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Tridus wrote:

The real problem here is that there's only a narrow range of numbers where you won't wind up with a specialist banging out critical successes and everyone else banging out critical failures frequently. That leaves the game keeping everyone in that narrow range, and thus it doesn't feel like you're progressing at all or that your "legendary" skill character is actually particularly better than the guy who took the basic two day course in how to do the same thing.

No the problem is tied to two major factors: Factoring gear into DCs and Poorly Zeroing DCs.

Consider that there are 3 primary factors that determines the chance someone succeeds or fails on an at level check. They are Ability, Training and Gear.

  • Ability - The characters Ability score bonus. This variable goes between -1 and +7. A 9 number spread.
  • Training - The characters training in the skill. This currently varies between -4 and +3. An 8 number spread
  • Gear - The characters gear. Due to how badly designed armor is this varies between -5 and +5, an 11 number spread. On checks not influenced by ACP the gear modifier is between -2 and +5, an 8 number spread.

All 3 combined leads to a spread a 26(23) number spread of -10(-7) to +15. A 26 number spread with a d20 random variable means that a check cannot be designed to test both extremes. If gear isn't factored in we end up with a 17 number -5 to +10 spread that can have checks test both extremes and gear becomes a benefit.

The recently updated DCs are badly zeroed as the zeroes on most DCs shift as levels rise assuming characters have gear and ability scores that they may not have. Medium DCs start at an assumed bonus of +2 and then grow to an assumed bonus of +6, Hard DCs start at +4 and end at +9, Incredible go from +5 to +13, and Ultimate start at +7 and end at +17. Instead of an increase letting you succeed at harder checks they let you maintain the same level of difficulty.

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graystone wrote:
Ultimatecalibur wrote:
You have it backwards. Originally there wasn't an Item Quality stat. There was only a Magic Quality stat.
I'm not sure how that matters for the playtest: for it, originally there IS/WAS an Item Quality stat. We aren't talking about pathfinder classic but the playtest afterall.

It matters because is a long standing legacy problem that is likely older than you and the Item Quality stat isn't being evenly applied in the playtest(Expert/Master/Legendary Armor only reduces ACP).

Knowing how and why we got here can help avoid repeating the same mistakes again and again.

Agreed. As a result, I'd rather that assumption be removed and the numbers adjusted to not need those pluses. That way the humble, and boring, +1 isn't assumed and needed and then we can bury those magic pluses in a hole and never look at them again.

Never say that because you will always end up digging that hole back up.

Every game that has tried to kill the equivalent of the +1 accuracy or +1 damage bonuses has always ended up bringing it back.

Drop the humble +1 and things like flaming/electric/frost/holy swords gradually become the new disparaged norm instead of interesting or special.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

I'm seriously wondering why people think having mandatory magic items (which are substantially cut down in this edition) is a bad thing.

The problem is the term mandatory. In 2e Dungeons and Dragons, getting a suit of non-magical Full Plate (which was user restricted Plate Mail +2 in effect) was considered an accomplishment and would serve a character well until around level 10 which was roughly endgame. Not getting a suit of Full Plate didn't mean they couldn't function and +5 Full Plate was a dream for most players.

If you discount the monsters that required +X magic weapons to hurt, characters in that edition could function quite well with non-magical gear and straight 10s in stats.

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graystone wrote:
Isn't that what Item Quality for? Why make an identical Magic Quality stat?

You have it backwards. Originally there wasn't an Item Quality stat. There was only a Magic Quality stat.

Many modern problems can be directly attributed to designers building the Magic Quality stat into opponent design math instead of letting it be a bonus. A flaming sword is only special because it does something outside the norm. Even a humble +1 to hit and damage can be special if it is not assumed.

graystone wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Because people like magic weapons and armor, and the most intuitive thing they can do is make you better at doling out punishment or tanking it.
You can do that without the +1. A flaming sword doles out more punishment and armor of chains that provides a counterattack reaction doles out more tanking. I'll grant its not as easy/simple to make actually interesting abilities but IMO the effort is worth it.

But sometimes you want to just represent quality rather than making the weapon or armor different.

Unicore wrote:

I am sorry if I took a condescending tone with my last post, but I think it is pretty harsh to think that the developers have spent two years developing a system as carefully balanced as this (perhaps even overly balanced), having carefully avoided doing exactly what you fear with the ranger, even though that would have made a lot of sense and given the ranger an even more unique niche to fill, and not be aware of this issue.

Stop. You are making a lot of assumptions. The number of oversights that the Paizo dev team have made is staggering and those 2 years of development do not mean that the time was evenly spent on all parts. Making claims of careful balance is not a good idea.

What class would they build to have master or high proficiency in light armor without having given that as an option to rangers, barbarians or rogues?

Properly designed? Barbarians and Rangers should have gotten up to mastery with Medium Armor and Rogues should get up to Mastery with Light Armor.

Signs within the playtest seem to point to their higher tier armor proficiencies being culled prior to the playtest books being proofed.


Monster attack values may be off, as a result of using the wrong charts when calibrating all the numbers, but I am pretty confident that the design of advanced armor proficiency existing only for heavier armors is very clearly a well thought out plan.

They claim that they were using old math for monster design but looking at the math shows that the numbers were tuned for hitting optimized characters.

The plan also isn't well thought out. If it had been Light, Medium and Heavy armors would show differences in superiority instead of being a quick hack job pulling the armor list from the 3.X srd and setting AC+Dex mod cap to +7.


A ranged fighter or paladin with a very high Dex may choose a "lighter" heavy armor at high level even though it wouldn't stack with their Dex bonus to AC, because their AC would still be higher than their AC in light armor. They still get the Dex bonus to Reflex saves, attacks and skills after all.

Read up on the Clumsy trait. If a character in Split Mail or Plate Mail has more Dex than the Dex Modifier Cap their Dex bonus to their Reflex saves is capped as well.

A high dex Fighter or Paladin 'downgrading' from Heavy Armor to Medium armor gains TAC, improved Str, Dex and Con skill checks, increased speed and lowered Bulk.


Melee martials may as well, but movement is being incredibly undervalued on these message boards so I am doubtful the pay off would be worth the loss. Combat style is probably the larger determinant of Armor worn, which just so happens to often coincide with attributes, since most characters are looking to max their primary attack attribute.

I have not seen the speed penalty on armor brushed of if anything it is one of the most complained about profane cows Paizo seems to insist on carrying from 3.X.

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Unicore wrote:

It is almost like they realized this and that is why neither the rogue nor the ranger got higher light armor profiencies, and even the paladin, the best armor character in the game, caps out light armor prof at master.

If any abilities come along that even grant master light armor prof, they are going to be multi-class/archetype feats that will require building feats similar to the greymaiden. It is going to be very costly and this balance issue is one the developers are very aware of.

They are not aware of the issue. The developers are so terrified of AC optimization that they made a complete mess of things.

  • Monster on level hit rates are tuned so that they have a 50% hit rate on the most optimized builds before shields and other buffs are factored in.
  • Taking the non-dedication Armor proficiency feats are a low dex tax at best or a trap at worst.
  • The armor system is dull with a character's choice of preferred armor being determined primarily by stat assignment.
  • More technologically advanced armors are actually inferior to more archaic armors.
  • The system is not futureproofed as even the suggestion of a class coming with Legendary Light or Medium Armor proficiency makes things worse. (Claiming that Legendary Light/Medium Armor proficiency will be limited to a set of dedication feats does not help as it is just as much a possibility as a class having it built in)

Secret Wizard wrote:

All AC is the same because Heavy Armor gets expert + master + legendary proficiencies faster, it seems.

Once you add classes, it makes more sense.

It makes sense until you realize that things will collapse as soon as a class that can get Legendary Light or Medium Armor proficiency is added even without the penalty reductions Fighters and Paladins get.

The Dex Monk is already superior once they manage to get a 21 Dex and Anklets of Alacrity.

Mudfoot wrote:

Another thing. Suppose our 20th level paladin, legendary in both heavy armour and shield, gets ambushed in the middle of the night. He's now unarmoured, so drops to merely Trained in armour. Because of this rule
Playtest said wrote:
If you’re using both armor and a shield, apply the lower of the two proficiency modifiers

our noble paladin forgets how to use his shield and is now merely only Trained in the thing.

Seriously, that there is a stupid rule.

The rule is not really stupid. It actually does a fair job of preventing armor proficient but not-shield proficient characters from boosting their AC with a shield. The stupidity happens due to the Paladin having far inferior proficiency in all non-Heavy armors. The actual problem is that the Paladin loses their ability to defend themselves with out Heavy armor.

Strachan Fireblade wrote:
I've silently mused if the system could support a modest gain in success over 20 levels instead of the proverbial "coin toss" that many players feel it is. For example, maybe on levels 1-5 the math is 45-50% success, level 6-10 it is 50-55%, level 11-15 it becomes 55-60%, and level 16-20 it could be 60-65%. Note that these success rates are before buffing, circumstances, aid actions, etc.

Due to how the critical hit and MAP system works, I'd say that balancing things so that character's base hit chance grows from a 50%(5%Crit)/25%(5%)/5%(0%) at level 1 to 100%(50%)/75%(25%)/50%(5%) at level 20 is what would suit the game best.

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Starfox wrote:
A bit of a tangent, but I feel the doom and gloom about accuracy is overstated. This is about absolute accuracy, not relative accuracy - I totally trust LuniasM's comparison between classes.

Even with absolute accuracy, the doom and gloom seems justified if not a bit understated.

Optimized accuracies vs the ACs of on level and even level -2 opponents not to mention versus level+3 opponents drop as the characters level up.

A Level 2 character has on average between a 65% and 75% chance of hitting a level-2 target's AC with their first attack. A level 18 has between a 60% and 70% chance.

Remember that these are optimized accuracies, non-optimized are going to be worse.

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Every one of these spreadsheets you do just further confirms how badly zeroed the game currently is.

LordKailas wrote:

When you are fully in control of your character that's one thing, but what about when you're not?

What if that same hedgewitch gets hit with a charm spell and is compelled to swim across a raging rapid in order to attack a fellow party member?

The player could protest that their character doesn't know how to swim, but unless swimming has occurred many times before now, this will come across as meta gaming more than anything else. The roll gets made and the hedgewitch crosses the rapid effortlessly.

Charm doesn't work that way and Dominate has a built in counter against self destructive orders.

master_marshmallow wrote:
That would bring back the full round argument. Power Attack needs to be better than just making two attacks.

Not always better. It should be the better option in enough situations that it is not considered niche but not so many that it gets constantly spammed.

I don't think being an open action really helps Power Attack and unnecessarily hurts it. I also kinda wish it had a "Finisher" benefit (i.e. something like only costing one action if made with a -8 or worse MAP).

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ZeroPathos wrote:

There's a couple of problems with this. The first, is that said Level 8 untrained wizard is still better at all of the things one can do untrained than the Barbarian who HAS trained in it. That, to me, is a huge hit to verisimilitude.

Then the real world should give you conniption fits for constantly breaking verisimilitude. Experience is an incredible success modifier even without training.

The level 1 Barbarian is the equivalent of a highschool (American) football player while the 8th level Wizard is the equivalent of his or her highschool science teacher.

Both can open a stuck door but the teachers experience usually lets them get the stuck door open easier.


The second is that even if, as Githzilla called out, they are clear with what is gated and what isn't, and don't move the goal posts later on (which is a big ask of a company that makes it's money selling rule books) there is still the question of "why the hell can't I even attempt it?" Some of the very best gaming stories have been borne out of trying to do the thing that was nigh unto impossible and either pulling it off, or failing spectacularly.

And many of those very same stories are considered the stupidest things that GMs have let happen due to 5% or 10% chances of super success/failure.

Gated skills means that doesn't happen with skills anymore. Frankly, this too, is a knock on verisimilitude. If something is hard it should be more difficult to achieve for an untrained person, not be impossible for them to attempt.

I'm of the mind that the standard success results for most skill checks should be the something like following:

Critical Success- You succeed getting a result for the proficiency tier 1 higher than your own proficiency level
Success- You succeed getting a result for your proficiency tier
Failure- You succeed getting a result for one tier lower than your proficiency tier
Critical Failure-You succeed getting a result two tiers lower than your proficiency tier

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I think your problems are completely born from a misunderstanding of what the proficiency system is intended to do. The system doesn't seem to be set up correctly to there are still problems with it.

3.X and PF1e used a "how tall" system for checks. Basically what you could do with a skill was completely determined by how many points you had in a skill. The PF2e system is intended to be more a gatekeeping system than the "how tall" system you are examining it as.

From what I can tell, effects of a skill check and what skill checks you can attempt should be based on the level of proficiency. The various levels of proficiency are supposed to determine what you can do while level, ability and proficiency determine chance of success.

A level 8 untrained Wizard might have a +6 bonus to Athletics checks compared to a level 1 trained Barbarian's +5 bonus to Athletics checks, but that dooesn't mean that the Wizard should be attempting to make every check that the Barbarian can attempt. The Wizard might have a better chance to succeed when making a check both can perform due to experience but the Wizard can not attempt any check that requires training, expertise, mastery or being legendary.

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pad300 wrote:

It should be noted that for realism, much of what is suggested here is crazy (as is the original values in PF2, and even PF1). There is a reason that full plate armor evolved as the pinnacle of the armorer's art. Leaving aside the penetrating capabilities of something like guns, on the field of combat, it's just better; which the current rules model horribly. A suit of full plate is a personalized item like a bespoke suit, fitted to you individually. Because of the internal harnessing and weight distribution, you actually are more maneuverable (lower ACP) than a chain hauberk...

Of course, this does not fit with the game math at all.

The game math and lore on armor is a complete mess due to sacred cows leftover from 3e.

The original armor list only had 3 armors (Leather Armor (AC 7), Chain Mail (AC 5) and Plate Armor (AC 3)) and Shields (reduce AC by 1) and each new type was an upgrade over the previous type.

The 1e armor list made Leather weaker and added several armors as alternatives and in between options. Padded was added as a slightly cheaper alternative (with a penalty to thief skills) to Leather, Studded Leather (thief option) and Ring Mail were added as a 'better than Leather' options, Scale Mail was added as a 'between (Studded) Leather and Chain Mail' option, and Splint Mail and Banded Mail were added as 'between Chain Mail and Plate Mail' options.

The 2e armor list expanded by adding Brigandine and Hide Armor as alternatives to Scale Mail and Bronze Plate Mail as an alternative to Splint/Banded Mail. It also added two high priced fitted suits (Field Plate Armor and Full Plate Armor) that gave better ACs at the cost of needing an armorer to resize them in order to wear the armor (Full Plate had only a 20% chance to be resizable).

Every one of these editions had armor as a simple worst to best upgrade path (with Thieves, Bards and Rangers having Thief Special abilities penalized for wearing better than Leather) with class limits on the best armor you could use. Wearing better armor didn't penalize you unless you were a class with Thief skills or were a Wizard.

3e tried to make all armors viable instead of having there be a bunch of temporary place holders until a character got the good armor. They did this by adding Max Dex Bonus, Armor Check Penalties and Speed Penalties. PF1e inherited these things and they were further ported in PF2e without thinking.

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Reading those charts makes it obvious that something is wrong with how PF2e is doing armor and monster hit rates.

Its pretty telling that on level encounters have close to a 50% chance of hitting the hardest to hit classes.

They seem to have zeroed the math on hitting Fighters and Paladins in Heavy Armor.

Just being stronger won't make a weapon easier to move. A weapons balance (part of the weapon's design) tends to be a greater factor.

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Bublitz wrote:

I just dont understand why they made katana unable to 2-hand-it :(

Simple answer is that the designers mostly phoned in the entire weapon list.

There are a lot of other problems with the list not just the katana entry.

Bublitz wrote:

the thing is: Common and uncommon have slight difference in the game. One is more accessible than another. Therefore is "balanced" to presume (wich is what they are doing) that the second one is a little bit more advantageous.

That isn't what the rarity system is supposed to do. Level X Uncommon item/spell/monster isn't supposed to be better than a Level X Common item/spell/monster. Common/Uncommon/Rare/Unique is an availability quantifier rather than a quality quantifier.

A Fighter armed with a Katana isn't supposed to be better than a Fighter armed with a Longsword even though the Katana is less available. Exotic Weapons are where the superior than normal weapons are supposed to be; not in the uncommon martial weapon list.

MerlinCross wrote:
Has Heavy Armor ever been worth it? I rarely see people go above Medium.

Not since 3rd edition started heavily penalizing everyone for wearing armor. Prior to that everyone tried to get the best armor they could equip.

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
However it does nothing to help speed up adjudication of actions in Exploration mode when there is no time pressure or stakes for failure (other than perhaps a few silver pieces for equipment breakage).

Then why is there even a skill check happening if there is no pressure or stakes?

Take 10 and Take 20 turn skill checks from random actions into "Do you have a skill check bonus of X or higher? If so you pass the obstacle in [time period]."

An Exploration mode check should be doing the following:

  • Critical Success - Action takes a shorter than normal amount of time to complete, achieve greater than normal results or .
  • Success - Action takes a normal amount of time to complete with standard results and costs.
  • Failure - Action takes longer to complete, ends with inferior results or increased costs.
  • Critical Failure - Action takes much longer to complete, ends with barely usable results or at much higher than normal cost.

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

I just don’t see it’s value as a feat when taking 10/taking 20 was a reasonable method of adjudicating exploration previously.

I suspect it may tie back to what 'Take 10' and 'Take 20' originally were intended to mean versus what assurance is intended to do.

Take 10 was originally a mechanical way of saying 'I take long enough to ensure that I get an average result.' Take 20 was originally a mechanical way of saying 'I take long enough to ensure that I get a perfect result.'

Assurance is supposed to say 'You have the option to auto-succeed (or even auto-crit) on DC 10/15/20/30 or lower checks'

Assurance seems to have been added when the target number scale for DCs was very different. Assurance seems to have been designed for a system with flat DCs similar to the following:

  • Trivial DC 0 - Untrained character with a 8 in the check's stat (-3 penalty to the check) has a 5% chance of a crit fail a 10% chance of failing, a 50% chance of success and a 15% chance of crit success.
  • Low DC 5 - Trained character with a 10 in the check's stat (+0 bonus) has a 5% chance of crit failing, a 20% chance of failing, a 50% chance of success and a 25% chance of a crit success.
  • High DC 10 - Expert character with a 16 in the check's stat and expert gear (+5 bonus) has a 5% chance of crit failing, 15% chance of failing, 50% chance of success and a 30% chance of crit success.
  • Severe DC 15 - Master character with 18 in the check's stat and master gear (+8 bonus) has a 5% chance of crit failing, 25% chance of failing, 50% chance of success and 20% chance of a crit success.
  • Extreme DC 20 - Legendary character with 24 in the checks stat and legendary gear (+13 bonus) has a 5% chance of crit failing, 25% chance of failing, 50% chance of success and 20% chance of crit success.

You can see with that DC set up that assurance would be a benefit as Assurance would be nice for avoiding fails and crit fails if you only needed successes and not crit successes.

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vestris wrote:

Well it just gives you a target AC that you want to hit which is 16 and doable. Could they reduce it? Sure, I personally would like to throw more opponents at my party, however I can just make my npcs weaker then. The only reason that I see for generally reducing the attack bonus on low tier threats are multiple attacks, however then they need some other things to do as rolling thrice with no chances of hitting just wastes time.

A 0 level Goblin having a 55%%/30%/5% chance to hit an AC 11 level 1 Wizard in Robes and a 20%/5%/5% chance of hit an AC 18 level 1 Fighter/Paladin in Half-Plate sounds fine to me.

The problem with balancing around hitting the best armored characters tends to be that the worst get hit far to often. A 60%/35%/10% chance of hitting the tanky characters leads to the soft targets having 95%/70%/45% chances of being hit.

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Cantriped wrote:

Also were those videos of people wearing some 'plate armor' or people in an actual full suit of gothic era plate armour. Because the latter can barely be stood up in if one fell over, and required a crane to mount their warhorse.

That is one of the most annoying armor myths that just won't die. The idea of a knight in armor needed to hoisted by a crane get onto their horse originated as a joke in a Victorian era (1906) play called When Knights Were Bold.

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People did wear just breastplates and helmets over regular military uniforms for armor as late as World War 1.

The problem is the result of the armor list being a sacred cow from the earliest editions of Dungeons and Dragons that people have not really wanted to slaughter.

A big problem of the armor list is that it combines a large number of different armor tech levels.

Breastplate, Half-Plate and Full Plate are all one tech level and in many ways represent light, medium and heavy armor.

Chain mail was the heavy armor of it's time especially the double linked versions.

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Igor Horvat wrote:

They give +1 AC for -5ft speed. Not much speed reduction.

Speed reductions are even worse in PF2e without ways to mitigate them. With 3 actions a -5 speed penalty becomes as -15 speed penalty

And they have ACP for not needing investment in dexterity.

No, they have ACPs to penalize skill monkeys in heavier armor. They are an expanded version of the penalties Thieves and Bards got to their Thief Skills while wearing armor.


If you dump dex then you either suffer AC penalty or movement skill penalties.

They are pretty much unneeded and an artifact from the incredibly poorly designed 3rd edition.

Max Dex bonuses, ACP and Arcane spell failure were added in order to get classes keep to their traditional armors.

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That doesn't really help with the actual problems with armor in Pf2e.

Heavy Armors are still to penalized for the slight advantage they give to AC.
Armor choice is completely a factor of your dexterity bonus and anyone with an 18+ Dex would want a Chain Shirt (or one of the Light Armors if they do not want the speed penalty).

Armor needs a rework, but simplifying like you have done won't really fix things.

Darkorin wrote:

Exotic Weapon shouldn't exist anymore, uncommon and rare rarity item have the same purpose and they even talked about how eastern weapons are now uncommon or rare instead of exotic.

I was really surprised when I saw that some previously exotic weapons became uncommon but others kept that exotic tag.

We now have 2 different systems saying the same thing, which is just weird.

You are misunderstanding what the two systems are supposed to do. The Common/Uncommon/Rare/Unique system is about the availability of the various weapons and items. The Simple/Martial/Exotic system is what determines which weapons are better than others.

A Longsword and Katana are both martial weapons and balanced that way, but their availability is different depending on location. In not!Europe the Longsword is common and the Katana is uncommon while in not!Japan the reverse would be true. The Katana is not a better weapon than the Longsword because it is uncommon.

The problem is that none of the 4 current exotic weapons are really as powerful as they should be considering the investment needed.

ZanThrax wrote:

As a player, I don't want to ever have to explain why my character has become good at something she's never tried to get good at and didn't used to be good at.

And I have exactly the opposite feeling from your second paragraph. I don't want my sixth level character to be better at everything than a first level character. I want him to be better at the things he's good at, and the things that he's been working to improve. If I'm going to get better at everything regardless of my character building decisions, then it just robs those decisions of weight.

I think proficiency gating is better a representing what you want to do. An ever broadening list of things you can do is often better job distinguishing capabilities than increased chances of succeeding at the tasks you can already do.

Lyee wrote:

So anything the weapon-man has a 50% chance to hit, our wizard has a 0% chance to hit, just getting as normal success on a nat 20.

Maybe perspective and target numbers (aka ACs) should be changed. Anything that the level 15 wizard has a 50% chance of hitting the level 15 weapon man has a 50% chance of critting, 45% chance of hitting and 5% chance of missing (natural 1).

N N 959 wrote:
That might be true at level 1, but you'll recall that each +1 adds a damage die. So +1 Shortbow does 2d6 while a +1 Longbow does 2d8. That +1d/hit is now +2d/hit. Add a crit and that's another damage die. At higher +'s the shortbow is going to really pale in comparison to the stopping power of a longbow. You're essentially telling the Ranger that he now has to fight with the shortsword of bows while while the Fighter gets the longsword.

The absolute difference might be increasing, but the relative difference is not. The damage difference between a +5 legendary c.shortbow (6d6+.5*Str*6, 21+3*Str) and a +5 legendary c.longbow (6d8+.5*Str*6, 27+3*Str) is the same as the difference between a standard c.shortbow (1d6+1/2 Str, 3.5+.5*Str) and a standard c.longbow (1d8+.5*Str, 4.5+.5*Str). The shortbow deals ~77% to ~88% (based on character Str) the damage of a longbow given the same quality level and number of potency runes.

Also a Fighter wants to use a shortbow or c.shortbow when engaging targets at a distance within 60ft. With Point Blank Shot a shortbow (1d6+2, 5.5) actually deals superior damage to a longbow (1d8, 4.5) within 60ft.

The longbow seems to be intended to be a reserve ranged weapon rather than a primary weapon. The only real reason to use a longbow over a shortbow is to deal more damage to targets more than 50ft/60ft away.

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I think that part of the problem people currently have is that they are only seeing total bonus and are not understanding what the proficiency levels mean.

Imagine the following, a party contains 5 characters each with a different level of proficiency in Religion. They encounter a magic pool and all Succeed on the (lets say DC 20) Religion check to identify it.

  • Untrained - The character identifies it as a holy pool, identifies any untrained uses for the pool and has an idea if there might be something those Trained might be able to use it for, but not the pool's name, the god or holy spirit it is consecrated to, its more esoteric uses, its intended purpose, nor its history.
  • Trained - The character identifies it as a holy pool consecrated to a general type of god or holy spirit, identifies trained and untrained uses of the pool, learns its common name and history, and has an idea if there are things a Expert might better understand.
  • Expert - More specific and uncommon knowledge and uses.
  • Master - Esoteric and rare knowledge and uses
  • Legendary - Know pretty much all there is to know about the holy pool and how to use it.

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Aramar wrote:

If I'm reading things correctly, this also means that Trained Assurance only applies to 3 possible tasks; level 0 trivial and low, and level 1 trivial.

Characters are less likely to have Assurance in skills they are only trained in. Expert, Master and Legendary benefits tells more.

If the chart is extended following the same pattern:

  • Experts with Assurance will never fail Trivial tasks below level 7.
  • Masters with Assurance will auto-crit level 1 Trivial tasks and never fail a Trivial task before level 12.
  • Legends with Assurance will auto-crit level 11 Trivial tasks and never fail a trivial task under level 22

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Voss wrote:
Why is the lingering composition performance check expressed so oddly? Why not X+level rather than the ' convoluted high difficulty based on highest level or GM messing with you?'

I think it is so that the GM can actually make it easier rather than harder. If the Bard opts to use an incredibly appropriate piece of performance for the composition the effect would have an easier time lingering.

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edduardco wrote:

And that would be OK, but right now looks like that is not even an option, I think it should be.

Do not confuse not currently an option with not a possible option.


Although I prefer the suggestion from The Black Raven

The Raven Black wrote:
Could be based on proficiency in the appropriate Skill : Expert for Uncommon, Master for Rare and Legendary for Unique

Which level locks uncommon, rare and unique spell research. Why can't witnessing a once in a lifetime event lead a low level novice spellcaster to develop of a rare or unique variation of Magic Missile?

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edduardco wrote:

If it is not possible to research rare spells, does that mean that research and development is no longer allowed?

How those rare and unique spells came to be? Were they spontaneously generated somewhere? Or does it mean R&D is something that only NPCs can do because reasons?

Not necessarily. GMs can easily set conditions for various levels of research.

Common spells/recipes might only need a travel notebook and a few days time to work out.
Uncommon spells/recipes require a well-stocked library/laboratory to research.
Rare spells/recipes might require researching at an Academy's Grand Library and experimentation with rare materials.
Unique spells/recipes might require observing once in a life time events or traveling to unique locals.

The Gold Sovereign wrote:

I think there's a misunderstanding about spontaneous heightening. Spontaneous casters can't cast summon monster IV if they have learned summon monster II, yet their caster level will affect their fire ball spell, as there's no Fire Ball II or III, there's only fire ball.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but spontaneous heightening will let me cast summon monster IV even though I have learned to cast the version II of the spell, right?

You are misunderstanding about spells. There shouldn't be multiple versions of the Summon Monster spell (or if there are they specify different things they summon so Summon Dragon and Summon Celestial would be different spells). Spell's effects are determined by the level of Spell slot they are assigned to.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

So how do we handle haunts that have a specific condition to get the haunting spirit to calm down/go to whatever is next?

Like "find their bones and bury them on consecrated ground" or that sort of thing. Some haunts like that are great. Most Haunts can be just "traps with different relevant skill sets" but I would like to be able to tell a story with one.

All you need is to add something like the following to the trap's text:

Reset: Every day at sunset the Haunt will reform if it was exorcised in the previous 24 hours. This will continue to happen until [action] is performed to put haunt to rest.

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HedwickTheWorldly wrote:

For example, as a purely hypothetical, Grab Edge could be a reaction made available as a Skill Feat for someone who is an Expert in Acrobatics, or it could be a Class Feat for Rogues. It precludes you from using any of your other reaction options, though, so in some cases the 10 damage may be a better choice.

I'd bet its a common reaction that anyone can use rather than something provided by a Feat.

The reaction is pretty common in media when characters fail in various ways (don't jump far enough to jump the gorge but they manage to Grab the Edge, get pushed or slip off something but manage to save themselves by Grabbing the Edge of a platform, etc).

By codifying the rules they make it easier to emulate various scenes.

edduardco wrote:
I'm not sure I like Dents replacing HP for objects, I mean, a high level characters should be able to break objects with less hits if it is doing more damage.

I think the idea is that every X amount of damage an attack inflicts a dent. A 22 damage attack would inflict 2 dents on an 11 hardness pillar. If that pillar can only take 2 dents it would be ruined.

Rules Artificer wrote:

My only concern remains with consumable items such as potions and scrolls requiring resonance to use. Consumables were already a hard sell in 1E, with mainly the cheapest of the cheap actually seeing use. Having to expend time to craft, initial gold cost, and resonance and actions to activate all for an effect that's one-and-done seems like it's going to swing things away from using consumables and towards saving up for permanent items even further.

Depends how deep the Resonance pool is and consumable prices relative to profession income. If a 4th level Fighter can use their profession to make 30 gp a day during downtime 5 Fear Gems are 2 days work.

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Elleth wrote:

One thing that is getting me is that unless I'm reading it wrong, you can regain Stave resonance by uninvesting and reinvesting, in which case it might be better to either directly allow resetting of charges via resonance points and maybe some free time, or just add a caveat stating that those are the charges for the day.

I'm pretty certain you are reading it wrong. Uninvesting does not restore any Resonance. Resonance is a per day resource pool.

Investing adds to the total charges currently in the staff to the staff's maximum.

A full charged high level Staff might have 27+ maximum charges and a 17th level or higher spellcaster with 9th level spells would recharge 9 charges every time they invested in the staff until the maximum was reached.


It's interesting to see that some items can directly convert resonance to spells while Staves can't. Does this mean direct conversion items are relatively rare or thematically powerful?

Its more that Staves give utility. In theory anyone can use a charged Staff of Healing.

A Wizard can use a Staff of Healing to cast stabilize and heal by spending Resonance and either the staff's charges or their own spell slots. A Fighter without any spell casting ability can use a fully charged Staff of Healing and Resonance to cast a 1st level heal three times or a 3rd level heal one time.

Tholomyes wrote:

Except we are seeing that. All pirate feats require Pirate dedication. But we also see Boarding action, which requires Rope Runner, which presumably also requires Pirate dedication. Sure there may be branching chains, just like there were in 1e, but we can already see the beginnings of feat chains here, which they claimed to be moving away from.

There is a difference between a Two-Weapon Fighting -> Improved Two-Weapon Fighting -> Greater Two-Weapon Fighting style feat chain that cost feats so that a character can maintain what they natural should be able to do after taking the first feat and unlocking the ability to take another feat that expands capabilities by taking a previous feat. The feat chains they are moving away from are the first not the second.

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
feat chains

I do not think that term means what you think it means.

Feat chains are when Feat Z requires you to take Feat Y which requires Feat X which needs Feats W and V.

PF2's Archetypes are closer to unlockable Feats Pools. Taking Feat A allows you to take any combination of Feats B, C, D, E, and F in the future.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

Where I'm slightly concerned though is say at some point in the future PF2 is doing something like a Darklands AP, and because of this they print a bunch of different rules for radiation, which include ways characters can be resist it, gain power from it, etc. So we're going to need radiation feats now. So do we do those as a "Rad Child" archetype? Or do we just print some new feats and list them in the appropriate categories? Doing it as an archetype gets in the way of the Pirate who is prepared to sail the sightless sea to prove herself the greatest mariner...

They could add a general Rad Child archetype but that specific AP would then give Rad Child Dedication to every character as a bonus feat and then say the special line does not apply. A Pirate AP could do the same for the Pirate archetype.

gustavo iglesias wrote:

No, it's not a 9th level spell. It's a 3rd level spell, that you put in your book at lvl 5, because you bought a cheap (compared to 9th lvl spells) scroll, from a small settlement, which was much more available than the 9th lvl spell Meteor swarm. It's a spell that you also picked at a much lower oportunity cost, because you do not need to sacrifice Time Stop to get it, and it's a spell that comes really often in enemy spellbooks during your 16 first levels, unlike Meteor Swarm. The cost of having fireball is not close in any way, shape or form to the cost of a Meteor swarm.

Wrong. A scroll with Fireball prepared as a 9th level spell and a Scroll of Meteor Swarm should have the same value. If there was a method that allowed Meteor Swarm to be scaled down to fit in a 1st level spell slot a scroll with Meteor Swarm prepared as a 1st level spell should cost as much as a basic Magic Missile scroll.

When you buy or create a scroll you are buying/creating a prepared spell slot.

Also Meteor Swarm could be a fairly common and well known spell, but few are able to cast it without a scroll.


Your example made absolute no sense, but I'd give you another. You shouldn't expect your fighter's Vital Strike to do as much as your fighter's Improved Vital Strike, because the later is higher level.

Why should Vital Strike and Improved Vital Strike be two different feats/attacks?

A big part of 3.X's Martial/Caster disparity was due to many feats which should have scaled up with level not scaling at all.

gustavo iglesias wrote:

Another way to see it:

If a lvl 9 fireball should be just as good as a meteor swarm... Then a 9th lvl dispel magic should be as good as a disjuction? A 9th lvl slow as good as time stop? A 9th lvl charm person as good as dominate monster?

A Dispel Magic cast with a 9th level slot should be the PF2e version Disjunction.

Many older spell chains(i.e. charm person -> charm monster -> dominate person -> dominate monster) were added because older editions lacked a heightening system.

Then what is the point of 9th lvl spells?

9th level spells should have effects that are not available from just heightening other spells.

A 9th level Fireball could be a really big and damaging fireball (they you might delay the explosion on) while a 9th level Meteor Swarm could drop a series of smaller fireballs over multiple rounds.

Mekkis wrote:

Conversely, when values such as attack bonus, save bonus, skill modifier etc are directly based of CR, it feels completely artificial and demoralising.

No. Improper justifications are what does that. Monster that pretend to follow the same rules as PCs and those that do not can both feel artificial and unreal if they have not been properly justified by rules and/or fluff.

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thflame wrote:

The bad: Where is the character growth if an 18 is pretty much shoved down your throat at level 1 and you can't get above a 22 without magic?

I think the point is the opposite. You don't need to start at 18 to max out your stats.


Double Slice is a glorified +5 on your second attack with no DR. I was hoping for something like, "take a -2 to attack with both weapons as part of one action."

That is likely to high powered for a single action.

Double Slice is pretty much an anti-resistance attack. You are making one attack so resistance is only applied once but you are rolling twice to determine which of the damage sets you deal with the Double Slice (single hit, double hit, single crit, hit and crit, and double crit).

Fuzzypaws wrote:

It is absolutely okay for a 9th level spell to be better than a 6th level heightened to 9th which is better than a 2nd level spell heightened to 9th which is better than a 1st level spell heightened to 9th. I fully expect higher level spells to pick up things like better range or duration or area, added debuffs, broader effects, more versatility, higher starting damage dice or bigger die sizes, and the like.

No, it isn't ok. A 9th level Spell, a 6th level Spell in a 9th level slot and a 1st level Spell in a 9th level slot all have the same resource cost to use so need to be roughly equivalent in output. Spell level should be used to control access to effects not determine spell superiority. Spell slot used should be what determines spell superiority.

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HWalsh wrote:

Even if you include chained and delayed as part of the heighten (something I might agree with), there is still ice storm, cone of cold, horrid wilting, polar ray or mentor swarm, which are pointless if a heightened fireball works equally well and you can use the spell learnt to get Mass Invisibility or Charm Monster or Stoneskin.

Wizards have always had the potential to have infinite number of known spells. This was never really a problem. It was always the effects of the options that ruined balance rather than the number of options accessible.


The problem with Wizards (and other spell casters) has never been number of spells known, its always been what individual spells do.
Disagree. Even from the 3.5 era in the char op forum in WotC, "whatever you do, a wizard do better" was a motto. It is not only do e spells that are broken. It is the fact that they can prepare fue almost anything. Making a single damage spell learnt be worthy in all spell slots does not help.

No. The reason the wizard could do everything better was completely based on the spells available. Knock auto picked locks, Invisibility hid things better than specialists and Silence made even those in the heaviest armor specialists in Move Silently. Jump, Fly, Spider Climb and all the other movement utility spells are similar. Take away the spells that did those things and a wizard would not be better.

All the spell book and a list of spells known did was let the wizard have an easier time respecing. The problem was that the spellcasters could specialize to be better than the specialists.


Magic Missile is also fairly easy to fix so that it doesn't feel like a waste in higher slots. It just needs additional Heightened effects (like "Heightened(4th): Each bolt deals 2d4+1 damage." and "Heightened(8th): Each bolt deals 2d6+1 damage.") added.
yes, there are a lot of ways to make Mm never get obsolete and become the go to option for single target damage at all levels. I don't think that is a good goal, tho. Heightened spells should be worse than higher level spells, because you don't waste an opportunity cost to learn them again
Arguably Magic Missile should be one of the weakest single target or multi target damage options a Wizard has available of the non-cantrip...

No. That mentality is what leads to the creation of 9 different versions of the same spell with different power levels.

A 1st level Spell Slot Magic Missile should be slightly better than a cantrip while a 9th level Spell Slot Magic Missile should shoot an opponents 9th level Meteor Swarm out of the air.

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