Cale the Calistrian

Vali Nepjarson's page

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Oh, thank the stars. I have always and continue to believe that the God who is going to die is going to be Iomedae, but I am far from certain and the only two gods I would be genuinely heartbroken over dying would have been Desna and Cayden Cailean.

With both of them safe, I can rest easy and wait with excitement and not trepidation.

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James Jacobs wrote:
we did not and will not be updating the following qlippoth: shoggti, nyogoth, chernobue, hydraggon, or the qlippoth lord Shiggareb, as those are all OGL creations for Green Ronin.

Shame about those. Especially the Chernobue. They've always felt like the poster child for the Qlippoth. The archetypal Qlippoth, or at least they've almost felt that way to me.

Obviously continuing to use them for now is totally fine, but it saddens me to think that we'll more or less be loosing them going forward, and I wonder if any new Qlippoth will be created to slot into that representative slot.

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I feel like, with the removal of the alignment system, the various friends and celestials are now best differentiated by the paths through which they uphold and represent good and evil, holy and unholy.

Angels are goodness through service. Sometimes service towards good gods, sometimes service towards innocent life or holy order.

Azatas are goodness through joy and self-expression. Freedom and connection.

Archons are primordial goodness. Directly born of holy power and untainted by humanoid ideas and norms.

Theoretically Agathions would be something like, goodness through nature and gentleness. Stewards of the sanctity of life itself.

As for fiends

Devils are wickedness through domination. They are the counterparts of Angels as they seek to chain others in service of them.

Demons are wickedness through hedonism. Incapable of empathy or restraint, they are the counterparts of Azatas.

Qlippoths are primordial wickedness. Their evil impossible to understand or empathize with, and their counterparts are obviously Archons.

Daemons are wickedness through malice. They appose life and hope in all it's forms, and their counterparts would be Agathions.

It's not quite as wrapped up in neat little boxes like the alignments used to be before, but it helps to conceptualize what their purpose is to the greater Holy and Unholy causes.

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This is hilarious to me, because a couple of friends and myself literally just spent a few hours talking about what we would be if we were gods in Golarion, what our teachings would be, what our Edicts and Anathamas would be, and all that stuff. Then I jump on to the forums and immediately find this.

I think a good number of people kind of missed the point though and wrote up a god that they thought would be cool, rather than who they would be as a god. Which is awesome too! Don't get me wrong. But unless you are admitting that you, yourself are evil aligned, the "God that is You" should most certainly not be.

Vali Nepjarson, The Laughter in the Snowfall

Once a young adventurer who desired nothing more than to travel to far off lands and find things that would fill him with a sense of awe and wonder, now a god and quite unexpectedly so. With laughter like chimes of ice, he brings comfort, happiness, and knowledge of strange things to those who follow his path. He makes his domain in the coldest regions in all the planes, as the intense cold is the only thing which grounds him and slows down his mind enough for him to focus on his own thoughts. He delights in sharing incredible things with his clerics and paladins, rarely realizing that the most incredible thing he can share is himself. He has an intense love and minor obsession with Dinosaurs, for no other reason than because "they're amazing".

Areas of Concern Soft Cold, Occult Knowledge, Adventure, and Dinosaurs
Edicts Travel the world in search of things that fill you with awe, seek to understand others especially when you are opposed to them, find comfort and calm in the frozen cold
Anathamas Destroy amazing monuments or icons of foreign cultures, deceive others for personal gain, pass up the opportunity to ride a dinosaur, willingly eat green peppers or arugula

Realm Baile Reoite [The Maelstrom]
Temples glaciers, standing stones, places where the road turns
Worshippers hikers, adventurers, bed and breakfast owners
Sacred Animal triceratops
Sacred Colors blue, silver, and white

Devotee Benefits

Divine Ability Charisma or Dexterity
Divine Font Heal
Divine Skill Occultism*
Divine Sanctification must chose Holy
Domains cold, introspection, knowledge, travel
Alternate DomainsSaurian (Not yet in PF2), Trickery
Spells 1st: purifying icicle, 4th: dinosaur form, 5th: howling blizzard, 10th: fabricate truth
Favored WeaponRapier or Staff (Sideword or Shillelagh)

*Some followers of Vali find that they are gifted divine skill in Deception instead of Occultism, and these often find they have a more specific role that Vali has for them*

Divine Intercessions

Vali imparts his joy and laughter upon those who bring comfort and warmth to those who are out alone in the bitter cold, as well as those who seek to share the wonder of the world with others and protect it from those who would harm it.

Minor Boon: You are gifted with a whisper of secrets that Vali has accumulated throughout the eons. When you roll a knowledge check on a topic that you are merely curious about, and you roll a Failure, you get a Critical Success instead.
Moderate Boon: Rather than being bitter and biting, the cold is always comforting to you. You are immune to environmental cold temperature effects up to Extreme Cold, and reduce the damage taken by Incredible Cold to that of Severe Cold. Also while you are in any cold temperature below mild cold, you have a +1 status bonus to attack rolls and skill checks
Major Boon: Dinosaurs see you as friend and kin and may appear to protect you from a particularly dangerous threat. If threat of death is imminent Vali may send a Dinosaur to your aid, even appearing in places where it would be impossible or ridiculous for such a creature to be. Although Vali may send any Dinosaur of his choosing, usually they are less than 2 levels lower than the highest level threat you are facing.

Minor Curse: Whenever you wake up after a long sleep, you find some part of your body affected by something like frostbite, often a toe or ear.
Moderate Curse: Your mind is forced to process too quickly for you to ever focus on one thing. Whenever you attempt an action with the Concentrate trait, you must attempt a DC 7 flat check or the action fails
Major Curse: Vali does not allow you to feel the wonder and awe of the world, and all good emotions feel deadened and hollow. You cannot benefit from any positive effects of any spell or ability that has the Emotion or Mental trait.

I played fast and loose with some of the unspoken rules of deities here, such as giving Clerics of Vali 4 spells, one of which is a 10th rank spell, or how some followers are given a different skill, but all of these are important to Vali's lore.

Vali hates deception and subterfuge, but is incredibly skilled at it. He understands the real meaning behind the words of others innately, regardless of how well they try to hide it. Because of that, he only gives that kind of skill to followers that he feels are trustworthy to use that kind of skill. He doesn't grant shady Rogues who worship him divine skill in deception. He grants it to Paladins who are irrevocably good and whom he knows will use that skill with responsibility.

The same is true of him granting the spell Fabricated Truth. That kind of power is one that fundamentally he feels should never be used. But he also understands that sometimes, never happens. And so if you have gone all the way on his path and he trusts you absolutely, he may grant you the ability to use such a spell. With the caveat that the misuse of the spell is one of the only ways he would ever afflict someone with his Major Curse.

Vali can come across as naïve and childish, but he understands the fears and insecurities of the gods better often than they know themselves. And he knows that there is evil in the world, and so insists that if you follow his path, then you must stand between that evil and the wonderful, amazing things this world has to offer, as well as the innocents who inhabit it.

"Good is easy, as long as you aren't blind to what it actually is. Nice is simple, and anyone can be nice for their own reasons. But to be kind is hard, and frustrating, and all the more important for it. To be kind is to treat people better than they deserve. It doesn't mean don't bring your sword to bear against an evildoer and strike them down if necessary, but it does mean to first seek to help them and seek understanding of what made them walk the path of evil in the first place."

"The Cold rakes at you because you're angry at it. And when you're angry it becomes all you can focus on and it feels so much worse than it actually is. But if you step outside, take a deep breath, and let it be just what it is, you'll find it can be calming, and even comfortable."

"Why Dinosaurs? You ever see a Titanosaurus walk out of the forest and shake the world with it's sheer mass? They're amazing, that's why. Yes, I realize I'm an actual god, shut up. Want a Microraptor Familiar?"

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YES! MY DEAREST BOY IS SAFE! I honestly would have been astonished if Paizo had killed off one of their most popular and unique deities, but there was still that little bit of doubt in my mind.

Still leaning towards Iomedae, just for the literary elements of her being replaced by Arazni.

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exequiel759 wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:

I am now significantly more comfortable in my guess that Iomedae is the Deity who will be killed.

While not every god would have or would need a successor, this "What If" story shows that it is important to note that some positions need to be filled. Hell needs a dictator, so if Asmodeus was going to be killed then Ihys would be the God who would take his place and he would be the God joining the Core 20.

Which to me, shows that it is important to consider that different gods would be chosen to replace different other gods.

It could never have been Pharasma, because someone would have needed to take the reigns and keep the flow of souls going, and since we know Arazni is the one joining the Core 20, I doubt they would place her in that position.

As such, Iomedae makes the most sense, because she is the champion of Aroden, risen to take his mantle. And that is the position that makes the most sense for Arazni to rise up and take over for.

If any of the other Deities died, we would have a thematic and symbolic hole in the roles filled by the Core 20, AND two champions of Aroden taking up a lot of divine real estate.

For the record, when I say "significantly more comfortable" what I mean is my certainty has gone up from 20% to 30%, and I could absolutely be wrong, but it makes the most sense to me.

Luis already confirmed that Arazni isn't inheriting anything from the deity that dies.

I think you're misunderstanding me. I'm not saying that Arazni will take on Iomedae's portoflio or her "job" in the cosmos.

What I'm saying is that some gods are safe, theoretically, because if they were to die, someone would need to do that and we know that isn't going to be happening. Asmodeus, Pharasma, and Rovagug are the most obvious, but you can potentially make an argument for deities like Desna, Sarenrae, and Lamashtu as well (although I don't think we know if their death would cause the end of the things they empower, so those ones could still be in danger).

And then as a second point, while we know Arazni is not taking over the cosmic deific role of the Core 20 deity who dies, there is still going to be a narrative role that we are going to lose from that deity, and another narrative role that Arazni will bring in to the story.

So for example, I highly doubt Torag or Calistria are going to die, because they are the Dwarven and Elven representations in the Core 20. Cayden Cailean is probably safe because he brings something entirely unique to the Core 20 that frankly I don't know if anyone could replace.

Iomedae is the inheritor of Aroden, and the Paladin representation within the Core 20. At least one of those roles is one that Arazni is perfectly capable of filling. And if, in the course of the story, she manages to find forgiveness in her heart for Aroden, for Humanity, and for herself, she could easily fill the second narrative roll as well.

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I am now significantly more comfortable in my guess that Iomedae is the Deity who will be killed.

While not every god would have or would need a successor, this "What If" story shows that it is important to note that some positions need to be filled. Hell needs a dictator, so if Asmodeus was going to be killed then Ihys would be the God who would take his place and he would be the God joining the Core 20.

Which to me, shows that it is important to consider that different gods would be chosen to replace different other gods.

It could never have been Pharasma, because someone would have needed to take the reigns and keep the flow of souls going, and since we know Arazni is the one joining the Core 20, I doubt they would place her in that position.

As such, Iomedae makes the most sense, because she is the champion of Aroden, risen to take his mantle. And that is the position that makes the most sense for Arazni to rise up and take over for.

If any of the other Deities died, we would have a thematic and symbolic hole in the roles filled by the Core 20, AND two champions of Aroden taking up a lot of divine real estate.

For the record, when I say "significantly more comfortable" what I mean is my certainty has gone up from 20% to 30%, and I could absolutely be wrong, but it makes the most sense to me.

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Basic Bro of me though it may be, Cayden Cailean is not only my favorite Pathfinder deity, but one of my favorite deities in anything.

Weird considering I don't even drink myself. I just really like him as a guy and I have always liked gods that are, sure gods and thus grandiose, but also someone you can talk to like a person.

I really can't see Cayden dying because he's such a popular and unique part of the Pathfinder lore, but if he did...

Well there's not currently any character I'm playing that would be hugely effected. Although I've had an Investigator who is a devotee of The Accidental God for a while now. That character would probably have to be pretty well reworked if it happened.

As for me, Golarion would still be one of my favorite settings, but I'd be pretty distraught over it, and it would probably make me focus more on my homebrew world games for a while.

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Aeshuura wrote:
Oo, I don't know about that trait! What does Razing do? Extra damage to objects?

Yeah, it adds damage to attacks against objects and structures equal to your number of weapon damage dice.

Another possibility is switching out shove for trip. While the Kanabo doesn't necessarily look like it has a tripping feature, it's longer than most club-like weapons and I've seen it used to attack someone's lower leg/ankle and send them to the ground.

It COULD even have the reach trait, as I've seen some very long versions that are almost up to the shoulder height of the person wielding it, although that might be a stretch as most reach weapons are longer (but the Kanabo would definitely be one of the longest mace or club type weapons I know about, as most very long weapons are piercing types).

Honestly, there are so many different types of weapons and traits in use right now that I would be pretty confidant in Paizo to be able to make the Kanabo distinct from the Greatclub.

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Kinda specific, but I really, really want a Kanabo/Tetsubo weapon stat block. I have a character who uses one, and yeah I can easily just have them use a greatclub and call it a day, but there's something that doesn't tickle the joy button in my brain to not be able to use a "technically correct" stat block.

I also second the Oni-based Nephilim stuff. I would even be okay with just a straight up Oni ancestry, but that's less necessary per say. I've been using an Orc with the Nephilim stuff that used to be Tiefling, and that's cool, but again it would be great to have specific Oni stuff.

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SOMEONE in your party needs to be a fire kineticist. Or at least archetype into it and take Thermal Nimbus.

People have this image in their heads of Arthurian legend being kind of grounded, like an older take on Lord of the Rings.

Then you read it and see things like a bunch of men huddled around Sir Cei in a rainstorm because his body is so hot that the rain evaporates around him and keeps all the men dry.

Arthurian legend is bonkers and I love it.

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The broom being targeted is iffy as usually you cannot target an item that is being attended, but you can be knocked off the broom, the broom has a pretty low fly speed, it can be stolen from you, you are required to keep one hand on the broom at all times, which is actually a pretty potent weakness.

It does have some other advantages which have not been brought up yet either. You can give it to your allies, for example. If you see a trap up on a higher elevation, you can pass it to the Rogue to allow them to go and disarm it. With most Ancestral or Class flight, this isn't available.

Plus it's just really cool.

That said, even though the broom "feels" like it should remain hovering even if you don't spend an action doing so, I don't see anything in the description of the item that suggests it has different rules than anything else with a fly speed. It may tend to float around when not in use, but it also clearly is affected by the weight of it's riders, so it's totally reasonable to assume it requires active use or else it fails to hold up the weight of a person.

I might allow it as a GM because I like it, but if I was feeling particularly spicy I might also do something like make it drift every round that it isn't controlled. Roll a D8 to see what direction it floats, and a D4 or D6 to see how far it goes.

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The Raven Black wrote:
Also, we have several deities of the Sun. Why not several Exemplars Whose cry is thunder ?

We may have several deities of the sun, but we only have one "The Dawnflower". I'm totally fine with having multiple thunder, lightning, and storm based exemplars, but they should have different titles that represent their heroics and stories specifically.

Using the same two deities I used before as examples, "Whose Cry is Thunder" fits Thor very well but doesn't actually make a lot of sense for Zeus.

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Megistone wrote:

I'll quote this very recent blog post from Michael Sayre:

Will the exemplar get more ikons and epithets? The exemplar will definitely see new ikons post-playtest, and the chances of new epithets are pretty high, though we’re still sifting through data about the degree to which these mechanics are working for folks. The final form that epithets take based on your feedback might have some influence on how many are published in the final product.
The fact that we have only a lightning epithet means that they wanted to playtest something like that; it doesn't mean that they don't plan to add other similar options, especially if such design is well received.

While this is definitely good, I feel that it is somewhat missing the point. I don't necessarily think we need a fire or cold epithet specifically. Rather I feel that we should have more free-flowing epithets where you pick a damage type in general as well as an imminence/transcendence, and then give yourself your own title.

I think it fundamentally takes away from the Dominion Epithet (and somewhat the Sovereignty one, but to a lesser degree) if there are several other Exemplars running around with the same legendary epithet. When Not-Zeus has the epithet "Whose Cry is Thunder!" it suddenly becomes way less interesting for both when Thorn't also has the same title unto his name.

I want to write my own Dominion Epithet based on the deeds of my character, and thematically that opens up the door for a build-your own epithet concept where you mix and match different damage types with different ikon abilities.

This way you wouldn't need a specific cold or fire epithet (which would run the risk of being mechanically bad, like the current water one seems to be), you'd just need to write up the different ikon abilities and allow people to slap whatever damage type they want on it. Then give a bit of guidance for what a good Dominion epithet should sound like along with a list of suggestions. Perhaps you mix the electric damage one with the martial skill one (the one that gives critical specialization and Reap the Feald) and the name recommended by the book is something like "Blade Swift as Lightning" or the like.

It would absolutely be something that would put a different kind of expectation on the player that other classes don't have, but it IS a Rare class and that could just be part of that, plus it would be helped out a decent bit by having a list of title suggestions.

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So I am honestly loving a lot of this class right now. A few balancing tweaks (Str builds shouldn't be inherently worse than Dex builds) and they'll be fantastic. My personal biggest concern with it though is one that I have not seen brought up yet, and that is that if I am creating an Exemplar, I need a lot more options for gaining a title for the type of hero they could be.

Looking at the Dominion Epithets especially, as cool as the titles are, those feel like titles that should be entirely unique to each Exemplar. Born of the Bones of the Earth is super cool, but what if my Exemplar's legend grew when he reaches into the body of a raging fire elemental to wrench it's core out? Then I'm going to want my title to be something like "Arm Forged in Fire" or something like that.

We have a lightning Epithet. No reason we couldn't allow fire or cold damage.

Personally, I think that the Root Epithets are fine as is, since they're just one-word adjectives for a single heroic trait, and even the Sovereignty Epithets are probably okay since they more describe the overall archetype of hero you were, but for the Dominion Epithet, I think we should be able to write our own in a sense.

From a mechanical sense, it would give the option of a few different Immanence and Transcendence abilities that are paired together that you can pick, and also lets you choose a damage type that you can replace spirit damage with (with maybe some small incentive to pick Bludgeoning, Slashing, or Piercing, since those would inherently be less desirable when they are choices on their own. Then you pick an Epithet that goes with that ability, while providing a list of options but also the encouragement to write your own.

My hero of the frozen north might picks something like "He Who Comes on Frozen Winds".

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Ezekieru wrote:

I hate to burst your bubble, and I get that y'all have an extreme desire to get old classes back, but this was literally the third sentence on the blog.

Totally fair, I absolutely missed this.

Still, it's hard to deny that ABSOLUTELY looks like Crowe, the Bloodrager iconic.

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Beefy boy really looks like he could be the Bloodrager iconic, and that REALLY excites me! Loved the 1e Bloodrager.

The wrinkle in that idea is, of course, the whole 3 syllables, 3 vowels thing. Bloodrager has 4 vowels. HOWEVER, the devs have been cheeky with certain things before, such as when they said shields wouldn't get sturdy runes in the remaster, only to reveal that they absolutely got runes that improve their durability, but they were called something else.

Bloodrager has 4 vowels, but only 3 unique vowels and only three vowel sounds. I feel like that could still work.

Or I could just be really, really blinded by my desire to see the return of the Bloodrager. That's probably more likely.

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Yeah, the GM was being unfair there and was probably just upset at the idea of his hazard being easily overcome. That is absolutely one of the core uses of that spell and him not allowing it is ridiculous in most cases.

Now, that isn't to say that you can't have reasons why the spell doesn't work for some reason. Maybe there's some sort of magic emitter that immediately reforms the wall of force and you need to disable that first. But it doesn't sound like that's the case.

I actually agree with the wall being un-seeable. I can see an argument either way, but to me the wall is invisible by description, but not because it's being magically made invisible as in the invisibility spell. It's just naturally so translucent that you cannot see it. See invisibility doesn't work because you're basically looking at a paper thin plane of indestructible glass, except even more translucent. I'd allow you to see something like a shimmer in the air if you had the Magic Sense feat or something like that.

But yeah, as far as the other ruling goes, that is a major red flag in my book for GMing. Your group should probably have a talk with him and express that you feel that he is hurting the fun of the group and that it feels like he's being anti-player. If he digs his heels in even more, then you have to decide whether you want to put up with it or find another GM.

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Temperans wrote:
I disagree on the spells you listed being "bardic". Hypercognition, Retrocognition, and Visions of Danger can go for a divining witch. Mind Link, Object Reading, and Imprint Message are very witchy spells. Cutting Insult might seem like a bard spell because of 5e, but it really could fit anything; Its really just a more precise and weaker power word. Etc.

Note, I don't mean to say that these spells are uniquely bardic spells or not witchy. I'm just saying that they are spells that are very much appropriate for Bards and make sense to be on the list that was developed with Bards in mind.

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While I do tend to come down on the side that the Witch should probably have been Occult, I will say that I don't think that Occult is nearly so much spooky and creepy that a lot of people I've seen make it out to be.

I get why people make this assumption, because the name Occult evokes the ideas of the strange, eldritch, and unfathomable. It's name includes the word "cult".

But when we look at all the spells that are unique to the Occult spell list, that doesn't seem to be the primary idea being represented.

We have some, sure. Paranoia, Ill Omen, Possession, Hypnopompic Terrors, Aberrant Form maybe Phantom Pain if you want to consider that creepy. Yes, it has more of those than other lists, but that's because it's the mental list and fear and horror are a part of the purview of "mental".

The vast majority of the spells are things like, Hypercognition, Retrocognition, Visions of Danger, Synesthesia, Cutting Insult, Liberating Word, Soothe, Imprint Message, Object Reading, Mind Link.

All very, very Bardy spells. As far as things like curses go, which are really the things that most people associate as being "witchy", yes the Occult list has the majority of them, but so does the Arcane list, and Primal has quite a few as well.

To that end, I think if we accept that Occult has a wider meaning that just "secret, eldritch, and unfathomable" and expand it to emotion and lore based magic, (which can include creepy, horror elements but is not limited to that), then Bard being Occult makes total sense.

The reason I personally prefer the Witch as being part of the Occult list is because I think that those types of spells that effect the mind and soul, Synesthesia, Mind Link, ect, are all important to the principal of what a Witch is. Even on a Winter Witch, most of the spells I'd want would be from the Occult list. Primal has way more dead spells that I would have no need of, including every other elemental spell like Fireball and Lightning Bolt.

I'd much rather the Witch get Occult, as well as a set of other spells given by the Patron. The Winter Patron, in this way, would allow you access to the Occult list as well as a set of Cold elemental spells like the Sorcerer Bloodlines do, or maybe just "Occult and any spell with the Cold Tag".

My Winter Witch has no reason whatsoever to take Flammable Fumes or Control Water, but I would absolutely want him to take Mind Probe or Rip the Spirit.

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I believe that all ancestries should have their names changed to reflect their size relative to an arbitrary "whole".

Dwarves = Broadlings

Elves = Thinlings

Humans = Dire Halflings

Orcs = One and a Halflings

Gnomes = Thirdlings

Goblins = Slightly more than a Thirdlings

And then any mixed heritage you just do the math.

Orc/Halfling? 1.5 x 0.5 = Three-Quartersling

Human/Halfling = Half-Dire Half-Ling

Gnome/Dwarf? Height 1 Base 2 x .333 = H1/3 by Base 2/3rds-ling.

It's obviously the most intuitive way to call everyone.

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While I absolutely, 100% get why this decision was made, it is also the only thing in the presentation today that disappoints me.

Not even from a mechanical perspective, since that's not that big of a deal (although I do have one issue with it that I'll get to later), but from a flavor perspective.

It makes it feel like Proteans and Aeons are less cosmically potent than Angels and Demons. Celestials and Fiends have these fancy, pretty tags that show how they're fundamentally holy or Unholy beings? A status that Champions and Clerics endeavor to be more like by Sanctifying or Unsanctifying themselves? Meanwhile Monitors get absolutely nothing equivalent? Kind of underwhelming to be honest.

Plus, it just feels like it limits design space. Which admittedly isn't that much of a problem except that it's concepts that people have been asking for for a while now. Champions of Law and Chaos. You're making I much harder to add those things in the future, without a way to make your Champions "Ordered" or "Entropic"

And I get that they're saying that their data shows players don't interact with Law and Chaos except as an extension of Good and Evil, but how can they when there are essentially no options in the game for meaningfully doing so and when the few ways to do so were massively disincentivized, since it was way harder to predict if Lawful or Chaotic damage would do anything?

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, I really do love 99% of what's been revealed for the Remaster, but this hurts a lot.

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QuidEst wrote:

It's a solid "no thanks" from me, doubly so when it comes to having their power tied to it. Dragons having alignment vibes always felt like a bug left over from D&D rather than a feature of Pathfinder to me. It's mostly confined to the chromatic/metallic division, with lesser shades of it in imperial/primal. Dragons' power should come from the fact that they're (emphatic expletive) dragons, not from acting out some archetypal role, and their natures shouldn't be so tightly defined as to force them to be predictable.

That's a totally fair position, as it is a substantial thing to suggest.

I am interested in how you say that this would make Dragons behavior more intrinsic to them and more tightly defined, as I strongly disagree. But perhaps that is a failure on my part to explain what I'm suggesting.

Right now, Dragons are extremely tightly defined by their baked in nature. A Red Dragon is always evil and if you have one in your game that isn't, it should be made clear that is EXTREMELY unusual. Edicts and Anathema are, IMO, a nice and easy way to allow a reason for Red Dragons to behave like that without it being something that is baked into them wholesale.

The developers already said that Edicts and Anathema will have a very broad scope in their degree of how much control them have. The example given was that Catfolk culture might have Edicts and Anathema, but that all it would do for you as a Catfolk was determine how your culture sees you.

My suggestion is something closer to that, while not making the Edicts have no teeth at all. Giving a reason why the dragons might follow these Edicts despite being extremely individualistic creatures who should care nothing if another dragon told them "you're doing it wrong". And an Ancient Dragon who didn't conduct themselves in that way would still be as powerful as an Ancient Dragon, it just might take them longer to get there.

I agree with you that dragons should be powerful because they're dragons and no other reason, but I don't think they should be powerful because they're big murder lizards who breath (insert breath weapon type here). I want them to be more than monsters. I want there to be a reason they are so powerful that at their peak they can challenge the gods, and "they're just super powerful" doesn't cut it for me. I want it clear that being a dragon is the peak of existence and that those dragons who exemplify this are mightier because of this, but in a way that allows for a lot of flexibility and variety for each individual dragon.

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keftiu wrote:
Chromatics and Metallics are going to be very different when we see them again for OGL reasons, and I don’t know that I ever read Imperial, Outer, or Primal Dragons as especially Alignment-bound.

That's kind of my point. In this set up, it changes the Dragons fundamentally, perhaps even de-grouping metallic and chromatic dragons so the terms no longer exist and you just have 10 different dragons with 10 different edicts and anathema, while still letting the entities which already exist in the world feel like they fit a new paradigm.

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A lot has been said about how alignment is changing in the Remastered PF2, and most of it fits in extremely well and makes a lot of intuitive sense.

However I am very curious as to what this might mean for Dragons, which are probably the creatures that most strongly interact with alignment other than the cosmically aligned entities like Angels and Devils. For better or worse.

What I'd like to see is for each Dragon type to have their own sets of edicts and anathema that recreate the feel of those dragons, while allowing more flexibility for both GMs and the Dragons themselves on how they're interpreted.

Take the Red Dragon, for instance. As an Edict they could have something like "aquire greater wealth and power" and "subjugate weaker beings beneath you", and as Anathema they could have "allow another to take that which is yours".

These would certainly push Red Dragons towards being more evil, but these could still be interpreted in a way that allows a "good" Red Dragon. "This town and it's people belong to me. If any seek to harm them, I shall take it as damaging that which is mine and so I shall claim just recompense from you."

The follow up to this would of course be to ask if these edicts and anathema actually matter. Make them hard-coded into the dragons leans a little uncomfortably into the biological determinism that we're trying to get away from, but making them just Draconic culture for each Dragon type feels a little limp in my opinion. I'd like to see there Edicts and Anathema work like Barbarian and Druid Edicts, but in a more gradual sense.

What if Dragons didn't determine their power by age categories anymore, except in the more general sense that an ancient dragon would have much more time to accumulate power. What if Dragons slowly, over time, gained eternally greater power by acting in accordance with their Edicts and Anathema? A young Dragon who embodies the edicts perfectly might be as strong as an Elder Dragon who only follows them moderately.

What does everyone think? Are Dragons going to replace their tight alignment groupings with specific Edicts and Anathema? If so, what would those Edicts and Anathema be? Do you like how I am imagining they might interact with the Dragon's power?

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I am going to be honest, I don't prefer Berserker, because frankly that word is almost as loaded with historical weirdness as "Barbarian". And in a way that entrenches the class in things that I would rather see opened up.

I love Rage as a class mechanic, but I dislike Rage as a locked in flavor for that class mechanic. I would rather see done away with and replaced with something like "Battle Trance". A state where your mind focuses in on pure battle at the expense of other things. Rage may be one of the things that sends a character into a Battle Trance, but so may extreme discipline, meditation, letting the spirits of your ancestors/a dragon/a giant take over for you, or any of a variety of other things.

I think this idea as a whole would make the class more interesting, and would allow for more varied types of Barbarians. And I think it would make the term Barbarian less objectionable as it would decouple the idea of native people with mindless rage.

Berserker feels like it would reinforce the idea of the class as a rager in the collective consciousness rather than allow it more room to breath.

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YuriP wrote:

OK let's start speculating!

One thing I noticed looking at the Player Core page is that other than the Bard, there are no spontaneous caster classes.

The classes that are there are: bard, cleric, druid, fighter, ranger, rogue, witch, and wizard!

While Player Core 2 got: alchemist, barbarian, champion, investigator, monk, oracle, sorcerer, and swashbuckler.

It makes me wonder now that. Maybe, just maybe, isn't the designers also considering reworking the prepared and spontaneous spellcasters? Like, for example, ending Vancian Spellcasting? This would justify a little why the spontaneous spellcasters are thrown to the 2nd book (to be better worked on, as it should be with the Champion if the vancian spellcasting really will be gone once this would make the casters mechanics more closer and will require some more work to make then more unique).

I think it's a lot more likely that Sorcerer (and Barbarian) are pushed to the Player Core 2 because they have Dragon subclasses, and they'd want to leave those until after Monster Core, since it'll be easier to understand how the new Dragon classifications work with those sorts of subclasses.

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CorvusMask wrote:

So just to check because I'm now confused of what people are talking bout. From what I understood, they are basically doing erratad changed version of classes and core options, but its not like they are changing rules or skill math or monster math?

So like post remaster and pre remaster versions are still working on same rules and same math and this is more of glorified errata with more changes than normal errata?

That is correct. Some of the rule changes are somewhat larger than a typical errata, but nothing that changes the game itself.

Alignment is probably the biggest core change, but even then it seems less like it's actually going away and more that it's becoming a thing one ops into.

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QuidEst wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:
Revisions to the Witch is the best news I've heard all year, but at the same time, I really, REALLY hope we don't lose Ganzi. I love them so, so much!
Even if something isn't reprinted, we aren't losing it- heritages and ancestries are presumably still working the same way.

I didn't elaborate very well on that. Since Ganzi currently don't have a lot of (really any) support since they were first introduced in the Lost Omens: Ancestry Guide, I have been patiently waiting for an expansion for them that gives more of the classic PF1 abilities, and new ones beyond that. I worry that if all the "aligned" heritages are grouped under just Nephilim, Paizo will not feel the need to go back and address Ganzi specifically.

It could on the other hand mean any source going forward that includes Nephilim content will be able to have Ganzi specific feats that wouldn't have been there before because under the older system they would just have had book space for the more popular Aasimar and Tieflings.

I can really see it go either way. I am just hoping that this leads to greater diversity, not homogenization.

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I am really hoping this means we get more Ganzi and Aphorite related things rather than less and/or more generic things.

Ganzi and Aphorites (especially Ganzi) are my favorite Pathfinder specific things, and they feel very different than Aasimar and Tieflings. Ganzi especially has felt very underdeveloped in PF2e, so I really hope this allows for more frequent feats for them, rather than less.

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People are doing a lot of speculation and guesswork right now and jumping to conclusions without a lot of information. I am very interested in seeing what we can actually learn from the upcoming streams.

And yet completely going against what I just said, Revisions to the Witch is some of the best news I've heard all year! With the removal of alignment, I'm very interested in seeing what happens to things like Aasimar, Tiefling, and Ganzi. Please don't take away my Ganzi. I love them so, so much.

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Revisions to the Witch is the best news I've heard all year, but at the same time, I really, REALLY hope we don't lose Ganzi. I love them so, so much!

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Temperans wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:

It was already said early in the thread, but I think it bears repeating, NPCs don't calculate their ability scores the same way that PCs do, nor do they use them for the same things.

A +3 to strength doesn't mean that from an outsider's perspective that NPC should be seen as having a Strength score of 16 and thus being able to be compared with your Barbarian with a Str of 18, or the human average of 10. The numbers are there because the Commoner is a level -1 NPC and those are what -1 creature stats look like.

Personally I've always felt that an ability score of 10 represents human average, while 20 is the natural human maximum, and beyond that is only achievable with supernatural means.

Them not being created the same does not suddenly mean that +3 is not really a +3 is not really a 16. The only reason they have the simplified stat is to make it easier on GMs, not because their attributes are any different from players.

As for the natural maximum (ignoring rage) was 24 (10 base +2 race +8 point +4 levels). This has been lowered to 22 (10 base +8 points +4 levels). Of note the magical maximum (ignoring rage) was lowered from 30 to 24.

A totally average human should theoretically, if you add up all their ability score modifiers, should have a net 0. Or at least in the range of -1 to +1. But all of them have a total a lot closer to +9, as Mathmuse showed. It would fundamentally break the assumptions of the world if we assumed those numbers are representative of how we should look at human commoner stats.

But if they didn't have stats like that, they'd break the mold of the math given for level -1 to level 1 monsters. That wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, since the ability scores aren't actually how Paizo calculates things like the to hit bonus for monsters/npcs, but it would be somewhat head-scratching why a level -1 creature with a Str score of 0 has a +5 to hit. It would feel wrong, especially when the monster-making guide does recommend that there should be a correlation between comparative stats and their associated features.

So they give them unusually high stats because it doesn't actually matter. Either the ability scores should be taken literally and their features have weird numbers, or the features correlate with the ability scores well but those scores are vague generalizations, not meant to be taken as seriously as those of the PCs.

Admittedly ALL of this is very much my own conjecture and I have no quotes from the designers to say that this is what they do, but it doesn't really matter. Scores for monsters have ALWAYS been weird. A grizzly bear no more strength than a level 1 Fighter who maximizes it?

As a side note, when I say that to me 20 represents the natural human maximum, I am assuming that PCs who level up through their adventures are exceeding the human maximum. Without any Apex items or anything, I am assuming that a level 20 Barbarian with a Str score of 22 is superhuman.

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It was already said early in the thread, but I think it bears repeating, NPCs don't calculate their ability scores the same way that PCs do, nor do they use them for the same things.

A +3 to strength doesn't mean that from an outsider's perspective that NPC should be seen as having a Strength score of 16 and thus being able to be compared with your Barbarian with a Str of 18, or the human average of 10. The numbers are there because the Commoner is a level -1 NPC and those are what -1 creature stats look like.

Personally I've always felt that an ability score of 10 represents human average, while 20 is the natural human maximum, and beyond that is only achievable with supernatural means.

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graystone wrote:
Eoran wrote:
Farien, that is only correct from a purely linguistic point of view.
He's technically correct, the best kind of correct. And that's the point. ;)

I thought we were trying to avoid points here?

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breithauptclan wrote:

And if that becomes a problem, then that is a "problem player" problem.

Is that indicative of a problem player though? Both of those are things that I would expect to work and that I would see as being a clever move from a clever player. Why wouldn't a prosthetic arm be useful for reaching into a vat of acid?

Sonic damage immunity is more iffy. Sonic damage is going to work by sending shockwaves through your body just as much as assaulting your ear drums. I'd probably allow resistance, but not immunity.

For any player I have ever GMed for, and when I am being a player myself, to come up with a clever and unexpected way to utilize something that they have or can do is expected, praised, and makes them feel proud of themselves. And I think it's wrong to try and shut that down just because it makes a specific puzzle, task, or enemy easier to fight.

Don't forget that such things also inherently come with costs associated with them. The acid is going to damage that prosthetic. The person who is taking out their hearing aids to reduce the sonic damage is going to be functionally deaf until they put them back in.

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So we now have a special weapon for Redeemers to equal the Paladin's Holy Avenger. It isn't just a great weapon, but specifically helps the Redeemer do the specific job they've been tasked with. And it's even the exact same level as the Holy Avenger, which creates a nice little bit of game symmetry.

Do we have anything like that for Liberators yet or are we still waiting for one? Because when I saw the Redeemer weapon I assumed we'd also get a Liberator one, but nothing like that showed up in the previews of the book.

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There definitely are a lot of swords that really should be able to use both slashing and piercing damage but for the sake of balance are not. The Bastard Sword, for example.

Yes there are some that I can begrudge being only one or the other. Rapiers are designed mostly as a thrusting weapon, and even though Scimitars are perfectly fine at piercing, they are much better at cutting and thematically are used as a cut only weapon.

Still, as a DM I don't really consider the ability to use both slashing and piercing damage to be that valuable and I usually allow either (Bludgeoning is the one that is extremely valuable to have along either of the other two).

This tends to make Greatswords feel kind of pointless (hehe) so I tend to throw Sweep on them and make them into Advanced weapons, and then have a Level 5 General Feat that allows you to treat Advanced Weapons as Martial Weapons.

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A real, proper, Winter Witch archetype, and a Voidworm familiar.

This isn't even really about the problems with the Witch being under-tuned. Yes, I'd like the Witch to be better than it is, but I'd much rather my character have the right design than be heavily optimal.

The character who is my most important, whose name is my username, and who I have recreated in 3.5, PF1, and 5th edition, has always been a Winter Witch. And to me, that means discovering the occult and strange forms of Winter and utilizing the meaning and intent of coldness beyond the form of coldness.

Basically, I need an archetype that says "Your magic tradition is Occult, but you can also pick any spell with the Cold trait". And then they'd have some Archetype feats to do things like, move through your own Magically created Ice, throw Cold based curses on enemies, and that would re-flavor a bunch of Occult spells in a cold-like way (Synethesia works by making incredibly tiny pathways through your brain out of frost that connects the brain centers for difference senses, ect).

I'd be willing to drop the Witch down to 2 spell slots per level in order to get this, since I know that adding cold spells to the Occult spell list for them would do a lot to cover the biggest deficiency of the Occult spells list, and a lot of those other abilities are pretty strong as well.

And then Vali also needs a Voidworm familiar as he has always had, but while I'm at it, gimme familiars for all the level 1 outer planer creatures. The Cassisian Angel, and the Lyrakien and all that.

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While I agree with the sentiment that a lot of control spells are much better in practice than they seem on paper, it's difficult to say exactly how much so without knowing what you are considering to be underpowered?

Do you mean Fear or do you mean Invisibility or Knock? Cause those are all very useful spells that don't immediately come across as useful for very different reasons.

Fear, for example, is considered by most to be a staple Level 1 spell, and the sort of spell you can keep in your back pocket long after most Level 1 spells have lost their luster.

Frightened 2 on a Fail or 1 on a Success is very, very good. Especially if you can do it right after the enemy's turn. An entire round of -2 to everything and another round of -1 to everything is fantastic and very powerful.

That's the equivalent of a +2 for each and every one of your martials to hit, as well as +2 to crit. That's up to a whole 20% of the die which have been moved in your favor. Then -2 for any of your party to get hit. And so on and so forth.

Is that game-changing? Well, yeah it can be. But usually not so much. But it's also a Level 1 spell.

If you're used to 5e, yeah the Pathfinder spells aren't going to feel as all-encompassing. You don't have anything that is going to immediately shut down an entire encounter (most of the time, although it will still happen occasionally). The spellcasters are much more in-line with the power of martials for the vast majority of the game.

In 5e, a well made Wizard (like the kind advocated by gamers like Treatmonk) are going to be overwhelmingly powerful throughout the entire run of a campaign. In PF2e, a Wizard and a Fighter will be equally as useful for something like 60% of all levels. But before they unlock level 3 spells, they're probably a bit under the par of Martials. Still can do very good things, mind you, but their ammunition for doing so will leave them feeling scrapping for spell slots.

Meanwhile, once you hit very high levels, 16 or higher, those casters will suddenly start feeling like the all-powerful God-Wizards they're meant to be. Some high level spells are insanely powerful, Utility, Control, Blasting, or whatever.

So lets look at some higher Level spells.

Slow feels like it does more in 5e, but if anything it's almost better in PF2. Yes, it doesn't have the penalty to AC and Reflex saves, but the 3-action economy is so powerful in PF2 that denying a creature access to their 3rd action is often crippling. Many monsters have very powerful 2 or 3 action abilities that you definitely want to avoid, and with Slow they can no longer use 3-action abilities at all and cannot use 2 action abilities while also maneuvering around the battlefield. And without a lot of Attacks of Opportunities, Pathfinder is a much more mobile game.

A Monster has a super deadly 2-action ability? Slow them, and have the martials all attack twice and then move back for their last action. Suddenly they can't do that at all.

This is so powerful that even when it only lasts one turn on a successful save it can completely turn the tide of an encounter if you make the most of it. If they fail and it lasts the full minute, it can basically win the encounter on its own. And once you can upcast it to 6th level and effect 10 creatures? No control mage should ever not have that on hand.

But personally I think that even better than Slow is Synesthesia. It's possibly my favorite spell of the game for its level. It gives three separate debuffs to a creature that can all be crippling in different scenarios.

25% chance to automatically fail all Concentrate actions. This is amazing against other spellcasters since any spell that has Verbal components is a Concentrate action.

25% change to miss anything you are attempting to target because of concealed. This means attacks, this means targeted spells. A spellcasting targeting you with a spell with Verbal components has to beat both of these checks.

And then the big one, Clumsy 3. That's -3 AC. -3 Reflex saves. -3 to ranged attacks, Acrobatics checks, and anything else that uses Dexterity.

Again, even an enemy that succeeds their save and is only effected for 1 round can be SOL if the party strategizes around it right, and one that fails and is effected for a whole minute is basically done.

Oh, and since neither Slow nor Synesthesia require concentration, you can totally effect a single enemy with both.

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As a separate point, I am very curious if any of the Paizo team has ever addressed the general sense of discontent that the community has expressed for the Witch? I know that it is very rare that the developers address things like this, and I agree with that idea that they really probably shouldn't most of the time.

But I have seen them weigh in on balance issues before, so it isn't out of the ballpark that they could comment on this, but I haven't seen anything of the sort.

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I have brought this up quite a few times. The Witch is a very important class to me and the current state of it is one of my only problems with Pathfinder as a whole. I feel like I've given whole dissertations on the topic before, so here is the shortened version of that, again.

The Witch is a 3-slot caster who is built like a 4-slot caster. It has the HP and saves like the Sorcerer or Wizard, and only really gets two "things" outside of their spellcasting and other basic class stuff, the Improved Familiar and the Hex cantrip (and Phase Familiar, but that isn't actually a thing to do that adds to the party's capabilities, just a way to stop your familiar from dying as quickly).

Wizard gets 3 things, but also only two that really advance your party's progression very well, the Thesis and the Arcane School (And Drain Bonded Item but that ability seems to be making up for the limitations of the Wizard's 4th slot) Sorcerer also gets 2 things really, the Initial Bloodline Spell and the Blood Magic.

Meanwhile, other 3-slot casters have much better chassis, and more things that they get outside of their spellcasting. Druids get their Order's Focus spell, a level 1 feat, Shield Block, and Wild Empathy. Bards get Counter Performance, Inspire Courage, and a level 1 feat from their Muse. Cloistered Clerics kind of break this mold by only getting 2 things, Divine Font and the Domain Spell, but Divine Font is so insanely powerful that I think it can safely be counted as worth two abilities from the other classes.

Now, I don't want Witch to be a boring, alt-flavored Wizard with 4 spells per day, so the answer seems to be, improve their Chassis and give them more things to do/have as part of the core of the class.

To this end, I'd replace Phase Familiar with a Basic Lesson of their choice, not tied to their Patron (since the Witch is supposed to be flexible in their flavor). Turn Phase Familiar into a level 1 feat. Add a level 2 feat that lets them take a second Hex Cantrip (the Bard can do it, so why not the Witch?).

And since the Witch has 3-slot casting, give them a 3-slot casting body. 8 HP per level, and better saves. I am partial to Fortitude getting Expert at 3 and Master at 17. Reflexes get Expert at 7. Will Gets Master at 9.

And then, while most of the Hex cantrips are fine and, in fact really good, Wilding Word and Nudge Fate should probably be buffed and Shroud of Night should upgrade to advanced darkness at some point.

This would almost entirely bring Witch in line with the other 3-slot casters.

BUT, I also have a build for a 2-slot caster (which is actually my preferred version) that looks a bit more like the Psychic. Since we only have one example of such a caster, it's a lot harder for me to know if these ideas are as balanced, but I figure I'll throw them out here regardless.

2 Hex Cantrips right off the bat, one from your own patron and one other of your choice. Level 2 feat to take a 3rd one.

Basic Lesson right off the bat of course. Phase Familiar would be a level 1 feat.

Patrons would have granted spells beyond just the level 1 ones, similar to the Sorcerer Bloodline granted spells.

Each Patron would also give a Familiar unique ability that would be just a bit better than the normal familiar abilities. Winter would give your Familiar resistance to all cold damage and immunity to cold damage from your own spells, Curse would allow you to cast Evil Eye from your Familiar as if it was the one casting it, ect.

And then You'd get a free level 1 feat depending on your Patron's spell list. Cackle for Occult, Wortwitch for Primal, Counterspell for Arcane, and Phase Familiar for Divine. Neither Phase Familiar, nor Cackle would give an extra Focus Point when given in this manner, but the Witch would start with 2 regardless.

And then, the Witch would also have the enhanced chassis of the 3-slot casters like I laid out before.

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While technically a versatile Heritage, I really, really want to see more love given to the Ganzi.

Everyone loves a good ol' Tiefling or Aasismar, and we have a lot of excellent stuff to flesh them out.

And even the Aphorites have some cool stuff that feels like it is at least enough to flesh out a really good character.

But Ganzi, besides having had no extra love since their inclusion in the Ancestry guide, feel like what they do have is sort of haphazard at best.

No level 17 feat, and the feats that they do have feel very incomplete. The start of feat trees, like the vestigial wings and the chaos magic and to a lesser extent the gripping tail, without any follow up to enhance those.

The Valkyrie/Einherji feats are awesome, but there's only two of them. The random roll feats feel fun but frustrating, since they can be really cool but they're also somewhat unreliable.

I LOVE the Ganzi. They are by a large margin my favorite thing that is unique to Pathfinder. In PF1, they felt really interesting and had a lot of different things you could do with them. The Amorphous limbs, the all -powerful Quibble, the Void Touch, Entropic Flesh, Racing Mind, they were easily one of the more flexible Ancestries of PF1.

We could get a lot of those ideas reworked for PF2, plus more. Maybe a higher level feat could let you control any randomness in your other feats, maybe even some form of a lesser Warpwave.

There is SO much you could do with a child of Chaos, and I'm a little disappointed with what little we have so far.

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I am finding myself in need of stat blocks for creatures that are beyond level 25.

The GMG has guides for giving stats to creatures up to level 24, for things like AC, saves, attack bonuses, AOE damage, and the like, but what would that table look like if it continued up to, for example, 30?

When these levels are introduced, it will lead in to the players being able to reach levels up to 25, which will include Mythic Proficiency (10+level) and +4 weapons, so with the basic math in hand I can probably eventually reason some basic numbers out, but I'd like to know if any ideas or guidelines have already been established by the community.

On top of which, I'd like to know roughly what levels I actually need. Narratively, what do different levels beyond 25 mean for the world? What are the levels of gods?

I'm working on the presumption that if someone statted up Sarenrae or Asmodeus, they would sit around 30 or so, but is that accurate or nah? Should it go higher?

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I have one complaint. One TINY complaint. One ITTY BITTY, TEEEEEEENSY WEENSY complaint. And one that I can easily, immediately, and obviously homebrew to fix, BUT I can see some people calling it a power increase.

The Wand...should do sonic damage as an option. Or there should just be a Key implement that can conceptually open anything, that would be functional as well. Or both (and I'd probably take both in this case).

Then I'd take...I dunno...Timeskipper as my free archetype.

And I'd figure out how to make my Thaumaturge Demense into a pocket dimension inside of a small box. It shouldn't be that hard to figure something out...

Things might get a bit...wibbly-wobbly, but come on, the Thaumaturge is just perfect for this idea!

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HumbleGamer wrote:

I am not quite sure about the hands.

It's just like for daggers held with normal or reverse grip ( you can just switch the grip with the hand you are wielding the weapon ).

No no, I'm sorry you misunderstand my question. I know you don't wield the shield in two-hands. I only meant to compare it to weapons like the Bastard Sword in the sense that there are two different ways to use the shield (when you have the feat) and you use an action to switch between the two.

My only questions are

1) Can you carry the shield around with the agile grip while not in combat, or does it assume you default to the regular grip when not in combat?


2) When you pick up or equip your shield, can you pick it up with agile grip already activated, or do you need to use one action to equip the shield and then a second to shift to agile grip?

The only reason I brought up the 1 or 2-handed weapon thing is as a comparison for the second question, since if, for example, you draw your Bastard Sword, you can chose when you do so to be wielding it in either mode.

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So one of the players in our game is playing an Automaton who duel weilds shields, one with a boss and one with a spike, and then uses the eye lasers if a longer range weapon is needed. It's a cool concept, and he wants to utilize Agile Shield Grip feat from LO: Knights of Lastwall.

But there is some uncertainty about exactly how this feat can be used.

Can our PC walk around with one of his shields already in the agile grip, or does he have to have his shield in a normal grip until combat starts and then use the action to assume the grip? And if you were to, say, drop the shield, can you pick it up on the agile grip?

My assumptions are, yes to the first question, and no to the second, but that is based on game mechanics, while logically it makes more sense for the answer to be yes to the second.

The feat basically makes shields act like weapons that can be wielded in either one or two hands, where you can shift between the two states at any time and if you are holding it, it can be held either way, even outside of combat. However the feat doesn't say you can draw a shield in the agile grip, just that you are holding the shield you can use an action to transition into the grip.

I am not actually GMing this game, but the person who is is a first time GM so I'm acting as a sort of consultant and they wanted my opinion on this, but I am honestly not sure.

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SuperBidi wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:
I am sorry, but I really, strongly disagree with your philosophy of GMing, SuperBidi.
It's because you haven't understood my point. All you describe is fine for me. For example, taking your examples:

I've understood your point perfectly well. You're drawing arbitrary distinctions that, if anything, proves my point.

In the first of my suggestions, the player is asking for the ability to use bludgeoning damage. That isn't on their character sheet, the weapon they are using cannot by RAW do that, but it feels so normal and natural that it seems weird that you wouldn't be able to do that (at least if you are somewhat familiar with how swords are used).

That is still power bargaining. It is still the player asking from the GM the ability to manipulate the mechanics of the game.

The difference is just the degree of control that the player is specifically asking for. But at that point the difference is quantitative, not qualitative.

And that's fine. How much power bargaining you are okay with is entirely up to you. But everyone is going to draw that line at a different place and the only way that a player is going to know where your line is, is by asking. And when something unforeseen comes up, sometimes they are going to have to ask in the moment. And I don't think that it's fair to say that a player is a problem at your table just for asking. It's draconian and tells the player that you don't trust them.

Now, I know I've rambled a bit, but to bring this back to Wish, the spell breaks all of the rules and changes a lot of how the game is played, because when you cast Fireball or use some Martial feat as a Fighter, you aren't in-universe describing what you are doing or going to do, or want to happen. When you make a Wish, you speak your intention to the universe and the universe (that is, the GM) responds.

You make the claim that the player shouldn't be asking for a mechanical resolution, or power bargain. I disagree with this idea, but let's put that aside for a moment.

The player casts Wish. "I wish to cast a cold-based Meteor Swarm."

You respond by telling them that they shouldn't ask for a mechanical resolution and just describe an effect. Wish for icebergs to fall on the foe or for frozen stalactites to explode or something.

They say, "I did. That was in-character. Inglethorp the Wizard says that he wishes to cast a cold-based Meteor Swarm. I could have said I wish to cast the Meteor Swarm spell where the meteors are frozen instead of on fire, but that felt clunkier to say."

See what I'm saying? Because the character verbalizes the effect that they wish to happen into the universe, (or prays it in the case of Miracle, or conceptualizes it for Alter Reality, or will it for Primal Phenomenon), the spell straight up requires the player to power bargain. Because it lets the PC inflict their will on the universe.

Even if you want to say, "If I tell you to open the door with Athleticism, don't bother asking to use Thievery unless you can explain how you do so", Wish is different. It lets you break the mold. It gives the player the tiniest portion of GM authority, albeit only for a moment and still at the GM's discretion to veto or adjust. You are allowed to dislike that, and personally I would have made Wish uncommon or even rare, but you can't ignore the writing on the spell, disallow the in-baked functionality of what it does, and call it rules as written.

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I am sorry, but I really, strongly disagree with your philosophy of GMing, SuperBidi. The vast majority of behaviors that you deride as indicative of a "problem player" are normal and natural parts of the game, and if they become problems, that tells me a lot more about the GM then it does about the players.

For the instance with Wish, yes, you are right to say that being able to cast a version of Meteor Swarm of any damage type you want is stronger than just being able to cast Meteor Swarm. However, that doesn't mean that the effect you are producing is stronger than Meteor Swarm, it is exactly equally as strong, just more useful in a specific scenario. It would be less useful if you happened to be fighting White Dragons instead of Red.

The effect is not more powerful. The ability to chose which effect you cast is what is more powerful. And, yeah. That's expected. Wish is a level 10 spell, while Meteor Swarm is a level 9. Wish SHOULD be more powerful. Being able to cast any lower level spell and adjust them on the fly (as long as your adjustments don't mess too much with the power of the effect itself), is what makes it more powerful than any individual level 9 or lower effect.

Now, what you decide is an effect that is in line with a level 9 arcane effect is going to be different, GM to GM. If a player fights with you after you have made a decision, then that might be a problem behavior at a table (unless the GM's decision is clearly egregious, but even then the discussion should be made after the game, not during). Changing fire damage to cold damage is fine, but changing it to necrotic or good turn the spell into the purview of a Divine spell instead of an Arcane one, and damage types like force or mental are actually better than the elementals, so I'd have to consider that.

Either way though, you have mentioned a few times that you feel that this sort of thing is the equivalent of power bargaining with the GM. I say yes, but why is that a bad thing? When I am GMing, I expect my players to do this, at a bare minimum and if I was playing at a table that didn't allow it...well I'd strongly consider not playing at that table, since to me that is a core an extremely important part of playing a TTRPG of any kind.

"Can I fire Disintegrate at the pillar holding the roof up, and collapse it on the Manticore?"

"Instead of picking the lock, which might take time we don't have since the guards are right on our tail, can the Barbarian smash it with his Warhammer?"

"The Skeleton is clearly resisting my longsword's slashing and piercing damage, can I try and strike it with my pommel instead to do bludgeoning?"

All of these are reasonable requests. If your instinct reaction is to be mad at a player for thinking outside the box, or fear that they are trying to cheat the system, I'd reconsider the way that you interpret the role of the GM. I have never considered the job of the GM to be to tell players what they can and can't do, but to help players determine a fair and reasonable way to help players do what they want to do.

"You can totally cast Disintegrate at the pillar, but whether the roof falls depends on how much damage you roll. Not enough and don't do anything. Do enough and you will not only do a decent amount of damage, but you'll pin the Manticore under the rubble, forcing it to use at least one action to do an escape check".

"Yeah, smash that lock. Just be aware that if you fail, you'll jam the door shut and it'll be much harder to get open."

"Sure, the sword's pommel can do that. But it isn't designed or optimized for it, so treat it like a shoddy mace, and your runes effect your attack since they're designed to work with the sword's blade."

All of that is successful and productive power bargaining with the GM. Now, maybe some GM's consider these bargains too permissive. Others might be more generous still. And some GMs might even ask players to keep to only the explicitly written effects of things because they aren't comfortable coming up with rulings on the fly, especially if they are newer to the game. All of these are fair. But to say "You aren't allowed to ask for a different effect than what I have specifically given you, and stop asking because doing so is going to be treated with hostility by me", is a clear sign of a problem GM.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Claxon wrote:

Hallucination should only last for an hour and vampires should have 3 rounds to find a way to get out of the sun. And even if the vampire does truly believe that it's night and that they're seeing the moon, they should realize something is wrong when the start taking slow and likely experience pain.

Overall....I would say I wouldn't allow this kind of thing to work as GM but if it works for your group and everyone had fun then that's what counts!

Three rounds, yes, but only a grand total of 3 actions, since they start out slowed 1, then slowed 2, then destroyed. If the Vamp in question is too far away from cover, that's a pretty hard death trap for them to get out of.

On the other hand, Hallucination doesn't effect the beliefs of effected, only their perceptions, and it allows a save every time they interact with the subject of their Hallucination, so...yeah I'd allow the Vampire a new Will save at least every few minutes considering that it should be really confusing to them why they aren't dying every second they see the sun.

So, doable if your level is high enough that they have basically no chance to save against your spell, but at that point you're basically just playing with a creature that is already no threat to you.

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