The Fifth Archdaemon

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TwilightKnight wrote:
Another reason why I think a lot of people are struggling with this is that, unlike magical healing which can be explained with a simple "cause its magic," BM really feels like it should be something that could be explained through a real life analysis. As it stands, its sort of a weird mix of kinda magic, kinda not magic. If the intention is that it is not magical in any way, then we want to be able to visualize how it would work in a mundane application. Spraying on some antiseptic with pain relief? Slapping on a butterfly band-aid? Rubbing some dirt on it? Whatever it is, it seems like, reasonably, it should require a free hand to apply the [whatever] and a bandolier so the [whatever] is readily available.

Do you not believe in headbutt healing?! Shame on you! ;)

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jdripley wrote:

If played correctly AND the party is set up correctly there should not be any dead weight when you play a dedicated healer. The reason being that a reasonably well played support character should allow others to overperform, especially melee martials. Effectively you trade in your set of actions to allow others to use their set of actions to maximum effect.

And even if you do not have access to decisive offensive magic for the initial round or two powerful buff spells do exist and a Bless, Protection, Heroism, Circle of Protection, Air Walk or Freedom of Movement will usually go a long way.

Ravingdork wrote:

Its more about your group that about individual characters. Imagine a group of 4, three of which are monks using your strategy and one is speed 15 dwarf in full plate. Who is going to be hurt most? Its either all play evasive or none has to, else attacks may land on characters you don't want to get hurt. Ideally though being evasive rotates in between players to utilize the groups entire HP reservoire.

Personally I still rate Con high, however as most "take you out of the fight" effects have been dimnished I regard Dex almost equally high now. In PF1 when you ate a fireball, well you ate a fireball. Usually no big deal. In PF2 however, due to how the 4 levels of success work, the difference in between receiving no or double damage is huge, especially given NPC DCs are usually on the higher side.

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The thing is there is a difference in between a party that is already struggeling, perhaps due to unlucky rolls or missing system mastery, and a party that has already demonstrated full system mastery but is playing it overly save.

And while I would never recommend to put additional pressure on the former a little extra presure on the later seems okish to me, at least from time to time.

DRD1812 wrote:
I guess I'm trying to figure out what "healer builds" are the most fun. Is there an option that combines healing efficiently with non-healing roles (damage, support, etc.)? Teh 1e oradin is my point of reference here.

The thing about dedicated healers is not only the balance of healing and non-healing efficiency but action economy, especially for clerics, who get their healing font on top of their daily allotment of spells.

For example, it does not matter how many Fireballs my Warpriest of Sarenrae has memorized if my team is getting soundly turned into minced meat and I need to spend round after round spamming Heal.

Martialmasters wrote:

If you don't like religion at all on some level cleric isn't for your, neither is champion.

I can play either but I don't play preachy characters.

The thing is that in RPG's you probably need to be a lot less preachy than you need to be in real life, at least that is my observation. The difference is that in RPG's the powers granted within the game are real, so you do not have to trust in faith only but can also lead by example. And it is a lot easier to get people to follow your deeds than your words. In my 3 decades of playing (mostly good) clerics I never had to (or did) try to convert other players, no did I hold sermons very often, instead most new followers have simply been aquired by practicing the little I would preach.

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Yes, a definition of "feat tax" seams to be in order, because even out of the box I can think of at least 3 instances where the term "feat tax" could be applied:

1) A feat that does not do much on its own but is needed to unlock follow-up feats.
2) A feat that you have to take no matter the build because it simply is too good to ignore.
3) A chain of feats that you need to follow in order to not devaluate earlier decisions.

How about Dangerous Sorcery?

Castilliano wrote:
Bomberbros1011 wrote:
I think emblazon armament could easily be a B or higher for warpriest clerics. It allows you to use your weapon or shield as a divine focus, otherwise you need a free hand to hold your divine focus. I think freeing up the warpriest clerics hands for a shield or a two handed weapon is easily a reason to bump this feat up from C

That depends on how often one casts 3-action spells, since isn't that the only time they need their symbols?

Seems like AoE Heal and wall spells for the most part, and in the case of two-handed weapon wielders, they only lose one action regripping next round.

And isn't there magic equipment that can substitute for this? Hmm.

I was considering to emblazon my WP's shield to free a hand (for example to hold a weapon or being able to use battle medicine without need for an errata) and for a couple of spells, e.g. Dazzling Flash and 3-action heal, but eventually decided against it because without any undead present I actually never ever cast the 3-action heal. That the single target heal is the "default" heal instead of the AE version of PF1 at least somewhat devaluates not only Emblazon Armament but also other feats that let you shape or manipulate your AE heals and/or exclude targets.

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Reminds me of the time our Ranger asked our dwarven Fighter to craft him some arrows because we were (and still are) days away from any settlement and the Ranger was running low on ammo.

"Well", said the Dwarf, "First I need to reverse engineer the formula (did not buy the basic crafter's book at level 1 and mostly used crafting to repair his shield) and second I can make you a total of 10 arrows if we set camp and pause our exploration activities for a full 4 days."

"Erm...", said the Ranger while looking at all the feathers and arrow heads he has collected, "You know...that is what I am using in, like, one battle?"

"Yes", said the Dwarf, "However in comparison I can also craft a set of Full Plate armor within the said 4 days, so what do you say?"

Ranger: "Never mind..."

WatersLethe wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
4) The numbers crunch is a little to tight for our liking. Most relevant challenges (hazzards, skill checks and sometimes also combat) seem to assume that there is a maxed out specialist in the party (or has the correct spell selection available), which a) not always is the case and b) makes you feel bad if you for any reason did not max your relevant skills or attributes, especially during character creation (and which also can't be retrained).

I knew this will happen.

Playtest: Why is +level to everything! Why can't we be abysmally bad at something! Why is everyone at least competent at everything!

Paizo: OK, untrained doesn't give +level.

Full rules: Why do we need specialists in everything! Why is the game assuming somebody will be trained in something! Why can't we all be at least competent in everything!

Sadly, Paizo once again listened to people who wanted something else than they were asking for.

Hey! Don’t paint with too broad a brush!

If I can’t suck at something an rpg is pretty much a nonstarter for me, as a player. Call it an endearing quirk, if you must..

Agreed. I called for having untrained not giving +level, and I'm pleased as punch by how it worked out.

This is all about baseline sucess expectations. If the baseline is set at 11+ for a maxed out specialist, 13+ because the challenge is level +2, 14+ because you don't have your stat for that skill maxed and finally 16+ because you did not choose to go expert with this particular skill when you had the choice, then we are already deep in the "might at well not try at all and save the action" territory.

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Here are some impressions from our group as represented by myself (being our only active forum user). Our group is playing RPGs for more than 25 years, starting our "DnD" experiences with 2nd edition. We are currently playing the Age of Ashes adventure path, are somewhere in in middle of the second volume and just reached character level 7.

1) The character building is top notch as the modular system provides a lot of flexibility without being overly complicated. Will be interesting to see if the system can hold its own in regards to power creep and power gaming once more source material is available and "tactical archetype dipping" will be a more prominent thing.

2) The 3 action system is very solid. However when it comes to the "fun factor" of the new systems it seems that martial characters seem to get the most out of it. For example at low level there is no contest that a Reach Spell Electric Arc will be brutally effective, however it also rather ends your turn in 1 "action" instead of 3.

3) All our players (and the GM) have a background of being avid tabletop wargamers, so the tactical combat is very well received within our gaming group.

4) The numbers crunch is a little to tight for our liking. Most relevant challenges (hazzards, skill checks and sometimes also combat) seem to assume that there is a maxed out specialist in the party (or has the correct spell selection available), which a) not always is the case and b) makes you feel bad if you for any reason did not max your relevant skills or attributes, especially during character creation (and which also can't be retrained).

5) The rule set itself is more than playable, however we are not especially font of a couple of rules when it comes to the issue how they are applied at the first place or to their intentional or unintentional. Being the guy responible for the "rules crunch" within our group even the GM turns to me from time to time and asks if I knew how a certain rule is handled and when I start with "Well, it is ambigious and neither the FAQ nor the forumites are in agreement on this either." he already rolls his eyes in mild annoyance. Be it simple things like number of hands for Battle Medicine, monster identification via recall knowledge or stealth rules (especially transition from exploration mode to encounter mode) for our liking there are too many things that are either overly complex (as e.g. in traits within traits), unclear or strangly ambigious for such a sophisticated game. Note that our GM is neither inexperienced nor insecure, however he does not like making rulings for events that are by no means corner cases and he feels should be clear in the base game.

That are our five cents...

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Just my 5 cents on the "targets" issue and AoE:

If we look at the individual entries on page 304 it becomes quite clear that AoE's "target" all creatures in the area, even if the exact wording is not used. The entire first paragraph under TARGETS describes how single target spells are handled.

CRB page 304 wrote:

Some spells allow you to directly target a creature, an object, or something that fits a more specific category....

...If a creature starts outas a valid target but ceases to be one during a spell’s duration, the spell typically ends, but the GM might decide otherwise in certain situations.

The second paragraph describes how spells are handled that have an area and multiple targets within said area.

CRB page 304 wrote:
Spells that affect multiple creatures in an area can have both an Area entry and a Targets entry.

And the third paragraph describes how spells are handled that do not specify targets.

CRB page 304 wrote:
A spell that has an area but no targets listed usually affects all creatures in the area indiscriminately.

So yes, the exact wording is not used for whatever reason, however based on the paragraph headline "TARGETS" and the structue of the rules as they are presented within the paragraph, namely going from single (targets) to multiple (targets) to all (targets), personally I find it save to assume that AoE's do "target" and thus affect Golems.

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Would be interested to know what kind of build you would choose for a defensive support caster cleric. I am asking because most people would probably choose Warpriest for martial melee or caster melee and Cloistered for all types of full caster, most of which would be focused on their offensive / active abilities. What however if you want to play a mostly defensive and reactive character? I am asking because I myself struggled a lot if to go down the CC & Champion MC or Warpriest route for a defensive orientated support caster and the forum was mostly giving advice for offensive orientated WPs and "divine wizard" full caster CC.

Edith: Ended up with Sarenrae WP (Sun/Fire) looking into either Champion MC (for the reaction mostly and another point of AC) or Sorcerer MC for spells (true strike, invis, haste) once I reach level 9.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
They should have spelled this out better.

Well, either the Golem ability or the basic rules would do...

CRB page 304 wrote:
A spell that has an area but no targets listed usually affects targets all creatures in the area indiscriminately.

Still don't get it were you all read the hand requirement from...

Cottoncaek wrote:

Has a change listened now to Battle Medicine. Did they stealth-drop the errata? Battle Medicine now needs Healers Tools and a free hand.

Were do you see the hand requirement?

"...or wearing..." works perfectly fine with a bandolier.

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Unicore wrote:
As a GM, it is not difficult to look at this as a fun opportunity to make the world feel more immersive and the characters more involved in learning about it, rather than turning it into a video game, and even more importantly , it is giving the players the information they need to make informed choices for themselves, rather than feeling like the GM is out to get them and that they should only pick classes, powers and feats that are as statically predictable and repeatable as possible.

100 times this. In homebrew usually everthing goes, however I guess you still need to adhere to a certain power level if you ever want to play a official adventure, AP or PFS withou the GM having to tune down every single challenge.

Ravingdork wrote:
The dwarven adventurers hiding in the dark keep asking themselves if the dragon over across the gorge is a maleficent red scale dragon or a benevolent gold scale dragon, or some other color. XD

Those dwarves really need to up their dragon recogniton game!

For sake of simplicity alone I am firmly in the camp that reflections do work while using darkvision, simply due to the description of darkvision and that this ability is not limited to mirrors alone.

So a Goblin can see himself in a mirror in normal light and while using darkvision. He can see the stereotypical enemy creeping up on him poised to strike while looking at a pool of water. And waking up at night after a banquet where he passed out underneath one of the tables after too much wine he can see the silhouette of the assassin sneaking around in the dark "mirrored" in one of the suits of armor that are on display in the kings grand hall.

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The thing is that with this edition there seem to be so many unspoken rules or rulings that can pretty much and drastically change your game experience for better or worse. One example would be creature identification which at our table still is a total mess. Of course you will get a creature description, but from there, everything is strange.

For example our GM might describe a Vrock as a large, birdlike creature with an otherworldly and evil aura (short version). So far so good.

Now comes the part with the hidden (or not so hidden) knowledge rolls where we still have not figured out what exactly is RAW. Do we at this point of time already know which knowledge skill to use or do we have to go in blind and potentially waste actions? Does our Ranger go "I want to use Nature to learn more about this creature" and simply learns nothing (apart from the fact that this creature is clearly not an animal)? Or does the GM secretly roll Religion after the Ranger has expressed his wish to spend an action on a knowledge check? Or does the GM call the check early on, so probably only my Cleric would go for some Religion checks.

Assuming that my Cleric has passed at least one check our GM would provide the Name of the creature, its traits and one piece of useful information but (up to now) not the creatures level. For example he might warn us about the dance of ruin AE. However can we at this point already suspect that as a demon (trait) the Vrock will probably be susceptable to cold iron weapons, aka do we already know a second piece of useful information via the known traits, or do we need to determine this anew for any demon we might encounter during our adventures?

Also, does your GM reveal the level of a spell was just being cast after you have successfully identified it or not. Big difference.

So it seems some tables do all of the above and some tables do none of the above, which easily explains the huge disparity in game difficulty and game experience for the individual gaming groups as well as for individual characters / classes.

Liches daydreaming of world domination? Why not?

KrispyXIV wrote:

Massive Disclaimer - Creature Level is so fundamentally important to PF2E that I would never, ever, withhold relative Creature Level from players.

The game is best when everyone is making informed decisions, and unlike "best save" or whatever creature level is entirely meta based. Therefore, I feel no issue making it known.

Plus, people who know the game - as GM, massive play experience, etc will inherently eventually intuit this info. Withholding creature level from newer players isn't exactly new player friendly.

So... I'd highly encourage GMs not to withhold this, as the system works better when players know if their stuff is gonna work.

Unicore wrote:
Also, PF2 requires "level" to be a functional term that characters are capable of understanding and determining on a numeric level. Not just for incapacitation effects, but also for all counteracting effects. Maybe it should require a knowledge check to figure it out, but denying your PCs that information is being a GM that is antagonistic to players being spellcasters.

I think we might be up to something here. And while a certain table variance is expected from any RPG this massive variance could be a major reason for any perceived or not perceived balance issues.

Again, how does PFS handle this?

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KrispyXIV wrote:
But I think Incap spells are a solid and powerful piece of your toolbox.

They are, even with the build in level limit.

Speaking of which I guess my (and others?) biggest issue is a psychological one which centers around the meta-ness of incap spells, as most people simply hate to be ineffective and/or waste their turns.

Which means that the mental drawback is not the level limit per se but that you more often than not simply don't know if you will be able to cast for full effect. I guess incap spells would be much more prominent in a computer game where every single enemy has a level tag above his head.

And in contrast to e.g. saves (big lumbering hulk = try Ref or Will) I think it is not especially easy to gauge the exact level of your opponents.

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Deriven Firelion wrote:
No one in my group takes spells like Neutralise Poison,, Remove Paralysis, Remove Fear, or Remove Disease now. They are niche spells now that you would only take if you knew you needed them for a fight. They're mostly worthless now. Too bad. They could have been designed in a more interesting manner to be useful for lower level spell slots.

That is exactly the thing. In older editions situational spells pretty much worked because you could easily cast them from you lower slots. Now those spells are still situational, however you have to use higher slots in order to have any chance of achieving the desired effect.

For example - and unless there have been in-game clues that affect spell selection - my level 6 Warpriest of Sarenrae would rather memorize Fireball, Heroism and Fear (heightened to 3rd) than Calm Emotion (heightened to 3rd), Dispel Magic (heightened to 3rd) and Neutralize Poison. The problem is not that the later 3 are bad spells, quite the contrary, they can win battles and save lives, but they are all situational and quite unreliable.

It is clear the Paizo's aim was to solve conflict in battle (as opposed to before battle as in earlier editions), and I am mostly ok with this, however by doing so they severly dropped the hammer on situational spells, a category that in my book also includes incap spells.

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One of the issues that I have with incap spells is that an awful lot of spells is now competing for your top 3 to 6 slots. Most damage spells, basically everything that requires a counteract check and of course the discussed incap spells. Depending on your tradition there still are low level spells that will stay solid like forever (True Strike, See invisibility etc.) however up until now (low mid level) I found the old saying of "never underestimate the power of a low level spell" less true in PF2 than in other "DnD editions".

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The answer is: Of course it can be used!

How else would Dwarves groom their beards and braids in the dark?

What a silly question... :P

Ascalaphus wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Strange. In contrast to the hazzard at the beginning of book 2 our GM gave no indication that usage of Dispel Magic would be possible and we are currently half way through the book. And be assured we did a lot of knowledge checks on how these things work.

So apart of high slot requirements knowing or having info about Dispel Magic actually working seems another hurdle to overcome. Unless you try and Dispel into the blue, but apart from a signature spell Sorcerer I can't see that happening much.

Luke Styer wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
The thing is if a success result only allows straight back then the next sentence does not make much sense: "You can Stride after it, but you must move the same distance and in the same direction."
Yes and no. Even if the success result only allows straight back, as you mentioned, the adjacent squares North West, North, and North East of you are all the same distance from your starting point that the enemy traveled from his, but are not the same direction that the enemy traveled.

That is why I made the maintain relative positions argument.

Luke Styer wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
After all, away from you and back doesn't mean straight behind.
That’s the question. Do they mean straight behind? Do they have any meaning as rules text or are they flavor text? If they have rules meaning, do they have the same rules meaning, or does the game use two different terms because they mean two different things?

The thing is if a success result only allows straight back then the next sentence does not make much sense: "You can Stride after it, but you must move the same distance and in the same direction."

The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Would you allow the following with a 20ft shove?

Both no as the distance in between shover and shoven does not increase with each shove. In both examples even the very first shove does not increase distance in between player and enemy as the enemy started in reach/distance 5 and still is in reach/distance 5.

Also keep in mind that the "You can Stride after it, but you must move the same distance and in the same direction." part may make some shove & stride combinations impossible due to relative positioning.

Examples for a 10 feet shove & stride:


Shove & stride possible because every move is bringing the enemy further away from the player and the player can end up in the same relative position after the stride than he was before the stride (enemy moves up and right and player can also move up and right).


Shove & stride not possible because even if every move is bringing the enemy further away from the player the player can not end up in the same relative position after the stride (enemy moves up an right and player can not move up and right due to an ally occupying the hex). Note that the shove alone would still be possible, however the player can not follow up.

At least that is how we play it. Each move further away and keep relative positioning.

Luke Styer wrote:
Or, is this all flavor text, and I have the ability to move them into any empty space that is the appropriate distance from their starting space?

Our group allows shoving in all those directions that bring the target further away from the shover.

So NW, N and NE for a 5 feet shove and NNWW, NNW, NN, NNE and NNEE for a 10 feet shove.

In principle this is the same as shoving a target in front of you out of 5 feet reach (3 hexes possible) and shoving the target out of 10 feet reach (5 hexes possible) in case of a critical success.

KrispyXIV wrote:
I still don't agree with this, really. Its not terribly hard to design a powerful "general purpose" spell list, and all the prepared casters have been given safety net abilities to ensure they're never irrelevant.

Of course it is not hard to design a powerful "general purpose" spell list, however given such a list the Sorcerer can probably do better. One argument that sets the Wizard over the Sorcerer is that he has access to all spells and can thus specialise if need be. That advantage is lost if you do not have an information advantage and need to prepare your general list all day.

KrispyXIV wrote:
Wizards all get bonded item to repeat a casting of a relevant spell, and Spell Blending and Spell Substitution both offer means of mitigating the drawbacks of prepared casting - Spell Blending can just brute force prepare extra copies of generically useful spells, and Substitution is more or less drawback free preparation that can adapt on the fly.

Yes, just ask an Universalist Improved Familiar Wizard about that. That is just to say that, apart from the Alchemist, Wizard is probably the 2nd easiest Class to build a less effective character (spell choices included).

The thing is, much of the discussed points heavily depend on the GM, not the party or wizard themselves. And especially vancian casters live or die with the amount of information the GM is willing to feed them.

You might call being tight on information a case of bad GM'ing, however it is not uncommon that the GM does not want his encounters and challenges to end up as piece of cake walkovers.

Unicore wrote:
Do people really never experience critical failures/success with their spell casting? Our sorcerer seemed to land one at least once a session, but she was never very conservative with her spells, so maybe she just got the numbers on her side.

Yes this is a numbers game, which is one of the reasons I am quite confident that our Wizard will be able to shine eventually.

Our current experience about critical failures is more like this: Fireballing 3 on-level enemies with moderate to weak reflex saves, two of which are fresh and one is near death because he already got hit by other attacks. Near dead one critically fails and gets obliterated instead of just being plain dead. One of the fresh ones makes his save for half damage, the other one critically saves for no damage.

Interestingly, all the accounts of "I had my fair share of heroic moments" in this thread are comming from either sorcerers (or people that have sorcerers in their party) or bards (or people that have bards in their party) both of which are spontaneus casters who - if need be - can easily phish for failure effects. For example, just spam Slow on the BBG until it sticks.

Also, when talking about great boss spells, lets not forget Hideous Laughter.

Chawmaster wrote:
Regarding your experience with your cleric: How often do you find yourself camped next to the fighters and healing every round? I ask because a) that is often the life of a cleric in PF1 and b) that was the experience in a number of the PF2 scenarios we ran (to be fair, we were running a lot more combat encounters than we were role-playing and story scenarios due to running these sort of 'one shots' vs a campaign.)

First of all let me dive a little into a part of the game mechanics, especially when it comes to damage and healing.

In PF2 there are a couple of ways to deal with incomming damage.

1) Mitigation

1.1) Mitigation by tactical gameplay

That is if an enemy is not in reach or does not have the actions available to deal damage. A BBG that is prone, slowed and out of reach will probably have a hard time dealing damage to you on his turn. Needs to be minded by every member of the party to be fully effective, i.e. everone needs to do his part.

1.2) Mitigation by static defenses

Static defenses like AC and saves only get you so far. In PF2 you will get hit by spells and atttacks. Alot. However your static defenses mostly determine how often and how hard you will get hit. Static defenses hugely rely on character build, equipment and buffs.

1.3) Mitigation by spells or abilities

Spells like Blur, Obscuring Mist or feats like Champion's Reaction or Shield Block can help to further reduce incomming damage.

2) Healing

The easiest one. If you get more healing than damage then obviously you are going to pull through.


Having said all this having a Cleric in your party and managing damage via 2) is probably the most convenient but not the only way of managing incomming damage.

There are enough groups out there without a Cleric who do entirely fine just by contentrating their effords on 1). Playing the tactical game, managing you build and having allies like a Champion greatly help withering incomming damage.

Finally comming back to your original question: Yes, especially in difficult battles I spend a lot of time spamming Heal at our martials, however this often is the case because they know that if in doubt I will be spamming Heal on them. So instead of concentrating on mitigation by e.g. super tactical gameplay they often do take risks or conduct other shenanigans. So part of the reason I do spam Heal alot is that I can spam Heal alot. In a party without a Cleric they would need to play entirely different or easily risk TPK.

Apart from that I want to add that @Liegance gave you a good example of how an offensive and melee orientated Warpriest might look like. My Warpriest build however is a defensive orientated caster Warpriest, which means that I did not entirely dump Wisdom, as I am still operating on spells mostly, not melee, and I need that Wisdom to boost the DC's of all my buffs and attack spells and to help me counteract all sorts of ailments that might afflict my party. My concept was to create a tough as nails support Cleric and after comparing options - Cloistered Cleric with Champion dedication or Warpriest - I decided to roll with the later.


There are 2 schools of thought here.

One school of thought is that the resistance is applied the moment the "damage" is registered and because because of that the DR from CR is believed to be viable versus any persistent damage that comes with the initial damage and thus also permanent in regards to the persistent damage.

The other school of thought is that that the resistence is instead just instantaneously applied to the initial damage and because it has no duration listed will be gone when the persistent damage hits later on.

You and I are in the later camp, especially when it comes to interpreting the rules text on page 621 ("apply to both" vs "apply separately"), however I can see enough arguments for either side to call this topic worthy of official clarification.

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As others pointed out, like the question of what constitutes fun in a game, what constitutes a heroic experience will wildly vary from group to group. For most people heroics might include succeeding on something that was most likely to fail but was risked anyway, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat or largely contributing to the group effort, ideally single-handedly.

Having said so here my own personal experience. Our group is consisting of a a dwarven axe and shield fighter, a half-elf Spirit Barbarian using a Maul, a human precision Ranger with a vicious hunting dog, a gnome Universalist Wizard and a human Warpriest of Sarenrae. We are currently in the midst of volume 2 of the Age of Ashes campaign, our party level is 7 and I am playing the Warpriest.

Going through my impression of the characters and their heroics, rating from A to F:

a) The Barbarian is the latest addition to our group, joining at the start of volume 2 when our party Rogue left due to personal reasons. He is fully covering his job as the party heavy hitter, zooming across the battlefield and dealing out spectacular regular, and even more spectacular critical hits. Heroic rating so far: a more than solid B.

b) The Ranger alternates in between bow, guisarme and/or commanding his dog and already had several opportunities to shine, rollling crits when needed most and/or hitting with special ammunition when it really mattered. Being able to switch in between ranged and melee character as the setting demands is quite epic. Heroic rating so far: a clear A.

c) The Fighter is the "silent killer" of our group. Though not dealing spectacular damage like the Barbarian oh boy does he hit. In retrospect I think that most of our weapon damage was done by our Fighter in a slow but steady wins the race fashion. Is somewhat held back by his lack of mobility and ranged options. Heroic rating so far: a B trending towards A.

d) The Wizard is probably the best roleplayer in our group and the groups go-to character when is comes to knowledge skills, crafting and identifying magic, however when it comes to heroics has done very poor so far. The reason for this is a mix of wrong spell selection, wrong spell preparation, extremely conservative casting even in 1 encounter per day situations and our GM rolling really, really good on spell saves. Had one situation to shine so far when he produced a scroll out of nowhere and reversed a situation that probably made my overextended Warpriests day. Nontheless I would rate his heroic performance so far only as a D with tendencies to F even as he also is the one that gets knocked out more than the other characters.

e) Lastly my Warpriest. Build as a pure support character from the very start already had his moments of glory, usually when there is nobody to heal, no condition to remove, no buff or debuff to apply and when switching to damage dealing. Most respected character within the group because everybody knows that I will have their back at any time and can also up my game if I need to. More of a workhorse character like the fighter he is missing the means (to-hit respectively spell DC) to really shine on a regular basis. Heroic Rating: A solid C with tendencies towards B.

So from what I have seen during our low level adventures so far, casters indeed seem to have it a little harder to have their personal heroic moment, however please note that those moments are far from being impossible or even improbable.

Also note that PF2 as a whole is a lot less single character "heroic" than PF1 was. Ending the BBG with a big spell or attack and a one-liner like in a movie is almost impossible. PF2 is a lot more gritty than its predecessor was, so think of the transition of before Christopher Nolan Batman and after. Nonetheless you can be heroic as a group if you mind that in PF2 every victory is probably payed in blood, sweat and tears.

Castilliano wrote:
And so the Champion's Reaction can do nothing vs. the Strike of a Worm That Walks? (It's only persistent damage.)

As per my current perception not versus the very first "attack". If the reaction can be triggered by the later persistent damage is what started the debate.

This is basically the same case as if a hypothetical monster had an attack that reads: Melee (10 reach, 1 Action) +xx to hit. Damage: Your doomed condition increases by 1 and improved grab.

As the attack deals no damage but just inflicts conditions the CR is not triggered.

The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

I vote we get Lemures next. We don't have enough races to fit the Lemure fantasy archetype.

Also Zombie and Skeleton races -nods-

Have you by any chance ever played Zangband?

Human, Half-Elf, Elf, Hobbit, Gnome, Dwarf, Half-Orc, Half-Troll, Amberite, High-Elf, Barbarian, Half-Ogre, Half-Giant, Half-Titan, Cyclops, Yeek, Klackon, Kobold, Nibelung, Dark Elf, Draconian, Mind Flayer, Imp, Golem, Skeleton, Zombie, Vampire, Spectre, Sprite, Beastman..

NECR0G1ANT wrote:
Liegence wrote:
1) 10 Dex and Champion proficiencies suggest you want to wear full plate, but just a heads up - you lack the Strength to wear it without penalty. So you’ll have armor penalties and -10 speed. And you may not even have the bulk to carry it all, especially if you want to use a shield. Hefty Hauler is basically a must. You won’t be out of armor penalties till at least 10th level.

I had originally plnned to go full plate at level 2 and just eat the penalties until level 10, when I hit STR 18, but now I’m thinking Chain Mail until level 10. That will decrease the ACP penalties, keep the Speed penalty to -5 and hopefully avoid Bulk issues altogether.

Thanks for the great comment, btw!

My Warpriest also started with STR14, is using a Breastplate since level 5 and will also consider upgrading to Full Plate at level 10.

Two comments:

1) Use the Breastplate over the Chain Mail unless you don't mind the noisy trait.

2) Starting with STR14 your max strength will be 20 only at level 20. If you ever plan to use a Fortification Rune mind that this will up the strength requirement for any medium and heavy armor by 2.

So Breastplate will go 16 => 18 and Full Plate will go 18 => 20.

This means if you are using Full Plate and Rune you can only escape the armor penalties at level 20.

Which means that you carefully need to consider if the 1 AC you gain via Full Plate is really worth it in comparision to a Rune equipped Breastplate (which will also require DEX12 of course).

One point of AC is 5% less hit and 5% less crit. Fortification is 20% less crit and Fortification, Greater is 35% less crit.

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Liegence wrote:
So when the attack’s damage is “x damage + xd6 persistent damage” your saying the persistent damage isn’t damage indicated by the attack?

We play it as "x damage + condition xd6 persistent damage", quite the same as we would play "x damage + condition frightened x" or "x damage + condition sickened x".

That is, the persistent damage is its own effect and not part of the normal damage caused by the attack.

Some out of line question: When do you guys (or girls) usually determine and apply persistant damage? Do you already roll the persistent damage with the initial attack and just apply the result later or do you just roll at the end of the targets turn when it is actually applied. Our group does the later and I think the answer to this question could shed some light on our individual perception of persistent damage.

@KrispyXIV and Liegence

I saw and read your reference to page 621 "Immunities, Resistances, and Weaknesses", however my problem with this paragraph is, that at least to my understanding it is quite silent on timing.

Is it

CRB 621 wrote:
If an effect deals initial damage in addition to persistent damage, apply immunities, resistances, and weaknesses separately to (both) the initial damage and to the persistent damage (immediately).


CRB 621 wrote:
If an effect deals initial damage in addition to persistent damage, apply immunities, resistances, and weaknesses separately to the initial damage and to the persistent damage (at the moment they occur).

I therefore prefer to use the section of the rules that more or less states the same but also provides guidance on timing.

CRB 453 wrote:
If you have resistance to a type of damage, each time you take that type of damage, you reduce the amount of damage you take by the listed amount (to a minimum of 0 damage).

KrispyXIV wrote:
Persistent damage was determined to be part of the damage during step 2, when you look at and determine the damages type. That means it is part of the Triggering Damage to which the Champions Reaction applies.

Persistent damage was defined as not being part of the normal damage in step 1.

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The thing about any RAW is, that depending on how it is written, read and understood, can still be subject to interpretation. So while you claim that RAW is fully in line with your interpretation others have the right to be entitled to their own interpretation of said RAW.

For example:

RAW on Champion's reaction on page 107 wrote:
The ally gains resistance to all damage against the triggering damage equal to 2 + your level.

This establishes that the resistence gained via CR is only valid verus the "triggering damage". However to determine what constitutes this triggering damage we need to look a little further.

RAW on damage on page 450 and following wrote:

1. Roll the dice indicated by the weapon, unarmed attack, or spell, and apply the modifiers, bonuses, and penalties that apply to the result of the roll.

2. Determine the damage type.
3. Apply the target’s immunities, weaknesses, and resistances to the damage.
4. If any damage remains, reduce the target’s HitPoints by that amount.

This establishes the sequence of events for normal damage.

RAW on persistent damage during step 1 on page 451 wrote:
...Unlike with normal damage, when you are subject to persistent damage, you don’t take it right away. Instead of taking persistent damage immediately, you take it at the end of each of your turns...

This tells us that persistent damage is not part of the "normal" damage of any attack, spell or ability, but will be applied at a later time, which to me is a more than clear indication that persistent damage can never be part of the above mentioned "triggering damage".

RAW on resistances page 453 wrote:
...If you have resistance to a type of damage, each time you take that type of damage, you reduce the amount of damage you take by the listed amount...

This tells us that if you take damage at different times you apply your resistance each time, which is quite logical.

RAW on persistent damage on page 621 wrote:
..Instead of taking persistent damage immediately, you take it at the end of each of your turns
RAW on persistent damage on page 621 wrote:
...if an effect deals initial damage in addition to persistent damage, apply immunities, resistances, and weaknesses separately to the initial damage and to the persistent damage.

This two paragraphs just repeat within the conditions chapter was has already been stated in the damage chapter, i.e. that persistent damage will be dealt at a later time than normal damage and that is subject to its own resistence.

In short:

1) CR resistence is only effective versus the triggering damage.
2) Persistent damage is not part of the normal damage / triggering damage.
3) Persistent damage is not affected by CR because the restistance granted to the triggering damage is no longer in effect when the persistent damage happens.


NielsenE wrote:

a) Yes, the resistance granted by the champion's reaction would snapshot onto the persistent damage. So if the you were a level 2 champion, and your ally got hit with an attack that was doing 1d6 persistent, the condition applied would effectively be 1d6 -4 (minimum 0, not 1 as is usual). This appears to appears to follow from the using what Resistance All means, and the Communities, Resistances, and Weaknesses section of the persistent damage rules. This does feel a little odd, but I don't see anything to block it.

b) No, You can't retrigger your champion's reaction when the condition-based persistent damage ticks. So part a) is still blocking some of the damage, but you don't get your retributive strike/reapply enfeebled/free step each time it ticks. The trigger is not met.

However I would fully expect to see table variation on point a. I don't think you'd see much table variation on b.

I concur with b) and it would be extremely important to know the correct ruling for a) not only for CR but also for other abilities that grant ad hoc resistances.

For example the Cleric focus spell Flame Barrier grants fire resistance 15 as an reaction as early as level 8. And while a reduction of 15 points does not seem overly impressive when compared to the nominal damage of a spell level 4 or 5 fireball (28/35), or a Young Red Dragon's breath (11d6/38.5), it would be extremely potent versus an attack that contains persistent fire damage, e.g. a Firewyrm's tail attack (2d8+11 fire + persistent fire 2d8).

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Squiggit wrote:
I guess one of the big takeaways here is that because PF2 is a lot less fast and loose with numbers than PF1, GMs should maybe be more careful about making ad hoc rulings designed to make things harder for the players, because something that seems like not a big deal on the surface can end up having some significant consequences to the feeling of a story and a player's experience.

Quoted for truth.

Even as little as fighting in an area with a lot of lesser cover can turn fights into nightmares, especially if you are going against Level+2/3/4 enemies and are already struggeling getting your hits in.

Quick intermediate question: Any PFS GM's here? What is the ruling on this in PFS?

KrispyXIV wrote:

First, to address your last point - it is 2+level less per damage type, with zero doubts. Resistance to All Damage is quite explicit about this.

Persistent Damage is no less part of the initial damage than any other secondary damage type, like Fire or Evil. The fact that it is also a condition in no way disqualifies it from counting as damage, which is supported repeatedly in its rules descriptions. I have not seen anyone provide any actual evidence that indicates persistent damage does not remain part of the "triggering damage", other than to identify it as a condition - which does not preclude it counting as damage as well.

Finally, the resistance from the Champion Reaction is (as written) no less permanent than Resistance gained from any Feat or ability. This sounds absurd in concept, but in actuality its fairly simple to resolve and doesn't cause real problems. Maybe this is not intended - but I dont see any language in the feat or reaction that limits it to an instantaneous effect, nor have I found anything elsewhere that seems to limit such instances to being instant.

Ok, even if I would follow the line of reasoning that CR applies to both initial damage and persistent damage, for how long would you apply the resistance granted by CR?

So if the level 4 champion reacts to an 14 points Acid Arrow, blocking 6 points of the initial damage (thats much but no all, so the persistent damage is not blocked per se) and 6 points of any persistent damage, can the target just ignore the condition - like - forever?

KrispyXIV wrote:

I think the first example is actually how RAW reads, but the second makes more sense.

I would like you to explain why you think the Champion resistance EVER goes away though. Theres no duration listed. Its permanent, but extremely specific to the specific damaging event that caused the damage - and the persistent damage is part of that event, and remains so until it goes away.

Ok, lets take a look.

CRB page 107 wrote:
...Trigger An enemy damages your ally, and both are within 15 feet of you...The ally gains resistance to all damage against the triggering damage equal to 2 + your level...

Note that as per RAW this resistance is only valid against the triggering damage. Note that the RAW specifically mentions "triggering damage" not triggering attack or triggering events. The question now is: What exactly is the triggering damage? To which my answer would be: The damage that you are just about to note down on your character sheet.

Any persistent damage you suffer at a later date because you now have a condition called "persistent damage x", would not be noted down immediately, is therefore not part of the triggering damage and will thus not be affected by the CR.

Also I don't think that the CR resistance duration is "permanent". As far as I can see its duration is instant. What is permanent is the effect of this instantaneous reaction, namely that you will receive 2+level less damage.

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