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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 4,520 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 6 Organized Play characters.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Ly'ualdre wrote:

Thank you keftiu for reminding me of my one true love.

High Seas or riot.
Lol

What about a "Low tides" book that focuses on coastal settings and maybe other transitional zones, that can easily feature changing environments between water and land? Or even flying fortresses and tall cliff dwelling cultures. With lots of environmental rules, hazards, skill feats and just a general expansion of the environment as encounter?

Plus Interesting ancestry and cultural development of peoples that don't nation build, but just survive and move around in hostile environments.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Thinking more about the specific premise of the OP, there are some "trap" options/strategies for trying to play a wizard who moves about the battlefield that might be making some players write the idea off/ suggesting not picking the wizard class.

As a general rule of the thumb, especially past the first 5 levels of the game, wizards cast a spell every round of combat. This means that they will often only have one extra action per round. Using that action as a caster to move into melee range of most threats is generally going to be a bad idea. But putting yourself in a position where they move to you wastes an enemy action instead and sometimes Moving into a place where they think you are vulnerable can waste multiple enemy actions moving to you to "trap" you, when you are the one setting up a trap to do something like jump away and hit them with a AoE.

In this regard, a good wizard's duel can absolutely involve lots of movement, as spending one action to make the other caster spend 2 to be able to effectively target you is definitely worth it. Enemy casters that only have one action to attack are in bad shape in PF2.

There are a lot of fun spells with a range of touch, or do nasty things to enemies that get too close. Exploiting them can be fun, but trying to do so by casting that spell, then moving up to the enemy is a good way to end up on the ground pretty quickly against powerful foes.

PF2 is a game where your strategy has to change every combat based upon the enemies you are facing, the terrain, and your object in the encounter. Good GMs and Adventure writers take advantage of all 3 of these elements in adventure design and there are a lot of fun encounters in APs where spells that grant different movement types or restrict different movement types can pretty much win the day. Usually this is by synergizing with the rest of the party though, not just trying to show them up, so trying to do it all yourself, by casting the movement spell on yourself, then moving into position, then doing the heroic thing, usually takes too long to pull off successfully and can get frustrating to the whole party.

The overall story here is that playing a long range sniper wizard in PF2 is totally possible, but it is not the only way to play the class, nor even necessarily the best. Spells are best at exploiting enemy weaknesses and controlling a changing battlefield. There are lots of good reasons to "mix it up" and get in close to do so.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The OP was asking about a mage that was not a gish. But was active and mobile in combat, casting spells from close quarters.

This is 100% doable without any MCing. Battle forms as a 3rd round spell after buffing a little is very much effective as a caster


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Rfkannen wrote:

I was scrolling through my reddit history and found this post I made two years ago on a dnd 5e subreddit. The best answers in 5e kinda worked but didn't really fufill the fantasy I was looking for. How does pf2e do this concept? (I am not looking to play this character, I am just curious)

"In most rpgs I have played, when you are a caster, you are either a cleric, a big walking tank, or a wizard, who stays as far outside of battle as possible.

Spoilers for last night's owlhouse episode, but I saw this https://twitter.com/SpencerWan/status/1297388656655659008 and I loved how kinetic and tactile the fight was between these two mages, while still fully being a magic fight.

So I am looking for something like that, a build that emphases movement, getting into melee on occasion, and stuff like that, but is still 100% caster, not a gish, only weapon they should be holding is a staff and they should focus on spells.

The most important part is asthetics, I want something that looks (withought any reflavor) like a 100% classic mage, but has a bit more movement and close range combat.

Any way to do that?"

There are a lot of excellent spells that allow for a mage to mix it up close up in ways that can make attacking the caster annoying, without you having to dump feats into archetypes to get AC boosts, in fact, using feat resources to do this, instead of get more spells is generally a mistake because "spells" is the way that you do this. The complication is that this means you require some rounds to prepare before you get close, so you either need to be able to stealth cast outside of battle (wizard has you covered with silent spell), or you need a party that can delay full scale engagement by both sides for at least a turn or two. Both of these options are very viable. I would also say that any "caster up close getting attacked" does much, much better standing next to a champion, and the real trick of PF2 casters is that they are only supposed to be about 25% of a team. This means that party composition plays a massive role in what spells overall will be effective and what kinds of strategies a caster should employ.

That said, in the right party, there are some spells that are incredibly annoying for the enemies to deal with when the caster is up close and in a party prepared to support them:

Mirror Image is the super obvious heavy weight. One second level spell that can promise to waste up to 4 actions without a save is excellent.

Mist/fog/blur/etc concealment spells should not be underestimated, especially if the effects won't hamper the party. a 20% miss chance is a scary penalty to ignore and can waste powerful multi-action activities in PF2.

Abjuration offers a lot of good options for further making attacking the now juicy looking wizard much more of a pain than it is worth.

Shattering Gem is a good top level -3 slot spot for wizards with spell slots to spare. The protection it provides is better than shield and does damage when it explodes. Depending on how your GM handles things, many enemies won't be able to tell the difference between a level 4 shattering gem and a level 1 shattering gem, so if you start with a powerful one, and the enemy eats it, then cast a level 1 shattering gem, you leave the enemy asking themselves if it is worth hitting you, especially if you have damage mitigation from another source, like a near by champion.

Magnetic Repulsion is another situational spell that can really annoy the pants off of soldier type enemies.

This is actually why Wizards can be the best class for this, instead of a spontaneous caster. Many of the best "Mix it up in Melee" options are situational spells that will really shine against the right enemy, but be harmful to the party to cast in the wrong situation (especially higher level ones like repulsion). Being able to completely swap out your prepared spells overnight becomes increasingly useful as buying scrolls of lower level spells becomes negligible in cost. Some encounters you will not be prepared for though and if your party is not patient and tactically minded, then you are going to annoy them and possibly get everyone killed with this strategy, because an unprepared wizard is often better off running and coming back later than trying to force their way through. That is still a cary over from past editions of the game that remains true in 2E.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I sort of want ancestry to mean something beyond "visual and aesthetic difference" as well as having ancestry mean more than "all creatures that look like this live in this incredibly narrow region for some reason and culturally all act the same...but need to be playable by PCs in any campaign."

I guess that is why we are only going to get 6 common ancestries and all the rest are going to be uncommon or rare? I am just worried that this kind of ancestry development easily leads to shallow character development options and leads to the "kinderization" of ancestries that are only going to be presented in a very limited way.

I do think it is a little weird to have some catch basin Ancestries like Fleshwarps, Skeletons, and Sprites, but also have different ancestries for Goblin and Hobgoblin, or Elves and potentially drow. I kind of wish that things like Skeleton and Fleshwarp were special heritages that could completely over-ride ancestry choices, like changing your HP, attribute distribution and speed, instead of unique ancestries that are essentially devoid of cultural development tied to their ancestry and not their nationality.

I do really like how the Mwangi expanse book talks about ancestry feats and heritages that go along with major cultural groups of elves, dwarves and Orcs and Halflings in that region and definitely want more of this in future Lost Omens setting books. Especially with Goblins and Gnomes, as those are two common ancestries that still feel like they are struggling for diverse cultural identity and playability, but on a personal level I really want more Iruxi, Tengu and Ysoki cultural development as well.

I want my ancestry choice to feel like I am connecting my character to a people and a place in the world of Golarion where they can still have a unique identity that doesn't force them to always be an outcast for being different.


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Probably the biggest "problem" with animal companions in PF2 is that they kind of play into the trope of "utilize this feature well, and you will increase the whole party's efficiency, use this feature badly and it is an easy way to get the whole party killed."

Getting 2 actions for one and about 80% extra HP is a tantalizing offer for every character, and a party built around buffing and support can make very effective use out of companions and other minions in many encounters, although there will still be some encounters where you probably are just trying to keep your Animal companion out of the way.

But if utilizing the animal companion is ending up costing you an action a turn for basically nothing more than just a minion's worth of attack power, and that loss of action is eating into your attack penalty or casting 3 action spells or performing other essential 3rd action activities, then it can start to feel like the companion is making your whole build worse, and that can drag down the whole party: For example if your character is the party's only healer and they need you doing battle medicine on someone almost every round, that loss of an action for moving around can cause a lot of problems.

So animal companions don't really work as "the martial" or "additional martial" component of team, as much as they work well for exploiting movement types, terrain and other battlefield control features.

So if your personal expectation for your character is to be "Awesome Tiger with supporty friend" Summoner is really the closest class we have yet to get that, and trying to build a Ranger, or a Druid, or really any class + Animal Trainer type Archetypes is going to be a let down. Perhaps there is room for such a martial inclined character in the future, but it is a little tricky to do in PF2 because an Animal as the key party member is incredibly limiting in social encounters and many story arcs.

Nimble AC being equal to a martial probably only contributed to this illusion that it was possible to have your Animal Companion be an extra full martial.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Paizo's take on the Succubus/incubus really makes me uncomfortable. All enchantment magic kind of fits the bill but I hate monsters where the GM tells me as a player how I am supposed to feel about that creature.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Bombs are a thrown weapon that don't use strength at all.

A Rage Prophet type character that was a Barbarian MC'd Flame Oracle with access to bombs could be a lot of fun (either picking up a second Archetype or preferably just traveling with an alchemist willing to share.)

Having a str of 14 is a good idea for using medium armor anyway, but you never really need to push past that. You will need a 14 Cha for the Oracle dedication, so picking up intimidation feats will fit well with this character too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

This is part of why I think asking for more interesting variants of existing ancestries in new lost omens books, instead of just new ancestries is a good idea. The Mwangi Expanse gave us a lot of really cool ancestries, but couldn't variants of many of them have end up in other places? That would prevent the siloing of ancestry feats into categories that no one ever gets access to. Like, if shooney villages can pop up on the Kortos Isles, couldn't we get some that appear in Tian Xia, or Casmaron?

I mean, it would be nice if there could be some broader categories/tags for Ancestry feats that could fit over similar kinds, like all Humanoids could get ones related to humanoid biology, or all animal-like ancestries could just get access to claws, or sensitive noses, etc. But that would have taken some extra steps back in development. PF2 is designed around duplicating similar feats into their new categories much more so than just giving others access to them, so we really do need to just keep asking for more diversity of ancestries in new locations. Like if different kinds of Humans, elves and dwarves got there, keep giving us New types of Lizardfolk and Orcs and Hobgoblins too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

An ancient-blooded dwarven Mastermind rogue with these feats seems like it would fit the bill pretty well and be a very versatile.

1 You’re Next
2 quick draw
4 dread striker
6 Light step
8 Blind Fight
10 Sneak Savant
12 Felling Shot
14 Instant Opening

A lot of these feats are not flashy, but this dwarf is very well suited to take advantage of the battlefield, stay nimble, and waste enemy actions all combat long. I would probably go trap finder instead of quick draw personally, but if the dagger is important, being able to draw it and strike makes for an effective 2nd action after a shot from hiding.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

One thing I really want to see is a bunch more heritages that really stretch what existing ancestries in the world can be like. Dwarves for example, have gotten so much more interesting and more colorful since just the Mwangi expanse book. Elves too. I love getting new ancestries as well, I just hope that we continue to get old ancestries in new places that are doing totally new and interesting things as we expand through the lost Omens books. Like I love how the sprite can be almost any creature that is fey and small, Fleshwarps and automatons fit this space as well. I hope we get more horizontal growth and not too much here is a new ancestry who just really exist in one small place in the world and can barely be justified as having more than 2 or 3 heritages and we only ever get 5 or 6 ancestry feats for with no future expansion.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I think a couple of APs do it, but a really great way to make a character who casts rituals often is to talk to your GM about using down time to build a sanctum, or a summoning circle or other special place where your rituals are cast. If your GM is supportive of the idea, these are easy things to make happen and can help ground a character in a setting. If the GM is not supportive of the idea, it gives you a strong hint that the GM doesn't really expect you to be able to cast rituals all that often, or is already concerned about the effect it will have on their game balance, and it might be a good idea to re-think your character for that campaign, as you might find ritual casting to be something that you have actively built your character around but never get to do.


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I really think the issue here is that the wording of this spell was not written to be mechanically focused at all. The way it is written for this edition makes it a narrative manipulating spell instead of a mechanical one which is particularly frustrating if you are a player bringing a whole lot of mechanical, encounter mode expectations for what it will allow you to do every time you cast the spell.

Fantasy RPGs have a long history of having spells like this and many new editions have taken steps to more clearly mechanically define what these narrative spell do to avoid putting GMs in a spot where a player is very excited about an idea that feels too good for the GM to be true.

Prestidigitation has been used like this in past games and illusions to the extreme. In 2e, Prestidigitation got a very explicit work over to provide constraints to what it can narratively do, as have illusions, but there are still a couple of spells like this one that are written to change the narrative of the encounter in a fairly abstract way that requires a lot of GM arbitration. Control Water is interesting and a bit unusual in that it took a massive step back away from mechanical clarity and towards open-endedness. Why? Someone probably knows but it hasn't been talked about in the multiple years now of us asking about. So it is entirely possible that the answer was: Someone realized that a spell like this would require a lot of space in a book to mechanically define effectively, and it being 5th level, and pretty situational, they just decided it was better to give it a narrative scope and not a very precise mechanical one, so the folks looking at mechanics for balance kind of just passed over it because the spell is written vaguely enough that it basically says "Talk to your GM about this spell" without directly saying that.

There is just no way as a player, you can reasonably have this spell ready to cast multiple times a day and expect to rules lawyer your way into having the GM interpret it one specific way that will favor what you want to do with it (especially if you are playing multiple GMs if you somehow have access to this spell in a PFS type setting).

I totally understand how magic can make impossible things possible, that is what makes it fun, but the language of this spell leaves so much to the imagination that of course interpretations are going to vary. The most common mythical example of this spell, at least in the US, is going to be Moses parting the Red sea, and yet, without a duration, or an understanding of what is happening to the water being controlled, the spell as written has to be strained pretty heavily to accomplish the thing most people would read the title of the spell and assume that it does. Just telling us that it raises or lowers the level of water in a set area, as an instantaneous effect would very much be like if the spell fire ball was written, You instantaneously fill a 20ft burst with intense fire energy...which is kind of what that spell does, except it gives us a clear mechanical explanation for what happens to creatures in that area. It does not give us any explanation for how that fire existing in that area affects anything except creatures, and many of the people in this conversation have found that aspect of the fireball spell to be particularly frustrating because it is essentially left up to the GM to decide as well, with the caveat that destroying stuff accidentally is not very much fun for players or for the world.

Evocation spells become narrative monsters for GMs that try to apply real world physics to them. Control water has basically been written off in this edition as "Sometimes a great story can be told by having a character raise or lower water in an area. Use it to do that without make this a game of Water Controller, Drowner of the Universe...or don't use it as a player and the GM will occasional have some NPC use it is a specific manner that tells an interesting story and you know what level a spell and type it is for the purposes of counter spelling it or dispelling it."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Onkonk wrote:
Nitro~Nina wrote:
Onkonk wrote:

What type of damage is the splash damage from the Scatter trait? Also does it deal damage if you miss?

Splash is only defined really in the splash trait so it can be hard to tell how it is supposed to work outside of it.

Scatter

Scatter wrote:
On a hit, the primary target of attacks with a scatter weapon take the listed damage, and the target and all other creatures within the listed radius around it take 1 point of splash damage per weapon damage die.
Unlike most splash damage, this specifically requires a hit to happen.

My conundrum is this:

Let's take an arbitrary bomb, alchemist's fire, it deals 1d8 damage, 1 persistent damage and 1 splash damage. This is dealt with a Strike, where on Success you deal the damage and on Critical Success you double the damage. So here we already have a "on hit, deal splash damage" in a sense. This is overridden by the Splash trait which says

Quote:
If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target (including the target) take the listed splash damage. On a failure (but not a critical failure), the target of the attack still takes the splash damage. Add splash damage together with the initial damage against the target before applying the target’s weaknesses or resistances. You don’t multiply splash damage on a critical hit.
However splash damage is not mentioned anywhere in the rules except for this trait so if we are not supposed to use this trait for Scatter then what does splash damage even do? Does it double on a crit? Is it combined with the damage before weaknesses or resistances?

The splash trait as a whole needs to be looked at again. The spell acid splash is in a similarly nebulous boat


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Gortle wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Neither do I but it is a statement that is flat wrong so I had to interject.

I don't see how they are flat wrong. If you "Strike your enemy" would include any time that you use an activity that includes the strike action within it. If you "use the Strike action" is calling out spending one action to perform the Strike activity. Isn't that was specifically being said?

Strike, capitalized, does mean the Strike action, but the Strike action can be used and is used as a subordinate activity often. So Striking is one specific activity, but it is also a part of a number of other activities. If you preform one of those activities, you have performed a Strike action on your turn, even if you have never spent an action to preform a Strike. I think a little confusion in this is perfectly understandable.

What helps me is to separate activities from actions.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Recalling Knowledge through INT is better in world, that is why Lore skills all key off it, even though that hardly makes sense for any activity other than recalling knowledge that you might do with that lore skill.

Fundamental to the disconnect that people have about what occult magic is are the following observations:

1. "Occult" magic is a made up game concept primarily concerned with helping establish defined niche space for classes and magic with an extremely tight game balance.

2. It was a useful game concept to develop for Pathfinder, because the creative team at Paizo really likes telling stories that veer off into the terrible and dangerous mysteries of the unknown. Between Dragons and Wizards, I think Arcane covered so much heavily used knowledge that tossing in all the cosmic horror and weird just low key made it too bloated of a category.

3. Because it is a new category, it is still in the process of getting its shake out and there are a lot of different creative minds at Paizo. It is pretty unreasonable to expect all the developers to have a perfectly shared vision of what lines surround each of the traditions of magic, so it is not going to be a perfect fit all of the time for everything it gets used for (personally, I still don't get Oozes being Occult by default. Just because the ooze type shares some mechanical similarities doesn't mean that they should all be grouped together within one knowledge pool. Incorporeal creatures can be undead, elemental, or even arcane, I think Oozes could have tradition traits based upon how they come into existence).

All of this is ok, and to be expected. Which is why I think it can really help players to step back from trying to see the traditions as perfectly defined categories in game as well. Even if it were true in game, that isn't really how knowledge works in our world, and the social construction of knowledge actually makes the game mechanics fit together better too. It may seem stupid to me that creatures like black puddings could exist in swamps naturally and not be something that people in world would study naturally, but I guess in world they just freak people out too much for your typical hunter, Druid or other nature expert to pay much attention to. As a GM, I will continue to play it pretty fast and loose with the "right" recall knowledge skill, and favor flavoring the knowledge learned to the skill used and what can be learned about it, rather than defining wether anything can be learned about it all based upon those categories, but I recognize that as a house rule that I don't expect followed in PFS games. In world, people have been a little strangely obsessed with this relatively new concept of traditions of magic and all the scholars are abyss-bent on forcing everything into these categories even if that can appear a little forced to the rebellious scholars of Golarion.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I think a really cool approach to a Fiend, or maybe just an outsiders generally, book would be less new creatures (although maybe room for a couple that are from realms that have really not been covered yet in existing material), and more ways to add on templates and change up existing themes to be more unique central antagonists. Player and NPC options could focus less on here is new monsters to fight and ways to destroy them in battle, and the book could have more options towards building adventures around hunting them down and undoing the damage they cause in the world around them. This also seems like a great book to bring in the Inquisitor.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I have an elven fighter I have been toying with picking up an investigator archetype for this reason. Swipe with a maul has already been a lot of fun and I find myself with a number of lower level feats that I rarely use at all anymore. Sudden Leap though has been the moment this character jumped the shark from being a good gritty fighter character into being a Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Gonzo character. Between that and blind fighting, I think a lot of APs write tactics for enemies that get shattered when the fighter doesn't need to see and can easily leap 20ft in any direction.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

A wizard with the Eldritch Researcher archetype might be what some folks are looking for in a wizard unafraid to pursue magic at its core, crossing over the boundaries of traditions.

The mechanics of the game do not force fit as closely to the lore of secrets of magic as is necessary to think of the traditions as something that exist as hard coded distinctions between magic types. PCs, and PC classes are rare in world. PCs vary so much from one to another that it seems incredibly rare to run into any caster class that doesn't invent its own exceptions to spell lists based on tradition.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
Is an arcane Sorcerer at all analytical, though?

Sorcerers in particular (but witches and oracles too) are why I think it is best to think of the traditions of magic more as flawed in world conceptualizations rather than factual laws of reality. All sorcerers’ magic comes from their blood, not from how they approach trying to cast their spells. The traditions are irrelevant to a sorcerer, outside language to describe processes they do with out thinking about them. And they have ways of learning spells that the traditions say shouldn’t be possible.

The traditions of magic are an in world social construct that has a fair bit of influence over the lived experience of most characters in Golarion but will never hold up as a perfect model for all.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

My issue with the adding an action is that it pretty much ruins meta magic for wizards, which is a lot of their most thematic feats. If you don’t like meta magic feats and this homebrew is for your own table, then that might not matter but it will be difficult for people to build many different types of wizards with this system.
The spell substitution thesis comes very close to what your goal here is, it just can’t happen in combat. Maybe consider designing a feat that lets you do the spell slot flexing in combat once per day and see what that does to game balance at your table?


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I think some efforts to define these differences this way are going to confuse people. Illusion magic is still very much in the arcane wheel house and wizard illusionists can easily do astonishing things with it. Focusing on the outcome instead of the process feels inverted to me, because outcomes of spellcasting don’t actually vary that much from tradition to tradition. The essences loosely control what spells can be cast, but there are enough ways to break the rules that it works better to think of in world motives and approaches, some of which are certainly more subjective then universally definable.

Lore about dragons is mostly held in Arcane libraries and repositories of magic because wizards and arcane scholars have been studying them this way for millennia. The issue here is really that recall knowledge in combat is still a nebulous and confusing hybrid action of remembering things your character knows and synthesizing them with material observation. How fair is it to see a red scaled creature and assume either fire resistance or fire abilities? That seems like a nature or medicine connection as much as an arcane or society connection(for kobolds, for example), and yet many GMs reading of the rules would require one specific check to learn anything at all about a creature, even though that is a mechanical oversimplification of the way stories would be told in world.

Most magic items don’t really have a tradition because the magic can be made to work in many different ways. It is probably mostly in world casters and scholars arguing about which discipline x spell belongs in, when PCs are often able to break those rules once they become powerful enough.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Aw3som3-117 wrote:

I mean, personally I've always used the term "flavor" or "flavor text" (and will continue to do so), which seems far more accurate to me.

But, at the same time I also find it kind of ridiculous that the word fluff would be banned in this context. The idea expressed in Edit 1 in the post above puts all the power in the hands of someone who says they don't like a word and everyone else then has to follow that for some reason? I just don't get it. Either the arguments for and against it being allowed are relevant (in which case the back half of the sentence about convincing them that it wasn't meant offensively falls apart) or anyone can say they're offended about anything, which isn't something I'm a huge fan of for obvious reasons.

Harassment directed at an individual and/or derogatory terms are and will always be different to me than someone getting offended by every day language not intended to harass.

You don’t “have to follow it for some reason.” You can choose to respect the person who tells you the language is hurtful or not. Honestly, there are many times where people who are causing harm to others get defensive about language that draws attention to that harm that I choose not to follow their requests about language use, especially in my own life…but this is 100% not that situation. This is the creative director of a world that I think we all love asking us to respect him and his wishes for how we talk about his work and the work of others that have built this world.

Language is always evolving, changing and being experienced in different contexts by different people. Fighting for your right to define words for others can be a good or bad thing depending upon that context. But when that word has minimal value for you, and a lot of value (positive or negative) for someone else, it is often a good idea to question why this feels like a battle you need to pick with them. The word fluff really doesn’t need anyone fighting for it in this context.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Spell strike definitely works with cantrips and even focus spells, because they are all spells. If it didn't, the MC archetype feat and the bounded spellcasting feats would minimally have to switch places or else you could get a feature that you couldn't use from within the archetype yet.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Congratulations on choosing PF2! It is an absolutely wonderful system to GM. There are a number of threads on these message boards that deal with GM advice that are worth looking at. I also homebrew some PF2 material and have had the most fun with making encounters on larger maps that can have a lot of interesting terrain and environmental considerations. I really like using large numbers of level -2 or even level -3 monsters along side one or two equal level monsters, but keep the party from being overwhelmed by having the other side have an objective that they can accomplish without having kill all the PCs: getting away with NPc prisoners, stealing something, completing a ritual, arming a hazard or trap, unleashing an even more powerful creature, etc. I often have encounters that will last 12 to 14 turns this way and scroll across multiple rooms or from one side to other of a 100 square or more map. This really helps spell casrers get the most out of their spells and it lets martials show off their skills and movement abilities more than just having everyone attack with as many actions as possible


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I see, my bad, you get the 2 spells at the lower level with Expert casting.

I agree that it is worse than basic spell casting, but it still gives you the more important thing for the magus which is access to the wands and scrolls right?


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Squiggit wrote:
Unicore wrote:


We see lots of examples of class feats and archetype feats that do not offer something that is even close to equal to something another class can get as a feat at that level

Isn't that just justifying bad feats by pointing out that other bad feats also exist?

That's, again, not a good thing.

The point is, feats are voluntary. If you don't like the options of a specific archetype, don't pick that archetype. If you don't like specific feats within an archetype for your character, don't take those feats.

Heck, just the first spell casting feat for the Magus is enough to get you access to wands and staves and scrolls and spell casting items. Retraining into it at level 10 for your 6th level feat buys you 2 second level spells and a third level spell for one feat on top of all that access. Functionally that is purely better than the wizard basic spell casting feat, since that would only get you 1 first level, 1 second level and one third level spell instead of 2 seconds and a 3rd. If neither character ever took another spell casting feat, bounded spell casting is better than basic spell casting. One v One in a vacuum, bounded spell casting comes out on top.


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It is all about the essences. Occult and Arcane tap into different essences. I think that can be difficult to see as a player because wizards had such a wide range of spells in past traditions that they get a lot of spells in their list that probably shouldn't be there due to tradition, but looking beyond the spell lists and the little ways the spell lists break the rules, for understanding which skill you would use for understanding a specific phenomena in game, you should look at what the essences are.

Which can be tricky if you are only consulting archives of Nethys because the essences idea is a new, world specific lore addition of PF2 that is inherently different than past games, even if it wobbles around the expectations of past games. If you were extrapolating on this for content you were making for yourself, you would be fine for your own house game, but if you were making resale content based on it, you would probably need to be careful because a lot of that is specific lore content to Golarion. Otherwise, you are probably better off creating your own loose interpretation for your own game world/content of the differences between occult and arcane magic based off of what is listed within the specific skills.


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I think that you have answered my question, You feel like archetype feats which grant single spells as an innate ability of the archetype cannot be compared with the basic spell casting feats, which you feel like are in a vacuum of their own. I think to satisfy your concerns I would have to find an example specifically within MC archetypes and probably basic spell casting feats, which I obviously cannot, since there are only two strands of those kinds of feats.

I just think it is fair to include all level 6 archetype feats into the balance equation since they all rely on you having picked up a dedication first and then spending your level 6 class feat in making assumptions about what the developers consider as a realm of fair balance.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Hopefully these feats do get revisited. I do think it’d be worth another pass to adjust the power level so that the feats make sense in a vacuum. If there was a theoretical archetype that offered both the normal and bound spellcasting benefits, I want it so players hesitate between the two paths, not for one to clearly be better for all users of the archetype. I would think the designers would want that hesitation as well.

I am perfectly fine with stepping back and saying that I think we just have a difference of perspective on the bound casting archetype feats, but I am curious what makes you feel that the developers intended for all spell casting archetype feats to be balanced in a vacuum?

We see lots of examples of class feats and archetype feats that do not offer something that is even close to equal to something another class can get as a feat at that level, which seems tied up in class balance. Look at archetypes like Magic Warrior's feat Nameless Anonymity, which is a 6th level feat which grants only one spell per day. It seems to me that there were thematic choices made in archetype feat design tied to what the archetype overall is supposed to give you.


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I am playing in a pbp of Agents of Edge watch now, and we are only 3/4ths the way through the first book so I am not speaking as an expert on the whole thing, but even as someone who has been doing abolitionist (abolishing prisons and police as a continuation of slavery in the US) work for 25 years, I think the AP makes some very serious mistakes (mainly in that it should have been an APB designed AP, like strength of thousands is a archetype variant rule by default), but has gotten thrown under the bus a little unfairly compared to many other beloved APs. Story telling in the US is dependent upon many highly problematic tropes and APs tend to grant "legitimate" authority to PCs all the time in ways that result in non-good decision making.

The default power fantasy of a game where every 5 or 6 levels brings heroes way beyond the approach of average people inherently creates incredibly strained justifications for why the world looks at these people as heroes and not as potential monsters in the waiting. From King Maker, to Age of Ashes, Extinction Curse and even Abomination Vaults (all APs I am playing or GMing and having a lot of fun with), the moral issues of power = legitimate authority are just massively rampant in fantasy role playing.

Now it is super true that the police procedural is a particularly problematic genre that some folks for right or wrong have dubbed "copaganda," and there are interesting studies about the long term effect that dragnet has had on the conception of what a police officer is on the average person (a show which had to run every story past the police before being aired) as opposed to if the first versions of the genre had been something more akin to the wire, where both police officers and drug dealers were consulted in the writing of the show without having creative control of it. But I still strongly contend that if we say that reimagining what the role of the police can be in a world can't be done in fantasy, then it will never be able to be done in world around us.

I don't think the issues with Agents of Edgewatch are as much about timing as they are about execution, and while I don't begrudge anyone for choosing not to play it because the themes might hit close to home in uncomfortable ways and the writing is problematic in ways that require a fair bit of GM and table conversation and reworking, I do think the idea of the AP, exploring the complexity of Urban fantasy in a world where PCs have people depending upon them to be transparent and accountable for the power they hold, is really important space to continue to explore. I doubt that Paizo will ever touch the subject of PCs as police again because of the reaction to the AP, which could be another case of Paizo the company just not being the right people to tell stories about policing, but I really hope that the company doesn't equate this failure on their part with the idea that it is better to just try to avoid writing stories that explore the issue inherent in their game that PCs rise in power so fast that most of the rest of the world should be terrified of them and at the very least, expectations would be placed on them not to jut be tomb raiders and pirates who become the heroes because history will be written by the victors.


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Evilgm wrote:
Norade wrote:


What makes you think I don't already do that? I'm asking because I want to see what Paizo's excellent developers can do without being slaves to balance.
They aren't "slaves to balance", they've made a balanced game and most people who play it prefer it that way and want it to stay that way. It sounds like you don't like that aspect of PF2, and it seems likely the only two solutions available are work with your GM to change your home game or use a different system, because it would be foolish for Paizo to undo all the good things they've done with PF2 simply because you don't like it.

Even more than that, they made the game that works best for the stories they want to develop. Yes they did survey data, but they chose what questions to ask and how to respond to that data. They never said tell us exactly what game to make, and then we’re bound by the will of the majority. They also made their framework open source, so even if you don’t want to do it yourself, you can look through the work of other 3rd party developers that might see you and others with similar views as a suitable target audience.


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I had a similar reaction to this myself before secrets of magic happened. The lore in that book is phenomenal and it satisfied my general suspicions that all good APs were going to have to have occult mysteries to them and not arcane ones.


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There are many archetypes that give access to casting only one spell a day, often with limits to how high it can heighten, and often without any kind of proficiency boost. Do all of these feats need to be equal to basic spell casting as well?

The feats offered in an archetype are tied to the archetype and what it allows you to do, not to all the other archetypes and what similar feats might offer. Why do rangers only get a feat which offers an AoO against their hunted prey, while other martials get the full fighter ability? Because the class of ranger is designed about picking 1 enemy and hunting them. Their feats are supposed to support that idea.

A MC magus or summoner inherently get access to spell casting that is pretty limited, but at least grows in level comparable to their base classes. Just like a ranger might be better off picking up AoO from an archetype instead of through their own class feats, a MC magus has options for picking up spell casting within their own archetype if MCing into wizard doesn't fit their build, but the double MC into wizard will provide the most spells if casting lots of spells is a part of the character vision. This pretty clearly seems like the intended vision of what was printed in the book.


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CaffeinatedNinja wrote:
Unicore wrote:
I’m there are several good recall knowledge feats for Magus that are good for a number of martial classes outside of fighters.

There are not. Magus Analysis only works if you have a spellstrike to charge which MC Magus can’t do. The lvl 6 one only gives benefits on a crit success, which is basically on a 20 for a martial.

Unicore wrote:
Spell Parry can be a pretty great feat as well. Force fang does not require an extra spell strike and can be even better for low accuracy martials than for fighters, especially ones like barbarians who might otherwise have no focus spell or good actions to take vs incorporeal creatures.

Spell parry is extremely situational, 95% of the time regular dueling parry is better.

Force fang, without the spellstrike recharge which MC magus doesn’t get, is just force bolt with no range. You can grab force bolt from the wizard MC easily. It also triggers AoO I should add.

There are a lot of rogues, rangers and investigators who would disagree about recalling knowledge requiring a 20.

The spell casting progression of bounded classes is deliberately inflated too high for proficiencies generally, because of the extremely limited pool of spells they have to cast. Limiting the archetype to expert is far more limiting of what kinds of characters can be built with the archetypes than limiting spell slots because it makes the cantrips useless, other than once per encounter for the Magus.

Dueling parry is only available to fighters and swashbucklers. I get that you are assuming that a +2 AC is going to be better 95% of the time than a +1 AND a +1 to saving throws vs spells, but that is campaign dependent at best and a circumstance bonus to saving throws is pretty awesome to be able to give to yourself when you are up against someone whom makes you use it. For classes that don't have access to dueling parry, like a rogue or an investigator, it is another example of a useful feat that casting archetypes are not going to give you anything similar to.

You only need 1 feat out of all of these to complete your Magus archetype and move on to a full casting archetype for higher levels. You don't need to like 5 or 6 magus feats, you only need to like 1 or 2.


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Temperans wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
_benno wrote:
Not that this invalidates Spell strike in any way, since its one less action(which enables you to use true strike) and most importantly not restricted to bows.
And if we are still talking about Magus Archetype, it is specifically restricted to not-bows. There is no way to get the benefits of Starlit Span through the archetype. Melee Spellstrike only.
I wonder how many people would take Eldritch Archer if Magus MC gave Spellstrike with bows.

I think it would still compare reasonably well.

Eldritch Shot can only be done as a 3-action and must be a ranged attack with a bow, but can be used multiple times in a single combat. The spellcasting progression has more spells overall, but most of them are lower level. The bug still exists that you don't have to boost your spellcasting skill in order to get the higher level spell slots. It is questionable whether you can use scrolls to power Eldritch Shot. There are a couple of other interesting bow trick feats, but not much else.

Magus archetype (with the addition of a ranged spellstrike option) would have the choice of either melee or ranged spellstrike, but only once per combat. It is not fully clear if you can power spellstrike with scrolls without the Striker's Scroll feat, but with that feat it is certainly clear that you can. The spellcasting progression gives more higher level slots at the cost of all of the lower level slots. And you do have to increase your Arcana skill in order to get the higher slots. And you do have access to all of the 1st - 10th level Magus feats.

Certainly a tradeoff, but not one that is completely lopsided.

Most of the Magus feats specially before level 10 have weird requirements, you can get a better version from items or a class feat from your own class.

The only good feats you can get with the archetype are: Striker's Scroll because it fixes the spell slot issue; Fused Staff, because Paizo...

I’m there are several good recall knowledge feats for Magus that are good for a number of martial classes outside of fighters. Spell Parry can be a pretty great feat as well. Force fang does not require an extra spell strike and can be even better for low accuracy martials than for fighters, especially ones like barbarians who might otherwise have no focus spell or good actions to take vs incorporeal creatures.

Do you think the Magus base class is bereft of class feats for magi or a vastly underpowered class?


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aobst128 wrote:
Unicore wrote:

I think the issue that some people are having here is just that bounded casting, by itself, for the classes that get it, is much worse than full casting. Casting is not the reason to MC into either Magus or Summoner.

Lots of archetypes offer casting that is essentially a feat for just one or two spells total. At least the basic casting feat for these MC archetypes give you access to all the scrolls, wands and staves that you could reasonably want to use.

Paizo spending any more time "improving" the spell casting feats of these 2 MC archetypes does absolutely nothing to make new character concepts playable. It would only serve to push these archetypes into the realm of much, much, much better MC archetypes to take than any full caster archetype for a martial character. Especially the Magus archetype. Getting access to the spell strike feat, and basically equal power to the spell casting progression of a full caster archetype makes full caster archetypes a complete joke.

All fighters would go Magus if they were going to be interested in casting spells. That is a bad direction for the game to go.

I don't think that's what people here are saying. It doesn't need a lot to be better. Just a small bit is needed to justify the feats a little to make it a side grade rather than just worse. Less slots makes sense. The feat cost could be changed or add something to them like giving nerfed hybrid study benefits or scaling combat proficiency for your eidolon. Those would serve to benefit specific concepts.

Being a "side grade" of what full casters get for their spell casting progression is making those archetypes meaningless. Good spell casting is why people archetype into those classes.

Things other than spell casting are tied to other feats, which are already worth taking from the MC. If the MC gives those other things that are better than what full casters get, and gives casting options that are equal in power to what full casters get, then you have an obviously better archetype.

Look beyond MC archetypes and you will see that access to casting spells is often given at worse than what the bound caster MC classes give. These comparisons are only looking at the MC option that is supposed to give the best casting abilities, while ignoring that there are lots of archetype feats that don't live up to that level.


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I think the issue that some people are having here is just that bounded casting, by itself, for the classes that get it, is much worse than full casting. Casting is not the reason to MC into either Magus or Summoner.
Lots of archetypes offer casting that is essentially a feat for just one or two spells total. At least the basic casting feat for these MC archetypes give you access to all the scrolls, wands and staves that you could reasonably want to use.

Paizo spending any more time "improving" the spell casting feats of these 2 MC archetypes does absolutely nothing to make new character concepts playable. It would only serve to push these archetypes into the realm of much, much, much better MC archetypes to take than any full caster archetype for a martial character. Especially the Magus archetype. Getting access to the spell strike feat, and basically equal power to the spell casting progression of a full caster archetype makes full caster archetypes a complete joke.

All fighters would go Magus if they were going to be interested in casting spells. That is a bad direction for the game to go.


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This thread is pretty much turning into a homebrew thread right? Like, if you are unsatisfied with the MC archetypes for Magus and Summoner, you are probably homebrewing a solution for your table and not honestly expecting the developers to go back in and significantly changing them in an errata?

I get having general discussion threads for people trying to understand why choices were made, but it seems like people have either decided that they disagree with the choices that were made, or think that they are fine, and thus folks unsatisfied with the existing feats are probably going to be much happier creating some kind of balanced alternative with other people that want to see those changes, so that they can be implemented at your own table.

As far as "But I want to use these homebrewed feats in PFS" it is way to easy to get exactly full caster MC casting in addition to the feats that you want from a magus MC to expect any kind of significant change to happen now.


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I think that feat power balance is not singular to the feat, but tied up in what you have to do to gain access to the feat. Ignoring the path that gets you the feat to compare it to another doesn’t look at the organic development of a character. A fighter doesn’t MC into Magus to get access to spell slot spells. They would pick a different archetype to begin with if the vision of the character was fighter who casts as many spells as possible.

But a fighter who already has spell strike might need to think about what there next goal is, and wether MORE spell slots is valuable to them (especially lower level slots that won’t interact well with their spell strike, or not, and if so, then getting those extra spells has two options: maximum spell slots, by adding another archetype, or using the resource available to you to have less spell slots over all, but with a shift towards higher level spell slots rather than lower level ones. It is largely the same dilemma the magus themselves face in their own class so it feels rather fitting.


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As a combat tactic, and not a narrative objective, Getting an enemy caster to spend 2 actions to cast glitter dust just to possibly make one character in the party visible is probably a big win for the party as a whole though. Personally, I absolutely love silent spell and I think it is one of the best Wizard feats in the game, but it is much more about narrative control than combat power, and I am ok with that.

Also, it is important to realize just how important boosts to spd are. Between feats and spells getting that movement to 30ft of more can be a huge tactical advantage, this being one of the more niche and least common ones.


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Also, if you just trying to be invisible, cast spells and move so your enemy doesn’t know where you are as a tactical thing, don’t bother casting silently. Cast and then sneak.


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Silent spell makes casting spells from hiding not too difficult in PF2, you just have to be ready to make stealth checks and not cast spells with too many obvious effects. The conceal spell feat (which silent spell lets you get all the benefits from) makes it pretty clear that all the manifestations are concealed with the successful stealth check, so as long as the spell effects don’t shoot out from you, you can do quite a bit with it. Most of the spells have enough descriptive text to make it clear wether the spell effect begins at the caster or not, you just need to read the spell descriptions carefully, and most importantly, talk to your GM about what you are trying to do.


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Norade wrote:
Gaulin wrote:
Yeah that's not a priority for 2e. Things like alchemist immortality don't exist short of getting the sun orchid elixir. Like it or not, 2e is 'gamier' than 1e. Best to appreciate it for what it is
You can have the rules be gamier, I have little issue with that concept. What I have an issue with is the lore not mentioning the massive change. One thing 4e did well was to explain the change to how magic works with an in-universe explanation.

The “in world explanation” for major mechanical changes had, at best, a very mixed reaction from the fan base for D&D. Fans of the way things were will be pretty desperate to latch onto anything they can to justify throwing out the new to bring back the old. At least as many players would find fault in the way things were explained as would be that off put by just changing the system to work for the new stories developers want to tell. Because your Galorion in your Galorian, those background stories can be yours to tell if you want them there. Look at it as an opportunity and world building exercise.


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It seems like "mythic" would be really easy to do as a free archetype option where the archetype feats granted activities and abilities that push towards legendary from the beginning. You just would gain them right at level 1. Dedication feats could grant extra HP and something like a mythic surge ability and each could have class feats and skill feats built into it. Many of the PF1 mythic abilities could translate easily into feats like power attack or double slice, except give even more action economy benefits or narrative controlling features.

Make them rare or even possibly unique options and there really wouldn't be that many balance issues.

From the GM side, they would just need to develop some mythic templates similar to Elite that grant similar mythic feeling activity options, although I agree that most of the book would need to go towards guidance of how to make mythical feel like a higher tier of narrative power-based story telling, instead of "same story but with more powerful characters."


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Squiggit wrote:
chapter6 wrote:
The spells are incidental and not the main point of the mcd.

Spells are all you get from the Spellcasting feats though. So... no, not really.

Maybe if they gave some secondary, martial benefit in exchange for the worse spell progression like the actual class you'd have a point.

But right now we're talking about spending the same number of feats for less. That's not 'incidental.'

Gaining some spell slots is the point of the feat, but it is not the point of Multi Class archetype. A Fighter MC Magus could take the dedication, spell strike and one class feat, and then take wizard MC, the three spell casting feats and breath and have both spell strike and quiet a few spell slots, but it would take up most of their build and cost 1 additional feat (which is 2 more cantrips anyway so hardly a bad choice).

Incidentally, striker's scroll is probably the better feat for the fighter MC Magus than any spell casting as it will allow you to use spells that actually can compete with your cantrips and you can have enough of them to make every spell strike you do come from a decent spell slot spell.


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I think everything about the encounter except the purpose of the main enemy is perfectly fine for the party.

At level +3 + a minion, I think it is important for the enemy team to have a more complex goal than "Kill the party as quickly as possible." Maybe the Grave knight is tired of its sworn duty and would prefer the PCs be able to bring him something that will release him. When they are resistant to such a plan, he could aim to bring one party member down and use as a hostage to get the rest of the party to comply. They can of course choose not to and fight the good fight to save their ally and quite possibly TPK, but then that feels like a choice the party is making, rather than the only possible outcome of the encounter.

Very challenging encounters are good to mix into fights about 10-20% of the time, but the key to making them more than just a 20% chance of TPK is making them feel like meaningful encounters to the plot with multiple choice points for consequences and for story reveals. Powerful henchfolk with their own agendas slightly incongruent with their masters can make for really fun moments in a story arc.


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Low skill characters following the leader of a competent rogue with quiet allies can also pick up keen follower and basically count as having training in stealth and have an extra +1 or even +2 in there as well. A whole party can nearly ignore stealth and still be pretty competent at sneaking with this one feat, but a whole party can specialize in stealth and still be better.


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Castilliano wrote:
gesalt wrote:
Castilliano wrote:
That said, perhaps the DCs could be lower, or reflect the setting (i.e. climbing a slope) rather than adjusting to an enemy's level (since they're not tied to the enemy's essence or efforts in any way). That mechanic literally translates to the PCs (et al) becoming less well known the more prowess they gain, the more exploits they accumulate in their stories. There should be a hoard of accurate knowledge from witnesses about Treerazer, yet his DC's so high due to CR (much less uniqueness) that even a -10 for commonness of knowledge about him means few people know anything.
As much as I hate recall knowledge, this part I don't mind so much. Eventually, when you get that (in)famous or have existed for long enough, you start to accumulate all sorts of old wives tales, inflated bard stories and off brand merchandise from lying merchants that it can be hard to separate fact from fiction.

This is what prevented me from using the Tarrasque as an example; it's bound to have accumulated so much baggage, taken part in stories as a useful "worst beast ever".

Though it seems that should be a factor not tied to level, since a king that rose through the ranks fighting alongside troops shouldn't get more and more difficult to know/learn about as he ascends, though yes, oddly it also makes it more likely for misinformation or even disinformation. Doh.

This is exactly solved if failure isn’t a null result, but a partial, or generic result with a grain of truth to it. It makes it much more worth it for most players to make the check, but it also makes critical failures more interesting because you are not comparing them to results 10 better on the dice. With PF2’s fail forward mechanic, it feels off to have an often 50% likely result equal absolutely nothing.


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Gisher wrote:
Unicore wrote:
As a GM, I have been thinking about shifting the results for RK in combat since the opportunity cost of using it is so high.

The opportunity cost can vary widely. An Investigator with Known Weaknesses, for example, will get a free action Recall Knowledge check pretty much every round of combat.

You can also use gold to buy yourself one free action Recall Knowledge check per minute with a Cunning Rune. Getting the item bonus from the potency runes to the check is nice as is the potential +2 circumstance bonus.

I suppose a Wizard could put the rune on a crossbow, but I prefer the idea of using a Cunning melee weapon with Hand of the Apprentice for the better attack bonus. Combining a ranged attack with a Recall Knowledge check seems like a pretty efficient use of a Wizard's third action.

The bigger issue for me is that there are too many abilities that trigger off of a successful RK check for critical failure to emulate success. If failure gives something more like a half success, then a crit failure can look like a failure instead and not cause a bunch of problems with all the RK abilities. Giving PCs too much false knowledge always felt bad to me anyway. But a subtle, “you aren’t sure what this creature is, but it reminds you of …” indicates you have failed, but by how much? It synergizes with the different abilities that interact with RK much better than having CF look like a success.

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