring thing in a great game. Number pointlessly dropping out of the air are a bad game. That is WAY worse than a great game with some boring blips.

Lets work on actual improvement.

"You level up, so in addition to the other stuff you spontaneously already get better at, you now also get better at dodging" seems like an improvement to me?

That's how everything else already worked, and it eliminates the need for the AC boosting rings and such entirely.

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Ediwir wrote:
(As for the ‘contributing to the discussion’ bit, try this out - I can follow your maths fairly easily, but what is your design intent? What does your game gain from the calculation? Why is it important that level progress depends on monster kills? If something else is involved, isn’t that just the GM deciding he wants players to level early because of the story? If these are avoided, what does the story gain from the players being a lower level than expected? Would you change the encounters because of it? Why?)

That's why I stopped using XP as a DM the moment I was reading the Fate Core rulebook and was introduced to milestone levelling. What a revelation.

There was always this inherent problem around my campaigns because they are with an RP heavy group and involve lots of talking. If the PCs get sidetracked and I spend two sessions creating a side quest on the fly because of what they decided to do... how much XP is that worth? I have absolutely no idea.

If they do that several times and outlevel stuff, is it okay that all their random investigating made them better at fighting for some reason and makes encounters much easier? If they don't do it next time and I expect them to, are things now too difficult for them? How do I set the XP for these things so the PCs don't feel like I'm punishing them for choosing one path over the other?

It's so much easier to simply say "they'll level up at this plot point" in my notes, ditch the math entirely, and tell them that there are no XP numbers and thus there is no difference in how they go about doing things or much side exploration they want to do.

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