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Midnightoker wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:


I don't see having a lot of bonus spells based on your patron being a thing if you can also pick your spell list. If you have a Winter Patron and that gives you Primal then that already gives you all the cold spells so getting Cone of Cold and Eclipse Burst as bonus spells is useless.
from my understanding, people who put forward this option have your spell list based on your lesson, and bonus spells based on patron, or vice versa. so you take an occult lesson and a cold patron if that's what you want, or a primal lesson and a curses patron.
This is indeed how it’s been my understanding, that you’d get a list and a set of bonus spells, as the two don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

Besides what Temperans said, I tend to see most people wanting multiple spell lists because they want their spell list to match their patron. Primal for a Fey Patron, Divine for a Devil Patron, and so on and so forth. I may have interpreted this incorrectly to be what everyone arguing for multi lists wants. If your patron is giving you your spell list, and the the first lesson gives you a substantial group of bonus spells, AND the Hexes and Familiars get massively improved, then sure, I would accept that.

But would Paizo do that? For all the reasons Temperans stated, I would be astonished.


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Come on guys. They've given us a few warnings now. Be respectful of others no matter what you feel about their opinions.

My reasoning for supporting the Occult only model is that I feel it is actually more likely to lead to more diverse options for the Witch, not less.

The PF1 Witch had a list that was complex and thematic and pulled from several different spell sources making them kinda arcane and kinda divine and kinda all sorts of things. You had mental and spiritual stuff, blasting elemental stuff, healing, cursing, and everything in-between.

That paradigm doesn't really work in PF2, and so as far as I can tell there are two different ways to go about recreating that feel.

1) You can split the Witch into different spell lists, and possibly get a couple bonus spells here and there as in the playtest

2) You can chose a single spell list that is the "best fit" and then fill out your spell options with a ton of bonus spells from the other 3 lists based on your patron.

Personally, I feel like the second option allows for greater variability and gives players more options for different types of Witches while also maintaining a stronger identity.

I don't see having a lot of bonus spells based on your patron being a thing if you can also pick your spell list. If you have a Winter Patron and that gives you Primal then that already gives you all the cold spells so getting Cone of Cold and Eclipse Burst as bonus spells is useless.

Yes, Sorcs get that, but as Spontaneous casters Sorcs get far fewer spells as a whole so the bonus spells are still very useful.

I personally feel that Occult is the best fit as the spell list because while plenty of Witches do stuff that is Arcane, Divine, or Primal, the vast majority of Witches do things which are Occult.

Please note that in this system I would absolutely assume that Elphaba and other archetypal Witches like her would be doable. Heck, for a character as iconic as her, I could see an entire patron just to get the right bonus spells so you can do everything she can (it's not like you need that many).

But it also allows you to have new concepts more readily that don't currently exist. That Winter Witch that was a primal caster? It is very similar to an Elemental Sorcerer that picks ice as their element and just blasts with ice powers all day long. Sure, it would have a few differences, more spells known and the familiar and hopefully more hexes, but at it's core it would play extremely similar and one could more or less be swapped out for the other.

But the Occult Winter Witch? It is a much more unique class that would have it's own niche and identity separate from the Sorc (or a hypothetical Blizzard focused Druid).

As a final note, I dislike the categorization of the Occult Witch as the "Spooky" Witch. While sure, it is easier to make a spooky Halloween Witch via Occult than Primal, the Occult list is not synonymous with spooks and creeps. It is the mental and spiritual list, and arguably the most esoteric and that can be interpreted in many different ways. We don't think Bards are creepy because they use th Occult list, do we? (Or maybe we do, I hate Bards and have vowed to never play one, so I'm not the best judge).


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Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
If we get an Occult-only Witch, I would probably play it, because it would be good, but sight unseen I rather believe I would never shake the feeling that it was only half the witch it could have been.

And yet this is exactly my problem with the multi-school Witch, that it is only half of a Witch at any point unless you go Occult.

My all time favorite Witch Archetype is the Winter Witch. Both for the Golarian lore and for just the Winter feel itself. The fact that Winter Witches are currently made to be Primal has me feeling so frustrated with the playtest version of the class that I have made 6 versions of the same character and scrapped ALL of them because they just don't work.

Because the nature of what makes a Witch has always been the fact that they are the fringe casters, walking half in our world and half in a world that others don't understand. They have hexes and curses and they are mysterious and otherworldly and they scry and feel the spirit of the world around them and delve into the realm of the mysterious and esoteric.

Winter Witches, as well as all others, should do all this too. I love the Winter Witch because the idea of seeing the cold unknown of Winter and how it connects with this is compelling to me. And tapping into the ancient and unknowable cold to freeze the spirit or command the Winter itself to freeze the body is important to the concept. A Winter Witch should be able to do both.

As I said in an earlier post, I feel like I can currently be Winter or I can be Witch. I cannot be both. And it has me tearing my hair out.

The same is true of the forest Witch who learns from an ancient Fey. They are still a Witch and should still have all hexes and esoteric mystery as any other Witch. AND they should also have some of the druidic type of magic to show how the lessons and mysteries of their patron deals with this stuff, but they should not have the full Primal Spell list because while they may be druidish, they don't go full ham "I am part of nature itself". Instead they connect to the spirits of the woods to enthrall and ensnare and go deeper down the unseen path than any Druid would.

I do still feel like there are some things that should be staples of all Witches that Occult doesn't have, such as Baleful Polymorph. It's not Occult but all Witches should have it as an option just because it's so iconic. These things can be solved with Lessons or otherwise in Class Feats though.


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Count me as fervently in the "Witches should be Occult casters and only Occult casters" group.

I understand the fear that doing this is removing options from people who want to play Primal or Arcane Witches, but in the end I actually feel like making the Witch only Occult opens up the door for more variability and going forward while still keeping within the themes of what makes a Witch a Witch.

See, when it comes to Pathfinder classes, we basically have two sub-varieties along with some that fall into the grey area in-between. Those whose name has cultural and historical relevance and those whose name can mean anything depending on the fantasy setting in general.

Sorcerer, Fighter, Wizard, Champion. These terms can mean basically anything. We CHOSE to assign something specific to them in the context of Pathfinder or any other specific fantasy setting. A Fighter can mean literally any person who engages in combat, martial or otherwise. A Wizard in Golarian means a person who studies the mechanics of magic scientifically, but in Harry Potter a Wizard is also born specially gifted with magical blood and in Lord of the Rings a Wizard is a celestial who has been sent to the mortal plane in order to accomplish some task from the creator deity of that world. A Sorcerer is literally just another term for someone who could also be a Wizard.

But then we have Bard, Barbarian, Druid, Alchemist.

Take a Druid for example. If you read a fantasy novel where Druids were depicted as science mages living in iron towers and creating mechanized magical weapons of war...well that would feel extremely weird because Druid is a much more specific term than Wizard is. Depending on the setting a Druid may be more or less magic in nature (depending on if the setting is low or high magic), they may be priestly, they may live in solitude or be the pillar of a community, but they will ALWAYS be men of nature who understands the wild and natural world and the mystical forces therein.

Barbarian may or may not refer to someone who flies into a blind rage on the regular, but it will always refer to someone who is uncivilized by the standards of the setting. Wild and powerful.

But then there are classes like Monk, Ranger, Cleric, which have either multiple different versions of what the term may invoke OR they have the specificity but it would not feel out of place or weird if someone decided to change it up and make the term mean something else. A Ranger may be a hunter out in the wild who lives off the land (the non mystic version of the Druid in a sense) or it may be a bounty hunter who travels from town to town. A Monk may be a master of Martial Arts who seems nearly supernatural in their abilities or it may be a priest who reads all day and has never thrown a punch in his life.

Witches fall into this third category. Being a Witch can mean a few different things to different people. The female version of a Wizard or Warlock. A terrifying hag who eats children in the forest. Hermione Granger, Elphaba, the White Queen, Granny Weatherwax. Spooky Halloween Witches, kindly Hedge Witches, Wiccans, Devil Worshippers, and everything inbtween.

But the thing is, Pathfinder Witches can't really be all of these things at the same time. So you need to find commonality. What are the elements of Witches that are specific to them and set them apart from other types of spellcasters, Wizards and Druids and the like. The answer, I think is a certain sense of unknown and uncertainty. Sure, not all of these Witch types have this, but those that don't are usually much more easily replicated with a different class. In Pathfinder terminology, Hermione Granger would be a Sorc or Wizard, not a Witch.

Witches live on the borderlines of society. Not well understood. Sometimes feared, other times revered for their ability to walk both in the world we know and the world we cannot know. In Pathfinder specifically they make pacts with beings who exist very distinctly in that which is outside, and this helps further to cement this idea that Witches are beings that live as part of this mystery and unknown.

And that links up with the Occult spell list. This doesn't mean that you can't be a kindly Hedge Witch. Pick a patron that connects you to the spirit of the forest or your garden and let it give you Heal, Summon Fey, Summon Animal, Wall of Thorns, and so on and so forth. As a Witch you should still have the ability to scry, probe the minds of your enemies and curse them, discern lies and enthrall people. If you don't want to have these things and would prefer to have ONLY the primal spells having all of your powers come from the wild itself, then there is really no reason to not be a Druid, since that is their focus. If you still want SOME of the Witch stuff, some hexes and whatnot, then that is what we have Muticlass archetypes for.

For Arcane espeically, what really is the difference between a Wizard and an Arcane Witch from the APG playtest? Very little. Druids and Bards are more different, Bards especially, but Wizards? They're so similar as to feel redundant.

And this makes a more interesting and nuanced class that can be more diverse than you could get by shoehorning the whole, multiple lists thing. I already touched on how a Hedge Witch who used Occult spells but also had a bunch of Hedge Witch abilities from bonus spells and Lessons and Patron abilities is very distinct from a Druid. But also a Winter Witch, my favorite archetype in all of Pathfinder basically, right now feels like it just doesn't work. Either you pick the Primal or Arcane spell lists to get the Cold spells you need, thus making you feel not at all like a Witch and much more like something that plays and acts like either the Elemental Sorcerer with an Ice veneer or a White/Silver Dragon Sorcerer, OR you pick the Occult spell list in order to feel like a Witch and then wait until a later level to get any Cold ANYTHING and then get one spell, one cantrip, and two hexes.

So right now my options are pick Winter or pick Witch, you cannot have both.

For an actual Winter Witch, who has all the hidden and fringe powers that a Witch should have while also being a master of the Winter, gaining the Occult spell list as the base, plus bonus spells from your Winter Patron, other winter themed powers (Ice Glide can be awesome if you know how to make it work for you), some Winter abilities for your familiar (they can add a lot more variety and customization into the patrons of the class itself if so much of the potential customization isn't tied to what spell list you want). That if what a Winter Witch is, not just a blaster-caster like the Sorc is and what an Ice themed Druid Order might be if they ever added that in.

Could I see options for a Primal Witch in the future? Yeah, sure. But that should be a class archetype that would also give it other things that make it distinct from the Druid and Primal Sorcs, which would be much easier if the class already HAD more robust choices and abilities in the class itself rather than just letting you pick a spell list from the start.


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Lyz Liddell wrote:
Prince Setehrael wrote:

*trim*

That's fine. I mean if we wont to give feed back on the patrons, Would help to know the in game lore on what a patron is.

We want it to be pretty broad, so that it can suit as many stories as possible. Could Baba Yaga be a patron? Heck yes. How about Mephistopheles? Sure! What about a fey queen? Sure! How about a powerful spirit, like one of the former Taldan emperors explored in War for the Crown? Sure! Empyreal lord? Heck yeah! A powerful hag? I could see it. An ancient dragon? Not out of the realm of possibility. A medusa who found an ancient artifact of great power? That could work, too.

So, could your buddy witch of the same level also be your patron? It's not at all impossible—but it raises great story questions of what's happening such that they have this power to provide to you. Are they themselves (knowingly or not) at the service of a much more powerful patron using them to get to you? Or is something else going on there?

Our hope is that players and GMs will work together to build the thematic or even specific patrons using the flexibility of lessons and patrons, and we want you to have the freedom to do that. But maybe we need to provide more guidance and examples, or establish some known themes/specific patrons to show how that would work.

And while I totally get what you are going for here, respectfully I feel like this is actually an area where the freeform nature of the lessons without any mechanical structure for the patrons actually works to their deficit. The lessons have no real reason to actually be connected to the Patron in question.

Sure, I can carefully craft a specific set of lessons to represent my vision of whatever patron I want, theoretically at least. But there is nothing that makes that Patron actually unique with any mechanical structure.

Using a personal example, my forum namesake, Vali was a PF1 and D&D5e Witch/Warlock who I made a special Patron for by the name of Lofta. Long story short, she was the fetus of a primordial God who was never born and fell into a frozen dire winter in the First World. In order to survive had to absorb all that frozen fey energy and thus became like the Eldest, but secluded herself in a place in the First World so deep and lonely that even the actual Eldest had only heard rumors of her.

When my character Vali became a Witch with her as his patron, she made him a Winter Witch and also the archetype the Fey-touched Hexer.

And this felt great. It was unique and interesting and the patron contributed a LOT mechanically to the idea of my character.

Now if I wanted to make Vali a Witch in PF2, I could do that. I could give him the Lesson of Deceit, Snow, or Curses depending on what spell list I felt was most appropriate. I'd eventually take Lesson of Ice of course, maybe Dreams for the Greater Lesson if I didn't want to just double down on Basic lessons to get a cold hex earlier without having to take the Primal spell list since it really doesn't fit Vali's shtick (what I REALLY want is Occult but with a bunch of extra cold related spells, but since the Witch doesn't really do that, Arcane is begrudgingly accepted).

And all that is cool and totally works and it's fine. The build more or less works and requires only minimal homebrew if I wanted to exactly replicate the Fey-touched Hexer. But there's also nothing that makes any of my decisions have anything to do with my specific patron. The patron didn't actually give me ANY of these things I've picked and ANY other Witch could just decide to pick them also because they're neat. There's nothing that makes me go, "ah yes, this is something that MY patron gives me, and none other".

Now, as I understand it, the goal was to make the Patrons feel more mechanically relevant to the class, and while that might technically be the case, it actually FEELS less relevant to the class. Sure, the old patrons only gave a spell list and that's it. You could sort of give your witch an archetype and claim that was the effect of your patron as I did, but that only came with plenty of expanded material and eventually you should be able to do the same with the Witch once we have more material. But looking just at the bonus spells and the lessons for comparison, the bonus spells might give you less technically, since they're only a couple extra spells when you have access to dozens while the lessons are the entirety of your focus spells, but the bonus spells FEEL like they contribute more because they at least are actually associated with a patron theme and are a connected as part of who you are.

You need to have a Winter Patron to get the Winter bonus spells and always get those winter spells. You don't need to have a Winter Patron to pick Lesson of Ice, so winter patrons don't mean anything.

I do love PF2, and I love how freeform it is MOST of the time. Picking your class feats every other level, picking what ancestry feats matter to you, the ability to mix in Archetype feats into your class feats, but there are a couple places where I feel the freeform philosophy is taken too far. The Witch as defined by the playtest is honestly a relatively minor example. Familiars are the worst offender IMO as it is extremely lame that my Raven and my buddy's Parrot are completely mechanically indistinguishable, but since Witches are so reliant on familiars, the fact that the patrons are also like this hurts them even more.


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So let me start off by saying that the Witch was one of my two favorite classes in PF1, with the flexibility of the Hexes, more engaging Familiar mechanics, and the narrative intrigues possible with the Patron all drawing me strongly towards the class. The name Vali Nepjarson is that of my Witch whom I have remade in every edition of Pathfinder/D&D that I have ever played.

And that is why I feel like the Witch as it exists in the APG playtest feels underwhelming to me and that makes me very sad. But I don't think that the changes that need to be made are major, and a lot of the reworks I've seen here are going far more than is needed.

So I would like to express the things about the class as I see it that should be reworked, and give some potential fixes for them in such a way that I feel would be reasonable reworks as a whole.

Problems:

1) Hexes feel very restrictive and awkward to use since they are both tied to Focus AND the vast majority of them can only be used once per foe per day. While their power feels about right, you really don't feel like you can use them anywhere near enough.

2) Kind of in the same vein, the class starts giving you diminishing returns for picking any more Lessons/Hexes after your third. Since you cannot gain any more Focus than 3, you are losing out on 1/3rd of the benefit that a Lesson Class Feat gives you if you continue to pick more after that. Looking over the options, for my primary Witch character, I can see at least 5, and when more options will be added probably MORE Hexes that I would want to pick, but I can't get up to 5 Focus for doing this. And while it's true that this is a relatively minor point as focus is so easily recoverable between encounters and you aren't likely to need more than 3 or so Focus points in an encounter, it still FEELS like you aren't getting everything that a feat promises you for picking more Lessons.

3) The Patrons are given little more than a mention. While you can KIND of pull together an idea of your patron through putting together different lessons, since the patrons are left so vague and undefined, they kind of come across as an unnecessary part of the class right now.

4) Familiars are mechanically interesting, but feel very homogenized and those mechanics lack any sort of flavor. There is nothing really to differentiate different types of familiars. This isn't such a big problem with Wizards or Sorcerers, since their possible familiars are really just there as an optional boon to do some cool stuff, but since the Witch is so dependent on their familiar and it is such a core part of the feel of the class, having so few options for flavorful mechanics hurts the fun of the Witch's familiar.

To me, these are the primary failings of the class right now, and while that all SOUNDS like a lot of woe-saying and negativity, I really think that possible fixes for these problems are very easy.

Solutions:

1) and 2) Hexes need to be broader in design and give more options. I feel like we need both Focus Cantrip Hexes AND Focus Spell hexes, similarly to how the Bard has these. This is of course not an uncommon suggestion, but I'd like to also suggest how this sort of thing should be implemented. As currently given, we have Basic Lessons, Greater Lessons, and Major Lessons. Basic Lessons currently give you a Lvl 1 Focus Hex and teach your familiar a Cantrip. I think that the Cantrip should be dropped altogether, and the Lvl 1 Hex should become a Cantrip Hex. Most of the current Lvl 1 Hexes would actually work just fine as Cantrips anyways. They're only moderately more powerful than regular Cantrips and with the restriction that creatures become immune to them for 24 hours, this more than makes up for them having unlimited uses.

Greater Lessons and Major Lessons would of course give you Focus Spell Hexes, and Greater Lessons could also give you a spell as they currently do, but I imagine that Greater Lessons would not (I'll get to why in a moment). This would also greatly lesson the potentiality of feeling like it's a poor idea to continue taking extra Lessons once you've hit your Focus cap because it would take one more Lesson to get to that cap of 3.

3) Patrons need to be more distinct and have more mechanical relevance. Rather than your Spell list being based on your first lesson, I feel like it should be based on your Patron itself. While this might feel a bit "Sorcerer-y", and that is a fair complaint, I feel that it wouldn't be too hard to differentiate the two. The Patron should give you access to a few spells not on whatever spell list it gives you. The Winter Patron being based off of Baba Yaga, for example, would actually be Occult rather than Primal, but would also give you access to several Cold spells, Cone of Cold and the like, but not one every level like the Sorc does. I'd say only 5 at the most, at levels 1, 3, 5, and 7, and 9.

The Patron would then also give an extra ability to your Familiar. Probably something passive, but pretty cool. For example, a Winter Witch's familiar could gain an ability that states that it treats all saves from your own spells that have the cold trait as critical successes, thus allowing it to walk into your Cone of Cold with no worries. A patron that had to do with life energy might have the ability where whenever either you or your familiar take healing, you can split the healing between yourself and your familiar however you like. Something to give a little something cool to your familiar that is unique to that patron. This partially deals with the next problem as well, but we'll continue with that a bit more...

4) Fixing the homogenization of the familiars is actually not something that COULD come from within the Witch itself, but similarly could also come from a General feat open to anyone that would meet the requirements of having a familiar. It would be a feat that would basically allow you trade out 2 of your Familiar abilities to transform the familiar into any Common, Tiny Level 0 creature, or trade 3 of your Familiar Abilities to Transform it into any Common, Tiny Level 1 creature.

This would come with all the powers of the creature in question, it's ability scores, any spells it has, and the creatures Health as though it were the ancestry HP of your familiar. Everything that scales with current familiars would still scale with the advanced familiar, but it would add it's Dex to it's AC, it's Con to it's health every level, and so on. Also any spells or abilities which have a Save DC would be replaced with your spell save DC if your DC is higher.

If the level 1 creature is a Fiend, Monitor, or Celestial, then it must be of the same alignment as you. So if you want a Lyrakien then by Caiden Cailean you better be Chaotic Good.

What does everyone think? Do people agree with my concerns about the Witch and do we feel like my solutions are reasonable?


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First off, I 100% agree, more familiar abilities is wanted.

For the sake of the Witch though I actually would prefer if the Witch's familiar had something extra that made them fundamentally different than everyone else's familiar. Even if only through Class feats.

I am visualizing a Witch Feat. Probably about level 8, which would have your patron transform your familiar into a more personal form. By giving up 4 of your familiar abilities, your familiar can take the form of any common, tiny, Level 1 creature (if a Fiend, Monitor, or Celestial then you must be within one step of the creature's alignment, so for an Imp you could be Lawful Neutral, or Neutral Evil, but not Neutral Neutral).

This would give the familiar all of the features, the ability modifiers, Ect. of the creature whose form it takes. This form uses the creature's HP as a sort of Ancestry HP and adds their new Con mod to the 5 they get every level. The familiar gets all the languages and skills that the creature gets, adds it's Dex to it's AC, and gets all the spells and whatnot of the creature, although it uses your Spell save DC or Spell Attack Bonus.

Since this would use up 4 familiar abilities, which is the minimum amount the Witch would have at that point, no extra abilities for it, but will end up adding extra as they level up.


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I'd be curious as to what the math would say about this. Cantrips are supposed to be and SHOULD be worse than what a martial character can do on their average round, in exchange for their spells being better. This might be too much of a buff if taken in a vacuum.

Now, I'm not saying this wouldn't be feasible. But it would have to be done cautiously.

For example, these cantrips would become far too powerful compared to level 1 and 2 spells. Heck, even now at level 1 some damaging cantrips compare favorably to level 1 spells. Ray of Frost at level 1 is just better than Snowball at level 1 unless you REALLY need that speed reduction. Both cold, 1d4 + 4 for RoF vs 2d4 for SB, RoF has a longer range (120 vs 30), and it can be done infinitely rather than using a level 1 spell slot. SB's only advantage is that it has a -5 foot penalty on a hit and -10 on a crit whereas RoF only has the -10 on a crit.

If RoF was also only 1 action, then SB would be basically useless.

Now, that's just one example and probably a more extreme example than most. But the point is that you can't just drop a single action and assume everything is hunky-dory. You can't just compare cantrips to a martial's basic round. You also have to compare cantrips to spells, spells to martials, and also look at both the base level martial and a tricked out and optimized martial.

And that's a LOT to consider.


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I feel like people are jumping down Zapp's throat a little prematurely here. He explained that his question had more to do with the flavor of the spell and how that flavor interacts with the rules rather than the rules themselves and whether this is congruent with how the spell has previously been depicted.

Now, personally I do still feel that the spell is fine as is. In PF1 Flaming Sphere ALSO could not pass through creatures and burn multiple people on it's path. In the description of the old version of the spell it specifically describes how the sphere cannot pass through people and stops it's movement if it passes through someone. This functions exactly the same way except that the language is rearranged a bit so that rather than the sphere "being stopped" by a creature it runs into, you as the caster chose to stop it on a creature and damage that creature.

The visual image of the spell can stay exactly the same as before. It doesn't need to be a pea sized flame that you can make pulse out. It just needs to be small enough (Basketball sized let's say) that enemies slide past it without any issue and it has the sponge-y consistency so it can't pass through people and can hit one person each turn.

If anything this just feels a bit more clear and puts you in control rather than your sphere being stopped by someone else.

The one thing it seems that it CAN now do that it couldn't before is pass by a square without having to hit that person. Before if you were in a 5 foot wide hallway and you wanted to have the sphere move past your Barbarian buddy to hit the monster behind him, you couldn't do that (not RAW at least). Now I can see no reason why you can't. Which makes sense as I can't see why the Barbarian couldn't just sidestep and let the sphere pass. Especially if it is just the size of a Basketball as I have always assumed.


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Lucas Yew wrote:
On a related note, I would have liked all major outsiders to have their old CR 2 and CR 20 variants in the first Bestiary. The ship has sailed though... (and Proteans never had the 20th variant at all)

Yeah they did. Izfiitars.

I do agree with your statement though. It seems odd that Lawful Neutral, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Neutral, True Neutral and all the Good aligned outsiders are missing their Level 20 counterparts, but we still have Balors, Pit Fiends, and Pleromas.

Plus, where are the Agathions at all? Are Angels replacing them as Neutral Good?

I just kinda want to have a game which heavily revolves around a level 20 lord of all 9 alignments are involved. I feel like that'd be fun.


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The Witch of Pathfinder has always been very distinctly the patron and familiar Witch. I highly suspect that the Witch will be an Occult caster specifically, with maybe some extra spells from other spell lists depending on the Patron. Winter Witch would get Cone of Cold and Polar Ray, and hopefully Polar Midnight once that is added in for example.

I don't see any reason to design a sub-Witch that uses a spellbook instead of a familiar and uses Arcane casting for example, because at the end of the day that is just a Wizard. And while that version of Witches definitely exist in other settings, in Pathfinder the Witch and Wizard are very different things, and for good reason. If the Witch and the Wizard were the same thing, why would you need them to be separate classes?

As for the Hedge-witch, I could more easily see that as a sub-archetype, but to be honest I feel like for a proper "Witchy" feel they would still use the Occult spell list, with just a few bonus spells from the Primal list. Most likely the animal summoning ones and maybe a couple others. That would likely just be another Patron.


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Cantrips are not spell level 0 in PF2. They are spell level (half your level rounded up). So they start at spell level 1, not zero. By the time you are cast level 5 spells, all Cantrips are also level 5. It's just that they don't use spell slots to cast.


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You want stupid, meine fruende? I'll show you stupid. I'll show you the pinnacle of stupid.

Play an Elf. Take the Nimble Elf feat as well as the Fleet general feat. Base speed is now 40.

Play a Monk. Eventual +30 base speed for a Base of 70.

At level 1, take a Ki spell ability. Doesn't matter which one. Ki rush is more thematically appropriate however so that's what we'll go with!

Level 2 we take Barbarian MC Archetype.

Level 4 we take a a level 1 or two Barbarian feat. Doesn't really matter which one, but again sudden charge is thematically appropriate. Hurrah!

Level 6 we take Water Step so that we can now run across the surface of the water, just so long as we don't ever end our movement there. Spoilers, by the end of this, we wont.

Level 8 we take Advanced Fury to get a level 4 Barbarian feat. Take Fast Movement. Now our base speed is +10 while raging to a max of 80!

Level 10, Take Wind Jump. Ups our Ki pool to 2 and gives us a special Ki Focus spell that says that for 1 minute we get a Fly speed equal to our land speed but we have to end our turn on the ground or we fall. Hehe, that's cute.

Level 12, 14, 16, and 18 really don't matter at all. You can go get a stance, Ki Blast, some more specialized movement (unfortunately most of them other than Water Step, such as Wall Run are incompatible with what we're doing because of reasons I cannot divulge to the public just yet...it's because they are their own actions and not passive things.)

But at 20, you take Advanced Fury again and this time you take Furious Sprint.

For those poor uninitiated, Furious Sprint is a two action activity that allows you to stride 1 time up to 5 times your movement speed. Which at this point while you are raging is 80 x 5 for 400 feet. OR you can instead make it a 3 action activity for 8 times your movement speed. 80 x 8 is stupid a lot (psst...it's 640, just so you know).

Now here's the kicker. The beautiful, glorious kicker. Remember that Wind Jump thing we took at level 10? The one that gives you a fly speed but doesn't let you end your turn on not solid ground?

Furious Sprint says that you have to run in a straight line...it does not say that this line has to be parallel to the local force of gravity.

Now I want you to imagine a Monk Barbarian running 640 FEET THROUGH THE AIR WHILE SCREAMING IN UNBRIDLED RAGE AND FURY!!!

Soooo yeah...kinda stupid. Pretty much 100 percent pointless. Unless you specifically have a Castle wall that you need to climb and you can calculate at what angle you need to run in order to make the distance from the point from the ground to the point on the castle wall exactly 640 feet. Or if you have to cross a stupidly long canyon with no bridge.

Oh, or maybe you're in a densely packed forest so you can't run in a straight line but you want to get out of the way of a stupidly powerful Wizard's stupidly powerful fireball so you run straight up and out of their 500 foot range in one turn.

Or...you know, Treerazer or something, since I'm pretty sure nothing he's got can catch up to you at that point.

But hey, stupid as this may be who else can say that they can run 640 feet through the air in 6 seconds with just 1 Ki point or the same distance across the water with no Ki point at all?

Just make sure you jack up your Athletics to legendary so that you can guarantee that you are going to make those DC 30 Althletics check to not fall because 640 feet of falling damage is not fun to take. Or maybe it is, I don't know what sort of things you're into. No judgements here, I mean, I made this stupid monstrosity of a build.


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Here's a potentially interesting idea.

What if, instead of Spellstrike being an attack where a spell is delivered at the same time, what if Spellstrike is a charge mechanic?

Something like, a two action activity which charges your weapon with a spell that has a range of touch, using the spell slot if it was a slot of level 1 or higher.

The spell remains in your weapon until you make a successful strike against your opponent. If you miss your strike, the spell remains in your weapon. If you critically miss, then the spell is lost. The Magus in question would have full spell progression, but fewer spell slots total, but spell strike would be an excellent way of ensuring that your spell slots are less likely to be wasted.

You'd also lose it if you didn't expend the spell in like, 10 minutes.

This helps cement the idea of the Magus as the Nova class as well as adding some tactical elements to when it's best to use it.

They could include later feats like "Greater Spellstrike" which could include AoEs and/or ranged spells with the strike. In AoEs you may also have to make the save (such as with Fireball) but you treat your own degree of success as one level greater. Or "Swift Spellstrike" which may allow one free strike with the Spellstrike activity.

Depending on the balancing, it may also be necessary to add the Concentrate tag to it, so that if you don't expend the spell the same turn you charge your sword with it, then you would have to use an action every subsequent turn to sustain the spell. But whether or not this is necessary really would take some testing.


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Everyone always throws out Aasimars, Tieflings, and Dhampirs. And while they are really cool, to be sure, I WANT MY GANZI AND APHORITES! (okay, mostly just Ganzi).

I want my Elf who feels wrong in the world and goes out to find his origins until he reaches the Maelstrom and finds an ancient Protean once decided to have some fun with an Artic Elf warrior woman. GIVE ME MY CHAOS SERPENT MAELSTROM DADDY!!!

...

Sorry, I may have gotten a little excited there...


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Mark Seifter wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

In short, it can be easily argued that 16 and 18 are both highly viable starting values.

A 14 is getting to the point where your reduced effectiveness in your main thing will start being noticeable, and hard to offset psychologically, even if your other bonuses are technically making up the difference.

It's also not super easy to wind up with a 14 as your highest stat in the first place. There's only two possible arrays: 14 14 14 14 12 10 or 14 14 14 14 14 8. If you aren't playing one of those two arrays, you will have a 16 in your highest stat.

Also 14 14 14 12 12 12 for the ultimate well rounded character.

Fighter adds +2 Str

Background adds +2 Str and Cha

Human adds +2 Dex and Con

4 free bonuses to Dex, Con, Int, and Wis.

Unless I've mistaken something.


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Beautiful. I have high hopes that PF2 will be the best TTRPG on the market and Paizo is without a doubt the best TTRPG company out there.

People like Mark and Jason and.all the others make such a product with so much love and care and I can't say how grateful I am for everything that is done.

I hope you enjoy your beautiful book. I'm getting the regular edition myself, but I'll love it just the same.


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graystone wrote:
It's forcing me to invest not one point but 2 point in the stat and it's a valuable step that allows you to stack with other steps so it ends up not really being 4 options if you want to rise primary and secondary stats. Your other steps have even smaller floating number and IMO aren't really going to be used for this kind of thing as you're looking to stack when you can. Why use a background floating bonus on str when it's stack yo get you a 14 in something else? SO we're at the last floating stat stage for this kind of thing.

But any of those stats can be placed anywhere and that's the point. If you've already upped your Alchemist's Dex to 14 and Con to 12 via all the other stat ups, then that makes it a lot more acceptable to use one of those 4 remaining boosts on Str rather than one of those (probably Wis).

Just for the sake of everything, let's make an Alchemist. We'll go for the purely best abilities possible.

So +Int for Alchemist

+Int, +Dex, for Elf, using the free score to remove the -Con

Chose any Background that ups either Int or Dex and use the free one to up the other.

Then for the floating 4, chose Int, Dex, Con, and Str.

Now you have 18 Int, 16 Dex, 12 Con, and 12 Str. For an Elf, that's pretty decent.

A Dwarf could get a more well rounded
18 Int, 14 Dex (or 16/16), Con 14, and Str 12 with a penalty to Cha.

Yes, in both of these cases you are sacrificing a potential 12 in Wis, but I don't consider that to be a huge failure considering that you can quickly start raising your Wis when you get your ASIs.

And when the inevitable +Int, +Dex (Or Con), -Cha Ancestry comes out, we'll have something even better.

graystone wrote:

I could truly care less about total pluses. In this case a -1 on strength and a +3 are both equally useless if I'm not using a weapon that cares about them: same with my cha. SO total pluses IMO is meaningless.

EDIT: On future raises, I'm thinking that I'd rather buy a bag of holding and get +25 bulk carry than using one of those on str to get +1 bulk.

Yeah, I didn't explain why I put value on this, but I very much do. The reason is because having the promise of so many more stat UPS down the road makes it much more comfortable to place one of those early ASIs into Str instead of, say Wis or Con. You can start with a 10 in any ability and still hit 18 (and yes, I realize that games don't often get to level 20 but the point still stands that you can be more liberal with your early bonuses and not have it be a hit to your character in the long run). That Wisdom might end up being a lot more valuable down the road, but if you're worried about encumbrance, Str might be more desired early on.

Or maybe not. But that's up to the player to decide and there should be value to both IMO.

And again, I am not saying I don't agree that things needed a bit more fine tuning in the playtest and often things seemed annoyingly just out of reach. But most of them really only need a small amount of tweaking.

To address some of your other points, most of them seem either self inflicted or not something that is actually going to be a problem. You mention that 4 pounds you still have in PF1 is for food and rations and stuff. But your Alchemist in PF2 also still has 9 Light to carry stuff like that. Remember that Light gear counts as 0 until you get 10 of them. So 1 from Leather, 2 from Alchemist kit, 1 from Crossbow, I from Healer's Kit, and 10 bolts is 1 Light. That's 5 and 1 Light. 9 Light left.

If you switch to Padded armor, which has the exact same armor bonus, then that's 1 Bulk, 9 Light left of carrying capacity.

Plus I don't know if your parties are used to having everyone carrying their own rations, but even in older editions I never did and I think PF2 is assuming a paradigm where the party assists each other in such things. Your Alchemist may not have the Bulk to carry rations, but the Barbarian/Fighter/Champion probably does.

And if not, a pack mule is a very cheap early level version of a bag of holding. And it'll probably carry those Alchemist tools and Healer's Kit too. That means you're only carrying 2 Bulk, 1 Light on you. WAY better off.

And all that is assuming you only have a Str of 10.


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graystone wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:
/snip

That PF1 characters can actually carry that base equipment and had 4 pounds to take random equipment or some food and water. And for a super minor 1 stat point to str 11, you get 9 lbs to play with: to get an upgrade in PF2 instead of a 1/10th-1/25th of your stat allotment, you must send 1/4th your your discretionary boosts to do so. It's a much higher investment JUST to be able to carry some basic necessities like food and water.

So in the end, I see your post more helping prove my point that proving I'm wrong.

And if you want to upgrade to Studded Leather, it doesn't cost you anything in PF2 as far as Bulk but in PF1 it's 5 more pounds...1 more than the 4 you have left.

But wait, you consider it more of an investment at first level to upgrade stats in PF1?

I don't. I find it MUCH less of an investment to increase my Str to 12 in PF2. First off, you don't get 4 floating bonuses, you get 6. 7 for human. One from your Ancestry can go anywhere you don't already have a bonus from Ancestry. One from your Background which can go anywhere the Background doesn't already increase. And 4 which can go anywhere as long as they don't overlap.

And THAT'S the crux of the matter. No overlapping from the same source. In PF1, if you're using a point buy, it's always better to focus as many of those points into your relevant abilities as possible. This is because all stats are always directly competing with each other. For an Alchemist this is Int, followed by Dex and Con, with Wis being number 4. Str and Cha are for dumping and dumping hard.

But in PF2? Well since you're requires to spread the points around, it's extremely easy to make sure you get at least 1 of those +2s into Str. Sure, it might mean the difference of having a Wis or Con of 14 instead of 16, but that isn't the hugest difference and you were going to have to take a hit to your important stats if you wanted that 11 Str in PF1 anyways.

Plus, that's all just at level 1. As we continue forward PF2 comes out WAY ahead. 4 sets of 4 floating ability score increases which again can't overlap? In PF1 I think you get 5 +1s total? And you pretty much always had to throw them into your primary stat. Maybe your secondary if it was an odd number.

Sure, a Halfling is going struggle with that penalty, but that was also true in PF1.

Now don't get me wrong. I think there need to be more options for alleviating these struggles. IMO a basic backpack should reduce the total bulk of everything that is inside the pack by 1, since it's easier to carry in the backpack.


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You're acting like the Bulk for Str 10 characters is so much less than the Encumbrance for Str 10 characters in PF1, but that's not really true.

At Str 10, your Light Load minimum was 33lbs. Leather Armor was 15, a Healers Kit, Alchemist Crafter Kit, and Antidote Kit (you need both the crafters kit and Antidote Kit to do what the Alchemist's Tools in the playtest did) is 9,and your Light Crossbow and 10 bolts is 5. For a total of 29, you're only 4 lbs away from being encumbered.

Now, it is absolutely true that high Strength doesn't exponentially skyrocket your encumbrance like it did in PF1 (assuming PF2 is the same as the playtest), but I'm actually quite glad it doesn't as I've seen a Barbarian player carry around things casually on their person that Conan would struggle to drag. Not to mention this makes items like the Bag of Holding much more valuable, while having high Strength is still extremely valuable for someone so that they can have things in their person rather than having to retrieve them from the Bag of Holding.


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BishopMcQ wrote:
Greatsword vs Bastard Sword - I'm not sure. There's a cost and bulk difference. The description text suggests that a bastard sword can be used for Piercing, but it's not listed in the table. Likewise, the greatsword description text has abilities not included in the table.

That's odd. Perhaps it implies that there may end up being feats included later on that adjust the things that you can do with the weapons in-game.

My problem is that half my typical party are also members of a local HEMA club and sometimes get "testy" when you are arbitrarily not allowed to do things with a sword (or any other weapon) that you couldn't do in real life.

I use the word "testy" with all the love in my heart.

In this case however, I was the one who was a little bent out of shape over the Greatsword and Bastard Sword. Just because I was hoping a huge weapon like the Greatsword would have some advantage over a regular sized sword.


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Is the Greatsword still just all around worse than the Bastard Sword? In the PT it's only advantage was that it could do slashing or piercing, while the BS was just a, which seems to be a joke compared to the versatility of being both one handed and two handed.

Especially since I will almost certainly allow my players to use slashing and piercing for the Bastard Sword anyways, since it makes no rational sense that it can't.


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Lightning Raven wrote:
You guys also shouldn't dismiss the impact on HP. As far as I recall, there were a lot of complaints here in this forum about deadly critical hits, the prevalence of them against higher CR monsters (more likely to crit). Also, why it's less valuable for no reason? Are we assuming monsters are dealing less damage now?

Since you always get mad health rather than rolling your Hit Die for health in PF2, an increase to Con will always increase your HP total by a smaller percentage.

Looking at it this way, a level 10 Barbarian in PF2 with a Con of 10 will have 120 HP. That same Barbarian in PF1 will have an average of 65 HP (slightly more because of the max hit die at level 1, but then I also didn't add in Ancestry HP for PF2).

With a Con of 20, either Barbarian adds 50 HP to either total. Adding 50 to 120 is an increase of 41.7% in PF2, while adding 50 to 65 is an increase of 77% in PF1.

The difference is even crazier for lower HP classes. The wizard has 60 HP at level 10, while in PF1 he had 35. The 20 Con wizard increases his HP total by 83% in PF2 but a whopping 143% in PF1.

So while HP itself is just as valuable, proportionally Con contributes a lesser part of that HP total.


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Talathiel wrote:

I made a homebrew tiefling ancestry option:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1EfcD6P0-LNp4nwlzK3EVMzqqcGU_1YKp

It might be a bit premature to start throwing together homebrews like this.

For example, while it was common enough in PF1, I don't think we've seen any indication that language like "cast this spell as if you were one faster level higher" exists in PF2 yet. I may be wrong, but I don't remember it being there.

And given how the philosophy of PF2 seems to demand much tighter math and feats give you more things to do over plusses to your numbers, I would be rather surprised if it was still a thing.

Don't get me wrong, I like the ideas in your homebrew, I just think that it's be better to see the full product and know what types of rules are used and what types are not before we start generating stuff.


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I don't really want to continue beating this dead horse, but I'm going to anyways because I'm a moron who has to put my two cents in...

I personally would much rather play in a world that feels real and breathing than one that feels like a computer simulation. So long as we're talking about something that isn't going to make or break any sort of combat for the party, I really love the "about a week" language.

I think that a lot of the fears about this being a bad sign for poorly articulated rules and measures are somewhat premature anyways. This is an extremely minor effect that lasts one round and is extremely unlikely to occur in combat for your allies.

The fact that Mark is here talking about how the vague language isn't likely to be an issue with this item shows that they aren't likely to use such undefined language in anything other than the flavorful little ribbon abilities. Mark wouldn't be defending the use of this language here if the same language was used in more "make or break" item ability moments.

And as far as this being a thing that a s#~$ty DM can use against a party, well sure. But I guarantee, if you have the sort of mean-spirited DM who will use that kind of thing against the players, you will have far worse problems to deal with than an item description like this. Highly regimented rules will never turn a bad DM into a good DM. The only thing that can do that is open and honest communication and a reevaluation of the DM's values and what they want out of the game.

I know that compared to many I can be a "living world" extremist. I would prefer a game world that feels real and natural, even if that means making some decisions in favor of that world when it technically would be a bad decision in a pure game world. For example, I think Aasimar and Tieflings should be straight up better than humans. Most people disagree with me, and that's fine.

This however seems like the kind of extremely reasonable little flavor-text thing that really shouldn't be a problem to fall into the living world side of the equation.


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Quandary wrote:

"But I tend to find that this actually goes by players a lot worse than if the Tiefling itself is just sort of better."

So basically you want the same outcome that people think is being a jerk, but you want to slip it by them.
You say it's a matter of story, yet you're happy to manipulate and decieve the people supposedly co-creating the story with you.
You say "I dont' want more Feats, I want more powerful Feats" ...because that affects STORY, HOW?
(and flat boosting level, which doesn't itself grant feats, is in fact way to do that, it just is honest about power boost)

And it's not just people disagreeing with this motive of yours, but you failing to understand basic concepts.
You throw around "asymmetric balance" like it means "wild power imbalance, but I like it". That's not what it means.
Asymmetric is NO LESS dedicated to balance, it simply means it is considering bigger picture and not narrow 1:1 comparisons.
Yet the overtly higher power classes ARE higher power, they aren't claimed to be the same power despite some narrow overt disparity.

You're taking what I said way out of context, and putting quite a few words in my mouth.

first off, I straight up said that I didn't want the difference to be huge at all. In fact I said that I wanted the difference to be subtle and probably less of a power difference than it was in PF1, which was already very little after a couple levels. Every tabletop game is going to be a combination of some sort between gaminess and verisimilitude. I am willing to have a minor difference in power, so long as it doesn't punish anyone for playing the sort of character that they want to play, for the sake of characters that feel more like what they should be.

I don't mean that the Aasimar fighter should outclass the "only" human fighter at every turn. I mean that the Aasimar fighter should have a couple things that they have access to that might on occasion let them do something that the human fighter cannot.

Also, I'm not sure how you interpreted what I said as deceiving my players? The reason that I liked the RP system in PF1 was that it made the relative power levels entirely transparent. So if I have a new player I can say "here, you can play a human or an elf, and you'll be fine. There are also these other races, which have a few extra things, but you'll be totally fine if you want to not deal with that".

People get that. "Oh this race is part angel? This guy is part devil? A person who is empowered by the elements? Yeah, that makes sense that they are a bit extra. That's the world that we're playing in."

If I power up these Races/Ancestries/Heritages, then it's not the world that says that these people are a bit stronger. It's me, and thus I'M giving extra stuff to some of my players and the ones who don't want to play those Ancestries feel like I'm trying to punish them for playing who they want to play or else push them to play someone they don't want to.

But no, it should ALWAYS be something that is done with transparency.

It effects story how? It effects story by giving you more options for stories like the one between Rock Lee and Neji Hyuuga. Or any other underdog story. One person has natural talent. The other doesn't. But through experience and practice they both become equals (and I'm sorry, but an Elf Wizard and Aasimar Wizard both at level 20 are just as powerful). This story is much more choppy by having them be at different levels, because levels are not a indication of natural talent, but of experience and training. That can ALSO be a good story if you want to go with that, but it isn't the same story.

All I'm saying is that it's a tool to use. That's all.


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Sure, you can elect to twist things around to make certain characters stronger or weaker based on their Ancestry. If Tiefling ends up a Heritage that can be taken by any ancestry, then I could easily say "hey, take a human/elf/dwarf feat AND a Tiefling feat whenever you get an Ancestry feat option.

But I tend to find that this actually goes by players a lot worse than if the Tiefling itself is just sort of better. If I'm giving my Planetouched players more stuff then players who don't want to play those types feel like I'm being a jerk. But if the game just has them be better most say "yeah, that makes sense. A human with demon blood is going to be stronger than a regular human". Besides, I don't want them to have more feats. I want the feats they have access too to be just a little bit better.

Again, not a lot better. Not twice as good. But better enough that a canny reader will recognize that this guy gets some innately better stuff. At level 1 this might make a difference. You'll have a nice little boost that will feel cool, but won't punish anyone for not picking those Ancestries/Heritages. But race was never a major part of your power in PF1 and it won't be in PF2 either. By level 5 class is MUCH more important and by level 8, Ancestries will be hardly anything other than a couple feats which will be fawned over by min-maxers.

To me it's a matter of interesting stories, wider options available, and making the world feel more real. Be honest, does it make sense for a human who carries the blood of angels to be no stronger than a human who doesn't? No, it just doesn't. Should training and experience almost immediately close the gap as the regular human learns magic or inhuman levels of swordplay? Yeah, absolutely.


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Yeah, I kinda figured this wouldn't be hugely popular. And trust me, I am not suggesting that the difference be insanely over the top, and probably less so in PF2 vs. PF1 considering how much more a +1 in PF2 means due to the tighter math.

But even in PF1, the difference wasn't enormous. I picked arguably the weakest and strongest races as examples to show what the furthest extremes are in PF1, but a Drow Noble isn't so much stronger than a Kobold that (in my experience at my tables, I totally understand that YMMV) anyone ever felt punished for playing the Kobold or immensely overpowered as a DN.

But to me, Pathfinder is a medium for communal story telling every bit as much (and sometimes more so) than it is a game. And having asymmetric ancestries/heritages open up the potential for way more kinds of characters. One of the best characters I've ever played with was a Kobold Barbarian who thought they were the strongest thing in the world. And by the time they reached level 20, they could make a pretty good case for it. That story wouldn't have hit as hard if Kobolds weren't at a natural disadvantage.

Now, again I'm not saying that this should be a huge deciding factors. I'm not asking for an Ancestry or Heritage so powerful that it substitutes for class power. I'm saying that if Human/Elf/Dwarf/ect. is the baseline for Ancestries, then the weakest should be at about 75-80% as strong as a Human and the strongest should be 150% as strong, maximum.

That is a decent chunk of your overall PC power at level 1 sure, when your Ancestrial abilities carry a bit more of your "Oomph". But by the time you reach level 5ish, when 90% of your power is from your class and the Ancestry is mostly flavor anyways, the Kobolds shouldn't be more than a point or so behind and the Aasimar isn't going to be noticibly better than the Human anyways.

Like I said, to me it is a tool for story telling and too much homogeny makes stories less interesting. I understand why this is an unpopular idea. From a gaming perspective it is a bad idea, and it should only be done with all players at the tables understanding the point and ramifications therin. But well used, it can be a fun tool for storytelling and Verisimilitude. At least in my humble opinion.


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One of the things that I really enjoyed about the original races in PF1 was that they were obviously and intentionally asymmetrically balanced. The Core races were more or less balanced, as they should be.

But then the advanced race guides and all the other extra races can vary from underpowered (Kobolds) to much stronger (Drow Nobles). You even have a direct gauge for knowing how powerful the races are, relative to each other.

That to me is a great tool for GMs to have slightly more dynamic games as long as everyone sits down and is willing to go with it. Just as long as the difference between them is not so great as to make a huge bulk of a difference, and punish people from wanting to play a character story that they are interested in.

What are the odds that we will have any Ancestries/Heritages that are definitively balanced more or less powerful than each other? If Aasimar/Tieflings/Ganzi/Aphorites are going to be universal Heritages that can be applied to any Ancestry, I would want them to be more powerful than the regular Heritages for the Ancestries, just because those sorts of planetouched people should be powerful.

Does anyone else agree with me or am I crazy?


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Quandary wrote:

Hmm, IMHO phrasing it like "...you can not be Observed, but are still Detected" or even more succinctly "...you are ONLY Pinpointed/Detected" reads intuitively... With "still"/"only" expressing Perception's logical hierarchy where Stealth doesn't ADD new "Detected" info but only suppresses upper tiers... But I can see how you could arrive where you did if you were absolutely designing for single-term direct referents ("you are X"), even if IMHO "not... still" and especially "only" isn't heavy grammatic baggage and reads naturalistically (contextualizing to make clear you accomplished something useful).

That was just an actually confusing/awkward thing from playtest for me personally that seemed like it carried over into final, albeit with terminology shifting, and I just wanted to specify the distinct ways it was confusing. Sorry for the brutal honesty, I understand there is a million competing design goals, and am over-all very positive and impressed with everything I have seen so far of final system!

But that assumes that every GM is going to be eloquent/enough to immediately know how to say that succinctly without stumbling over their words to get the right idea across and not misconstrue their players.

Remember that sometimes the wording choices are picked not because it would be hard for anyone to get the words out the right way, but because there is too much of a potential for it to be awkward and that might slip some people up. And if you need a note in the book telling GMs "hey, when you tell your players that they are detected, make sure you remind them that they are only just detected so that it doesn't give them the wrong idea", that is sort of an indicator that the wording is unintuitive and can lead to confusion.


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I wanted to also thank Mark for that post. The time and dedication that it takes to sit down and write out exactly how they recognize everything that we said and did on these forums in the period of the playtest and after shows a great deal of personal dedication to their fanbase and integrity as a gaming entity.

When you are a creator, building something for people you care about and appreciate, and you have so many voices all clambering to express all of their personal desires, and having your own wants on top of that, it can be all to easy to either let it all become white noise or else collapse under the strain of being pulled in a hundred directions.

There are a few ways to push through this. And the way that the people who make Pathfinder have interacted with their fanbase here and elsewhere shows to me that they chose to approach the sea of madness with care. And I can't speak for the community at large, but I appreciate this.

Obviously not every choice will please every person. I personally still have some issues with the Champion and I am holding out hope that there's more to the Sorc than we've seen. I was a person who really liked Resonance conceptually and am sad that it wasn't able to work out. But whatever disagreements I might personally have with some of the fine minutia of the game, at the end of the day doesn't matter.

Mark's post above. That is why I have faith in this game. All the finicky details I can work out at own table.


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Slim Jim wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:

I actually kind of disagree with this one, and I am also the sort who prefers a more robust game and has a lot of problems with how watered down 5e is (while still appreciating other things about it).

But I have always had a hard time justifying Smite Evil as the primary ability of the Paladin

I've never considered Smite their primary ability. --Their main abilities are resiliency and automatic party-buffing just by being present (i.e., auras).

(I get the impression that Denim N Leather is fan of a strong alignment system, with at least some classes accordingly affected, paladin in particular. Well, I am too.)

Except those are passive abilities. And while they're awesome, and a great thing for the Paladin to have, no one picks a class just to stand there and not do anything.

That's an exaggeration of course since even without Smite, the Paladin can still swing a sword. But the point is that the main feature of a class is always going to be something they can do, since doing things is always going to be more fun than not letting things get done to you.

And I prefer a stronger alignment system as well. I am 100% in favor of a much more robust and stronger focus on alignment, and that Paladins should revolve around this concept. 5e's system of making alignment completely unnecessary and having no gameplay effects at all is not for me.

But I think there are ways to do this without making the Paladin's effectiveness in combat be so strongly tied to only fighting Evil aligned things. I don't want to be punished for wanting to play a typical Paladin in a Campaign where my GM was planning on throwing us into a war between the Axis and The Maelstrom.

MaxAstro wrote:

Vali, I think you just sorta spontaneously came up with a really good argument for Paladins being based on Retributive Strike instead of Smite Evil.

That actually makes me feel a lot better about the change, when you put it in those terms.

Yeah, I am a bit more forgiving of Retributive Strike as a whole than some people seem to be. Although to be honest I still prefer not having the new main ability of the Paladin not be based on a Reaction. I'd still prefer Smite Evil just still worked (albiet to a lesser extent) on Neutral aligned things.


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I actually kind of disagree with this one, and I am also the sort who prefers a more robust game and has a lot of problems with how watered down 5e is (while still appreciating other things about it).

But I have always had a hard time justifying Smite Evil as the primary ability of the Paladin, given that it only effects Evil Beings.

From a game perspective, it puts way too much onus on the GM to design encounters around one specific class (so long as that class is in the party).

Now don't get me wrong, every encounter is going to favor some classes over others. Rogues struggle against things that don't care about sneak attack, anti-magic fields laugh at Wizards, ect. These examples are either highly specific or still allow the class to do their thing, that thing just isn't going to be as effective.

But Smite Evil is completely and utterly useless against a very large portion of the game's potential enemies. The DM now has to be careful about making sure that he is balancing a good number of Evil threats and non-evil threats rather than just playing with whatever they think would be fun. Too much evil and the Paladin becomes the MVP, but not enough evil and the player feels like they aren't getting to play with their best toy.

From an in-universe perspective I'm not sure it makes a ton of sense either. While I am sure the Paladin's God doesn't want the Pali to be smiting the innocent, not all threats to peace and harmony are evil. What if a big mindless beast is slaughtering people in the night? Does the Pali's God shrug and say "not my job description so deal with it yourself"? It makes even less sense for Anti-Paladins. Why would an evil tyrant care that their powers only hurt good people? Shouldn't they want to also be able to beat down their evil rivals to ensure their own dominance? Makes Cleric or Wizard seem like a more viable position for evildoers in the long run.

I get that this makes the game more "nuanced" and potentially more interesting, but personally I'd split the difference. Let Smite do more damage or have more effects against evil beings, still work but not as well against Neutral (for dealing with those rabid beasts that need to be put down for everyone's safety) and have no effect against Good targets.


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I don't think I've ever taken magic missile on any character I've ever played, and I ALWAYS play at least partial spellcasters.

Seriously, I played a Barbarian once. Every other character I've ever played has been Sorcerer/Wizard/ Paladin/Magus/ Warlock/Witch/ Druid/Arcane Trickster.

And yet never once took Magic Missile. Don't get me wrong, depending on the edition of D&D/Pathfinder, it can often be a great choice. Guaranteed damage is cool. It just seems like a really boring spell...there have always been more interesting options to pick, even if they weren't always optimal.

PF2 might be the first time I'm considering it, as the multiple action options adds a pizazz and flare to the spell that appeals to me. I may not give it to my Sorc, as I tend to like more thematically appropriate choices for my bloodline (and I have no interest in the ancient magic users bloodline), but I'd definitely give it to a Wizard.

All that said, based on the #MyPathfinderSpoilers cards, I am definitely interested in seeing what other fun and thematic options we get. All those spells seem powerful (sometimes situationally so, but that's fine) and interesting. I wanna see what more options we have for Primal and Occult spells, and how much the Arcane spells have been altered and improved.


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Paladinosaur wrote:
Leshies and Lizardfolk seems like a terrible decision. There are lots of more popular ancestries.

Sometimes a less popular race might still be a superior choice if it fills a more unique niche.

A lot of popular choices are popular either because they're longtime staples or because they hit one or more of a few specific qualities that are extremely popular (Dark and severe, crazy and quirky, eternal underdog, just to name a few).

If these staples and qualities are already accounted for, then a more unusual pick may be more than a popular choice that just hits the same boxes as the choices already available. Drow, Teiflings, and Dhampir all hit a lot of the same boxes, for example. They all have their own unique and interesting flavor, but they are still very similar in what they all appeal to.

And besides, Lizardfolk are freaking awesome. They are so much cooler than they have any right to be, and I hope that actually including them as an early and supported ancestry helps them to get a bit of recognition.


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YES! TIEFLING AND AASIMAR HERITAGES! PROBABLY GANZI AND APHORITE TOO! I'M GETTING MY ELF-GANZI READY BABY!


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Here's how I would deal with this conundrum.

Aasimar, Tiefling, Ganzi, Aphorite, Duskwalker, Ifrit, Undine, Oread, and Sylph (and others that I am sure there are but I can't remember them all off the top of my head) should all be heritages. They should all be special unique heritages that can be applied to any ancestry, so you can have an Elf-Ganzi, a Human Aasimar, or whatever.

Yes, this means that you can't have Half-Elf Tieflings technically, unless later on a feat is allowed that let's you take from multiple heritages at once, but I don't think that's a huge problem. Even if they don't have a feat like that, it wouldn't be that outlandish to play an Elf or Orc (when Or eventually comes) and play it as a Half Elf or Half-Orc.

As for the Various sub-types of Tiefling and Aasimar, I honestly think this has an extremely easy fix. Since Ancestry feats are a guaranteed part of your leveling progress now, you have various Heritage feat train sets associated with each subtype.

I don't remember the specific levels that you get Ancestry feats, but let's say that there's a feat at level 4, 8, 12, and 16 (just for the sake of demonstration).

You would have various Ancestry feats that are only available to the specific planetouched heritages that represent the Musetouched and the like. At level 4 you could take the Ancestry feat Musetouched and at level 8 you could take Greater Musetouched. Maybe even a level 12/16 final one called True Musetouched or Awakened Musetouched or something. These could replicate the abilities that the PF1 Musetouched had or they could be more creative with them, since the PF1 Aasimar and Tiefling subraces only had very slight changes.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Also the 4 spell lists are NOT equal. Non-Arcane bloodlines should have better stuff to compensate.

This. Or power up the non-arcane lists, either would work.

I actually think that Arcane Sorcerers are mostly okay, though even they could use at least a small power up...but non-Arcane Sorcerers are the ones in real trouble.

I strongly suspect that the Primal, Devine, and Occult lists will be growing significantly in the final product to equalize the spell lists to a degree.

While I do agree that Arcane Sorcs are in the best place (especially Draconic whose Bloodline powers are stronger than most of the other IMO), it is still pretty strongly outclassed by the Wizard.

The Bloodlines do give you more than the Wizard's specializations do, but it doesn't even come close to overcoming the advantages that the Wizard has.

More spells and the capacity to learn all of the spells they don't pick? The spells they have can all be heightened naturally (probably the biggest boon that the Wizard has over the Sorc), more class feats as a whole.

But the Wizard being "better" is only a problem because they are so much identical to each other in what they more or less do. The Sorc doesn't need to even be "better" it just needs to have it's own purpose. The Ranger was worse than the Fighter or the Barbarian in the playtest, but because it did it's own thing in it's own way, there was still plenty of reason to play the Ranger if they want those things.

The 12HP/level boost and much heavier focus on Bloodlines and Focus Spells over regular spells (while still letting them have powerful spells, but way fewer of them) would differentiate the Sorc not only from the Wizard, but also the Druid, Cleric, and Bard.

I'm glad that people seem to be receptive to these ideas. I know that whatever Paizo has done with the Sorcerer is already decided, and I can only hope that whatever they decided on similarly makes the Sorcerer fun and exciting and changes their base class from the "Main" spellcasters of each spell list.


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So one of my biggest concerns for PF2 is in my favorite class conceptually, the Sorcerer. Carrying on the blood of dragons or ancient magical cultures or whatever and channelling them into magical potency is probably the coolest concept for me out of the classes.

Unfortunately, we got the playtest and the Sorcerer was...well underwhelming. I love the concept that Sorcs have access to any of the 4 spell lists depending in their bloodline. That's cool. The problem is that no matter what spell list you pick, the Sorc is always just an inferior version of the primary spellcaster for that spell list.

Why be a Fae blooded Sorcerer when the Druid has the same spells, more health, Wild Shape (a single ability almost as flavorful and major as the spellcasting itself) and 4 potential paths which are all quite potent, while the Sorcerer only gets a couple bloodline abilities, some of which are cool but none of which even come close to making up the distance.

Plus the spellcasting itself is weaker, since the Sorc can only have so many spells and cannot heighten those spells however they see fit.

All in all the Sorc of the playtest was bland and uninteresting and I am very much hoping it gets a complete redesign from the ground up that gives the Sorc it's own niche outside of the other casters and makes you want to play them. I have not seen any evidence of anyone showing them since the info on PF2 has started coming out, and I don't know if this means people still don't care that much or if Paizo is trying to keep it under wraps because they're really excited about it.

But this is all just my estimation. I want to know what everyone else thinks. Is the general thought that the playtest Sorcerer was underwhelming and undesirable or am I in the minority? And if the former, how should the Sorcerer be fixed.

Personally, I would REALLY change the entire core of the class, taking some inspiration from the 5e Warlock, although not going quite so far down that path.

First, I'd keep the fact that the Sorc can act as the spontaneous caster for all 4 magic types depending on the bloodline. That's awesome and carries some really cool flavor. However, rather than having 3+1 of every spell slot other than their highest level, I would restrict them to only 2 or 3 spell slots of the three highest spell levels that they can cast.

So at level 20 (without the level 10 spells feat) they have 2 or 3 spell slots for levels 7, 8, and 9 only, with no level 6 or lower spell slots. To make sure that their lower level spells can still be used, they have spontaneous heightening for all their spells.

To compensate for this loss of spell slots, they get two major buffs. First (probably more controversially) they get 12 + Con health per level. Same as a Barbarian. The Sorcerer now acts as the "in the thick of things" Spellcaster. Not necessarily a Gish (although this would make them the most viable for that build) but the Spellcaster who is completely okay with running head-first into the fray and dropping the fireball at their own feet.

12 might seem like a huge jump, and it is, and maybe even slightly stepping on the Barbarian's toes, but I've always seen the Sorcerer as running very much parallel to the Barbarian, as their magic equivalent, with their natural power and super-charged bodies.

Secondly, the Sorcerer needs to lean much, MUCH more heavily into their bloodline abilities, getting both Focus Spells and passive abilities from each one. They should be THE focus spell class, almost using them over the regular spells. Dragon Breath, Claws, and Wings should be the bread and butter of the Dragon Sorcerer, not just extra things to fall back on when they're not casting spells. They should also get Dragon scales passively, which either gives them a low level Mage Armor on all the time, or gives them proficiency in unarmored defense which scales with Monks.

The rest of the Bloodlines should be similar. Abyssal should get a power (active or passive) for all of the seven deadly sins. Fae should feel like you almost are an Archfae by the time you're level 20.

I don't think this would be too much either. Considering how powerful Druid powers, Compositions, and just everything that IS the Wizard and Cleric, and limiting the Sorcerer's spell slots so drastically, I think this is a fine compromise that makes the Sorcerer exciting and fun.


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MaxAstro wrote:

With that line of reasoning, though, what differentiates a Cleric and an Inquisitor?

I think there is room for more than one "gets powers from a god" class. Critically, there is a big difference between "gets full casting from a god" and "gets powers from a god but isn't a caster", that is much bigger than just "one is more martial". Fighters are not just "more martial" wizards, even though both get their abilities from intense study.

That's an erroneous comparison to make though.

A Fighter and a Wizard may both study, but they're studying completely different things in very different ways. Paladins and Clerics literally do the same thing but get a drastically different result. It'd be more like studying as a Fighter and somehow that has a chance of also just giving you a Barbarian rage instead.

I realize this is also a flawed analogy because gaining an ability through study and gaining an ability through being given it by a deity are qualitatively different, but it is a closer comparison.

Also, to clarify, I totally understand that the idea that a god can only give power to a person one way is silly. For the purposes of character ideas, a god can give favor however you want. Nethys might look favorably upon some guy who helped save a particularly important magic item and so gifts him with an instinctual understanding of the mechanics of magic, thus turning him into a level 1 wizard.

But from a design standpoint, why would you want two different classes that have the exact same flavor when you could have them be their own thing? Doesn't that offer more design space and potential for different character types?

And as for "what about anti-paladins?" question, well why not? There are a dozen different answers I could come up with for that question. Why can't the universe have an innate fundamental goodness AND an innate fundamental evilness? Law and Chaos too? The universe is vast and complex and doesn't follow our ideas of what a thing is or should be. The idea that only God's can be divine doesn't even make sense to me, but to be fair, I'm also a pagan, so my mindset is probably not the norm in that regard.

I dunno. I don't have a problem with the concept, but I do know one of my main players who is in almost all of my games thinks I'm crazy and doesn't understand how someone can be a Paladin of good if a God of goodness doesn't grant it to them. It's probably just a matter of YMMV.


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Sorcerer, 110%! I never multiclass the first character I make in any new edition. I feel like I get a better idea as to the way a game is meant to feel if I stay within a pure class, and then after that initial character I start experimenting more.

Sorcerer's have always been my favorite class conceptually, but they have always sort of lagged behind the Wizard in terms of actual power and usefulness (you can still make a powerful Sorc, but it's almost always easier to make a powerful Wizard). I'm hoping that my beloved Bloodline Caster can step up to the plate and be a truly amazing force, maybe not as versitile as a Wizard, but better in what it specializes in.


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I have never understood why Paladins were ever connected to gods in the way they have been. What differentiates a Paladin who gets their powers from a god and a Cleric? One is more martial? Why would that change what they essentially are? Why wouldn't it just be a martial Cleric?

Now that we have Champions instead, it feels even more arbitrary (and as a side note, Champion is a rather weird name, since the term is already thrown around so casually in a fantasy setting. Do you suddenly gain semi-divine powers if you win a jousting tournament and become the "Champion" of a local Lord? I'd prefer something like Herald).

I absolutely believe that you can have Champions who fight for the cause of a God like Iomedae or Asmodeus or whomever, but if they gained their power from those Gods, they are a Cleric in my eyes. They follow the same rules and their power comes from the same rituals and bonds.

A Champion/Paladin/Whatever is someone who gains their power through their sheer force of will, dedication, and devotion to a cause. The techniques to achieve this is more complex than just wanting it really badly and "Boom!" you now get a fancy Aura and divine focus spells. You need to prove your devotion and make sacrifices to the cause.

But once you do? Yes, you are a guy who is literally powered by your innate goodness. The Divine goodness of the universe itself empowers you.


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I've always really liked the way that PF2 differentiates between the different types of magic, and how it makes them feel qualitatively different.

I also never understood why certain classes had arbitrarily different spell lists. The Magus for example. It casts arcane magic. It learns it's spells exactly the same way as a Wizard. Why does it have a different spell list exactly? In 5e, a Sorcerer's list is different from a Wizard's which is different from a Warlock's or a Bard's, despite all of them being Arcane casters.

Having 4 definitive spell lists, all of which are well defined and you can understand why they are different, is a very good thing.

I've seen a lot of people complain that PFP is not very flavorful in some of its elements, but there are definitely some things which they do excellently in that regard that no one else has done.

Making the three components of spells into actions helps to conceptualize exactly how those spells activate. In my 5e game, whenever the Sorcerer shoots a fireball, they just kind of mime flinging the fireball, since it takes the same one action as an attack does and the components almost never come up (unless they are sneaking or their hands are bound or something).

Now, I have to imagine that since each component is tied to a single action, we'll have more people giving more complex casting of spells that will feel much more impactful and cinematic.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm almost entirely certain the falchion became a 2h weapon because someone at WotC thought "A scimitar compares to a longsword by trading a die of damage for a higher crit range, we need something similarly analogous for the greatsword... what can I call that."

Since PF2 has neither "crit ranges" nor "3.5 compatibility" we could always fix this, but we'd need another word for "giant scimitar."

Kreigsmesser. The word they're looking for is Kriegsmesser.

Or just Messer. True, it's not as specific, since a Messer could also be a one-handed weapon, but it's at least more correct than Falchion.

breithauptclan wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm almost entirely certain the falchion became a 2h weapon because someone at WotC thought "A scimitar compares to a longsword by trading a die of damage for a higher crit range, we need something similarly analogous for the greatsword... what can I call that."

Since PF2 has neither "crit ranges" nor "3.5 compatibility" we could always fix this, but we'd need another word for "giant scimitar."

Nodachi?

Nodachi's are Japanese Greatswords. Since the Katana is an uncommon version of a Longsword (unless you're playing in a Japanese inspired location, in which case the Longsword is the uncommon one), it makes more sense for the Nodachi to just be the same thing for the Greatsword.


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I had some ideas on helping to fix this a while back. My basic idea was to give everyone a free archetype or dedication as a part of their character progression.

In simpler form, it would look like this.

You'd chose a class at level one and an archetype at level 2. Archetypes would look exactly like they do now, but instead of costing class feats, they'd have their own feat pool. Probably one every 5 levels after the first one at level 2.

A free archetype would open up a lot of extra leeway in designing your character.

A few things would have to be reworked. For example, since you could now have things like Fighter class with Fighter Archetype (if you wanted to just be the most Fighter Fighter to ever Fighter), the way certain base class abilities leveled up would have to be reduced. In this system, Fighter would naturally only get to Master in all weapon Proficiencies, and the Fighter Archetype would increase Weapon Proficiencies by one stage by having it. So only a Fighter/Fighter would get Legendary in everything.

However, there would also be Archetypes that gave you proficiency bonus in specific weapons. So a Fighter/Dervisher would have Master in most weapons, but Legendary specifically in agile weapons.

Barbarian would only go up to Expert proficiency, but Barbarian/Fighter would then have Master and Barbarian with an Archetype that focuses on Great Weapons would have Master specifically in two-handed weapons.

You could add a BUNCH of things to open up more design space, and give people more capacity to build as they want, while keeping it much easier to balance things, since rather than having to account for every possible permutation of feats, you're really only looking at how specific bunches of feats interact with each other.


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This really isn't a problem.

As stated, the Paladin code has a hierarchy. Of course the Paladin has every right to stop the slaver and free his slaves, threatening him, and killing him if need be, because the protection of Innocents is more important than not telling others how to live their lives.

However, even WITHOUT the hierarchy, this is a non-issue, due to one simple thing.

"You must respect the choices others make with their own lives.

A slaver is controlling other people's lives, harming them and enforcing his will on them. A Liberator can absolutely stop this even without the earlier tennant.

All the Liberator's code means is that you can't stop someone from living their own life the way they wan't, even if it is destructive to themselves or extremely stupid.

For example, say a shapeshifting fae had gotten a local farmer to fall in love with her by turning into the most beautiful maiden he had ever seen. The Liberator knows that the fae is using him, and that the beautiful form is just an illusion, but if the farmer still wants to go? *Shrug*, it's his choice I guess.

"But the fae is just using you?"

"That's fine. She'll still take care of me."

"Her actual form is hideous!"

"I don't care. It's not like mortal women don't hide their blemishes. She's just better at it."

"You're body will eventually die in her realm because it's not designed to live there!"

"I'd rather live a few years in happiness than 100 years miserable."

See, the Liberator would have to let him go. It's his choice and it harms no one.

The ACTUAL problem is what happens when people we would consider incapable of making their own decisions tries to do something that could harm themselves. 5 year old Timmy has snuck out of his house because he's gonna go slay the Dragon! The Liberator meets him a mile out from town. Can the Liberator actually stop him if he can't convince him to go back? Or does he just have to let the kids know try and go with him to try and keep him safe?

Most people would consider a child unable to make his own life choices, especially ones that put themselves in great danger. But does a Liberator just have to grit his teeth and go along with it?


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Draco18s wrote:
Alyran wrote:
Fireball actually says 20-foot burst.

Thank you, I was mis-remembering and didn't go look it up. Silly of me.

10 feet of extra radius isn't going to be worth a focus, but it's better than alchemist's fire.

It might be better for, say, a Fighter who doesn't have a lot of things better to use Focus on. Built for niche moments where you have to consider whether or not hitting 4 more enemies is worth potentially super charging a potion one more time.

For a Sorcerer or a Paladin? Yeah, it's not worth it. They're much better served using Focus on their class powers, which got a huge buff (Fire Ray's highest level blast if the user can cast level 10 spells is now 19d6 plus 10d6 persistent on a crit, as compared to just 10d6 maxed before)

But then, why would the Sorcerer, who has their own blasts, use a Necklace of Fireballs?

I think people have this idea that Focus points need to be equally as useful for each class, but I don't think this is true. Nor should it be. It gives a use for Charisma for every class without it being needed. Do you want your Fighter/Rogue/Ranger to have high Focus? Totally legit builds now, as it allows them to get more use out of healing potions and activated magic items, but you can also totally forgo that for better physical stats, and you're not really missing out on all that much.

Meanwhile, classes with powerful class powers need it more and probably will be using activated items and supercharged potions less often. And classes like the Sorcerer, which is already built around Cha gets a buff over the more comprehensive Wizard by having both more uses of powers and still being able to down a super potion on occasion.

This is why I hesitate to jump in and support Bardarok's remake. Consider how powerful the new examples of powers are. 19d6 + a potential 10d6 persistent? Give an equivalent power to the Sorcerer and suddenly that is available 10-14 times per rest? Spells become even less useful. By a large amount.

The only class that seems really hurt by this is the Monk. Who is now even more MAD if they want to be Ki-focused. The Monk needs a buff if this is going to stick, but it can't be TOO powerful. If the Monk can just spend 10 minutes after battle to meditate and get all Focus back, that is way too much. Maybe Meditating could only restore you to a maximum of half your total Focus, rounded down? Then make Ki abilities really good, similar to Fire Ray, and make it so that even a Monk with only 2 Focus can be assured of one super-shot per combat (assuming he isn't ambushed before meditation is over).

Other than the extra bookkeeping, I really like this update. Making more possible builds for every class that are all viable is a good thing. Does balancing need finessing? Sure, but this is definitely a positive step.


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D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:

Looks like too many pools for my tastes, I personally would be fine with 3 genetic feats or traits (including half heritages) and 1 cultural heritage ability, big flavorful and juicy

+class skills and general of course

I agree. Pathfinder already has a reputation for being overwhelming for newcomers. Heck, I am the kind of person who loves world building, character creation, and fine details, and even I feel like that would end up way too much.

I honestly think that the Ancestries are fine where they are, although needing a bit of fine tuning in the details. I would like an option for cross cultural characters (a human raised by dwarves), but other than that, everything seems good there.

I still really think that my Archetype revamp fixes so much and creates for a much more dynamic and diverse set of characters.

Even if you left skills exactly as is, that alone would be enough to fix the Playtest to the point of being one of, if not the single, best TTRPG for me.


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D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
This thread is very good, I like the ideas and I think the game would be vastly improved by their implementation.

I'm glad so many people enjoy my idea here. I put a lot of thought into it before posting.

If this sort of system was in place, what kind of Archetypes would people like to see?


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So I really love a lot of things in the Playtest and I find certain elements to be a big improvement on the TTRPG genre as a whole. However there are some things which need finessing and a decent number of problems that can be improved upon.

Some of the biggest complaints about the game involve designing your character and how much more narrow your options are for designing a character. Wanna be a duel-weilding or sharp-shooter Barbarian? You can, but you'll always suck compared to a Fighter or Ranger in the same vein.

In top of this, increasing your proficiency in skills feels...well to put it bluntly, dull. Going from Master to Legendary at level 15 in any skill chagnges your bonus from 17 to 18...not very exciting. You have to wait another level to get a Legendary Skill Feat before you start feeling actually Legendary.

A lot of this has to do with the Pathfinder Playtest design mentality which puts so much weight on balance and "class niche" that it doesn't allow much design flexibility or variance outside of the scope of what the classic version of that class can do.

Here is my proposed solution that allows people to have a lot more design flexibility, while maintaining the Playtest's design goal of being more structured, and also fixing the problem with skill proficiency on the way there.

1) Every class needs different paths to take. Plenty already do, like the Sorcerer's Bloodlines or the Barbarian's Totems. But every class needs something like this so that my Paladin feels more substantially different from yours. Paladin is actually a good example because it's a very easy one. Have the different Paladin paths be tied to the different Alignments, each one adjusting how the Paladin's base powers work and only allowing some class feats to be taken by certain alignments. Other classes might be trickier, like the Fighter, but I think it would be doable.

2) Get rid of Skill Feats. Instead, fold in the abilities of skill feats with the proficiency increases. Maybe not all. Some are specialized enough that you could instead make them General feats but as a whole If I am legendary in Athletics, then I should be able to either swim or climb effortlessly. If I can't do that, then what exactly makes me legendary?

3) And this is the big one. Completely redesign the Archetype system. Now that you don't have Skill feats anymore, replace skill feats with Archetype feats (less of them of course, maybe 4-5 or so total, not counting the initial Archetype dedication, which would be at level 2). Everybody gets an Archetype, and they have their own separate feats so you don't have to spend a class feat to get an archetype feat. You still can, if you want to have multiple archetypes, but you don't need to.

With this, you could do a lot of things. First, it adds a lot more creative flexibility in creating your character. Want a Barbarian that duel weilds throwing axes? The Barbarian itself has nothing for that, but he could take either the Ranger archetype or a new archetype that specializes in duel weilding. You can do this now of course, but you are disincentivized to do so because you end up a s~@&tier half-Barbarian to do so. Not very fun.

You could also Archetype into the same class as you already have if you want to be super-specialized. Play a Wizard who archetypes into Wizard and you have a Wizard who can take more than one school, has one more spell slot per level, and a few more low level wizard feats to make them ultra-wizardy. But if they want to Archetype into anything else, they don't feel like they are giving up their wizard stuff.

Want a Paladin or Ranger who is a spellcaster like in PF1? Archetype into Cleric or Druid. Want an Eldrich Knight? C-Fighter/A-Wizard or vise versa. Yes, you can do all of this now, but this way, since they are their own thing, and don't use class feats, it becomes a flavor and twist on top of your class RATHER than something that takes away from your class.

Right now, a Paladin who tries to get spellcasting by taking the Cleric dedication Archetype has to give up his Cleric feats to do so, including some of his high level feats, in order to get relatively worse Cleric feats. In this system, the only thing the Paladin is giving up is the option to take the Fighter Archetype instead and thus become a better swordsman, but he is still every bit as much of a good Paladin.

There could be a lot of other new Archetypes too for specialization in different things.

Duel weilding? Dervisher Archetype.

Ranged attack? Sharpshooter Archetype (good for casters too because it has feats for improving ranged touch attacks as well as ranged melee attacks).

Shield specialized? Protector Archetype (maybe a better name than that...)

I realize a lot of things would have to be reworked in order to make this work. Maybe some of the base class stuff would have to not progress as far. Maybe the Fighter only gets to Master in Weapons naturally, but the Fighter Archetype increases your Weapon proficiency by one stage so only a Fighter who also takes the Fighter Archetype gets Legendary (although you could probably tack on a Proficiency increase in only that weapon type to the Archetypes that specialize in a specific weapon type, like agile weapons for Dervisher, so the Fighter would still become Legendary, but only in a smaller group of weapons).

All of this, I feel, would be a much better system for players who want to have creative flexibility to design a character as they want and not feel punished for it, But also allow the devs to be able to keep to their design goals of not letting one class step on the niche of other classes and preventing extremely unbalanced combos that power-gamers take advantage of.

Thoughts?

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