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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.

Agreed. I'm not sold on the trait idea. Sure, it works for a Winter Witch, and a few others. But some, like the Hedge Witch, require a few spells of such variance that trying to find a trait to encompass them seems an effort in futility.

Like, a proper Hedge Witch, IMO, needs Summon Fey (or possibly animal), Heal, Circle of Protection, Wall of Thorns, ect. What trait would encompass all of that without throwing in a bunch of other superfluous stuff?

Perhaps instead of traits, we do like what the Sorc does with it's bonus spells. So Witches are always Occult, but then they get a bonus spells from another spell list every spell level based on the patron, and occasionally you can have an option to pick between two or more. So the so for level 2 spells the Hedge Witch can pick between Summon Fey and Summon Animal. The level 1 could be a choice between Heal and Protection.

Then as new spells are added, every so often add an Errata for Witch, Sorcerer, and any other spellcaster that functions this way that adds alternate choices for their bonus spells.

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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:


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.

Bandw2 wrote:

i don't personally like the patron being known necessarily by the witch, and thus the player. really limits possibly story archs.

also, if my player picks a specific patron that i don't feel like jamming into the story it might not belong, it can be even more lack luster.

I'm not asking for specific, named patrons. I'm asking for basically the same as PF1 had, where the Patron is an archetype, and then for you to get certain examples for what that Archetype might be. So Winter Witch would be what the mechanics say, and Baba Yaga would be an example for what that might be.

Easy to ignore if you don't want to deal with it in your campaign but also more mechanically fleshed out so that every patron functions completely identically.

AnimatedPaper wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:
That is a fair concern, but with the much tighter math of PF2, and the stipulation that it has to be common creatures, I don't feel that it is likely that we'd get overpowered familiars.
I must have missed that part. Where does it say familiars have to be common?

Sorry, I mean in my suggestion it says that you can trade out some of your familiar abilities for a Common, Tiny Lvl 0 or 1 creature.

That is a fair concern, but with the much tighter math of PF2, and the stipulation that it has to be common creatures, I don't feel that it is likely that we'd get overpowered familiars.

I think it more likely that we'd run into the problems of some not being good enough to justify loosing your familiar abilities. Which would also be a problem, but far less so, and it's unlikely they'd suck so bad that it would seriously punish people who want to use them for flavor.

I just really, REALLY want a Lyrakien familiar. A Voidworm too, but for my personal Witch the Lyrakien is basically mandatory.

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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.


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.


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.

Words and mere words cannot express the joy in my heart at those words. May Cayden Cailean bless you with good cheer.

Do we expect the actual playtest to drop that day or will it drop some time before or after?

As a further note, do we know if the APG playtest is going to be more or less the whole book in the way that the CRB playtest was, or will it just be the classes?

I was hoping to see how planetouched ancestries will look in PF2, and maybe some exciting new spells. But I have only heard people discussing the classes for playtesting. And I could see Paizo only playtesting the classes considering that would be the elements most in need of playtesting.

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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.

Shocking Grasp actually seems to be in the minority for PF2. A lot of what we would usually consider "touch" spells are saves and not attack rolls. Vampiric Touch, Lay on Hands (when used as an attack against undead and the like), and a lot of these sorts of spells require saves and not an attack roll.

And to be honest, to me this DOES make more sense and sort of replaces the idea of Touch AC, since magic doesn't care about your armor but might care about you being able to resist it. I would rather they change Shocking Grasp to a Dex Save personally.

As for Heal itself, I don't actually assume that you have to touch the person in question to heal them. I interpret Heal as the Cleric sticking their hand out an aura of positive energy engulfs the person you are using it on. There isn't a "bolt" of healing on the two action version.

The artwork for Lay on Hands seems to support this. If you open up the CRB and go to the Focus spells and find Lay on Hands (I think it is page 387 or something), the artwork shows the Champion holding their hand out next to their downed ally, but not actually touching them. Instead a sort of bubble of healing magic springs out of their hand and surrounds the target.

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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.

WatersLethe wrote:

A high intelligence prepared caster can achieve their power through study and practice, just like Wizards. That's one of the reasons I liked Witch in PF1, because they could learn spells like a Wizard but had a distinct way of going about it. That is, learning more esoteric, bizarre spells gleaned from old rituals, hags, hedge magic, and bits of handed down lore. The Occult spell list does a great job at this.

Patrons never felt particularly important to the concept of a witch to me. Partly because I'd like it if you can play a "christian boogeyman witch" as well as a version of the "wiccan witch", which certainly doesn't need a patron.
Also, the etymology of the word Patron goes...

I still disagree with this to a degree.

Looking specifically at the Pathfinder Witch specifically and not just the generic concept of a Witch, yes a Witch is an INT caster and thus improves their magic through practice and study, but the magic in question is only accessible through the Patron via the Familiar. Hence why the Familiar acts as the Witch's spellbook and teacher.

A Witch that solely learns their magical abilities themselves with no Patron at all isn't a Witch, they're a Wizard. Sure, you can argue that the Witch delves into more esoteric and unknown magics, but the difference in that is basically just academic. There is no reason a Wizard can't go about studying older and forgotten rituals. Heck, in doing so they could even have a feat or even a whole archetype that lets them take some spells from the Occult Spell list.

The thing that makes the Witch thematically different IS the Patron. Even if that Patron can more or less be ignored during gameplay (just like how if you are playing a Wizard, you don't need to roleplay out the intense study during downtime in order to learn a new spell). If you want to play a Winter Witch, there is no reason at all that at your table you can't say "Hey, I don't really want to deal with Baba Yaga and her craziness, so can I just say that I am learning from the essense of Winter itself?". But that is still a Patron. You are still being tied to that Patron through your familiar and drawing knowledge from it. A Patron doesn't NEED to be a singular entity. It just needs to be some outside power that you can make a pact with.

And yes, I get that in PF2, they have stated a desire to move towards Patrons that are defined individuals rather than nebulous and unknown entities, but that is just flavor-text. There's no reason you can't decide that it works that way for your table.

As a final note, the etymology of Patron thing is a non-starter. Patron doesn't mean that anymore. Words change and evolve over time. Patron doesn't refer specifically to a father figure any more than ambidextrous means that you are untrustworthy or two-faced (which was the original terminology of the word, and MUCH more recently than Patron used to refer to father).

While this is a good spell for a low level spell, especially based on the fact that they still take the full base damage on a fail (other first level spells, as far as I can tell, usually don't do that). But yeah, I don't think it's THAT great.

Yes, some BBEGs are going to resist Cold, but WAY less than in PF1 and a good number, including the Balor (arguably the biggest of the BBEGs as far as basic monsters go) are weak to it.

Sickened is not the worst condition out there, although it is "good" especially if you're up against a spellcaster since it lowers their spell save DCs.

The thing is, at higher levels the damage just...isn't a huge amount. Comparing it to Cone of Cold (just because other people are, so why not?). Phantom Pain upcast to 5th level actually does out-damage Cone of Cold on successful save on average, doing 25 (10d4) to 21 (12d6 / 2). However this is to be expected since Phantom Pain targets only one creature.

On a failed save, it becomes a bit more interesting, since now CoC out-damages PhP, but only on the initial turn, comparing 37.5 to 42. But PhP now has a rider effect that is not bad at all, as they will continue to take that 12.5 persistent damage if they don't get rid of the sickened condition, so it will quickly outpace CoC against a BBEG (unless said BBEG has even 1 minion that you can also hit and thus double the output of CoC).

On a crit fail save though, CoC now comes out quite a bit ahead, as it now does 84 damage compared to PhP's...still 37.5. It will take a decent few turns for PhP's persistent damage to come out ahead and it'll almost certainly be gone before then. That said, it could still be extremely useful if the lessened checks and DCs from sickened are a big part of the BBEG in question. Now of course, we're not expecting a BBEG to crit fail their save, but it CAN happen, and the difference in damage here is HUGE when it does.

But honestly...Cone of Cold is a poor comparison, because CoC is MEANT to be crowd control and hit multiple enemies. It would be better to compare PhP to a single target spell. Unfortunately there aren't any 5th level single target attack spells, so lets jump to 6th level.

Well there are a couple options here. Disintegrate is one, but that spell is so complex that I'm not sure anyone really knows if it is "good" or not yet, and might actually be badly underpowered, so instead I'll go for another spell that is also on the Occult spell list, Spirit Blast!

It does 16d6 Force with a basic Fortitude, and it directly attacks the spirit, which means it can harm things that are astral projections, or if you see someone being possessed it can harm the thing possessing them without harming the body of the one being possessed. The rider effect isn't likely to come up all that often, but it is still cool. A level 6 PhP does 12d4 damage normally, plus 6d4 persistent damage.

That means that SB does 28 Force on a successful save, compared to 30 Mental from PhP. The number difference is tiny, but notable. However while there are some things which can ignore Mental effects and damage (not a whole lot, but some) as far as I know, nothing at all resists Force. So lets say equal. On a failed save, that's 56 Force damage vs. 45 Mental and sickened. And on a Crit fail that is 112 Force vs. 45 Mental and sickened 2. And then depending on how things go, PhP can potentially add another 15 per round if the persistent damage isn't shaken off.

Again, while certain enemies are going to be really hurt by that sickened effect, some can basically ignore it and the persistent damage doesn't say that it persists as long as the target remains sickened, just that it goes away when they are no longer sickened. So personally, I'd say that at this point Spirit Blast is better. Not HUGELY better, since on a regular failed save the damage difference isn't that much, but I personally would rather use it.

And honestly that is saying a LOT for a low level spell that is upcast, so I don't think you're wrong to praise it. But I also don't think it's the be all and end all. It's good. But just good.

Xenocrat wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:

You can still get a crit for 64d10 (avg 352) if you use a 10th level Spell Combination slot to double up a pair of 8th level Disintegrates.

I know it's an obviously good choice, but somehow picking the same spell twice for Spell Combination feels against the spirit of that ability. Uninteresting, even if optimal.

I think until they publish more matching spells it's the only good reason to even take Spell Combination right now unless you're really in love with fast buffing in combat. Double Disintegrate is the only actually strong spell combination, I'd prefer the free metamagic feat or the extra 10th level spell over everything else I've been able to come up with.

No, I totally get that from an optimization viewpoint. But it also takes probably the most conceptually interesting level 20 feat for a Wizard and reduces it to this-

"So you know how when I cast Disintegrate, I use one hand?"


"Well...what if I used, TWO hands?"

Xenocrat wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:

I figured there was something I was missing. Thanks for the clarification.

It's a shame as Disintegrate seems rather underwhelming in this edition compared to more powerful spells like Chain Lightning, but at the same time, this would mean you could get the equivalent of 80d10 damage on a level 10 Disintegrate, and even on a very low chance, that seems absurd.

You can still get a crit for 64d10 (avg 352) if you use a 10th level Spell Combination slot to double up a pair of 8th level Disintegrates.

I know it's an obviously good choice, but somehow picking the same spell twice for Spell Combination feels against the spirit of that ability. Uninteresting, even if optimal.

But yes, if you use a 10th level spell and a Level 20 Wizard feat, you can pull off an insane blast.

A ~30% greater blast with no feat required would have been quite a bit bigger.

Plus if the spell DID work the way I assumed, that would mean the Wizard could pull off the equivalent of a 128d10 super laser of ULTRADEATH...

I figured there was something I was missing. Thanks for the clarification.

It's a shame as Disintegrate seems rather underwhelming in this edition compared to more powerful spells like Chain Lightning, but at the same time, this would mean you could get the equivalent of 80d10 damage on a level 10 Disintegrate, and even on a very low chance, that seems absurd.

So the relevant specific text of the spell Disintegrate from Archive of Nethys reads as follows

Archive of Nethys wrote:
You fire a green ray at your target. Make a spell attack. You deal 12d10 damage, and the target must attempt a basic Fortitude save. On a critical hit, treat the save result as one degree worse. A creature reduced to 0 HP is reduced to fine powder; its gear remains.

Now since this spell involves both an attack roll AND a Fortitude save, as far as I can tell, RAW this allows you two opportunities to multiply damage from the spell.

Whenever you make an attack roll, and you crit, you double the damage done by the attack. Now, Disintegrate specifies another effect that also happens on a crit, but nothing in the rules, unless I have missed something, states that this effect replaces the normal crit effect.

Then the recipient makes a basic Fortitude save. A crit fail on this also doubles the damage from the source. And since on a crit attack roll, the degree of success is dropped by one, that is quite a bit more likely to happen.

Thus, on a crit hit, followed by a crit fail on the Fort save (which you still get on a regular fail), Disintegrate SHOULD do 12d10 x 4 damage.

Is this the correct interpretation or in this instance is there a reason that only the Fort save considered when calculating damage multipliers?

Yes! I am definitely of the excite.

As a lover of the way Pathfinder does their planar divisions, I am hoping to see the rest of the level 20 outsiders. We have the Pleroma, Balor, and Pit Fiend. I wanna see the Solar Angel, the Bastion Archon, the Izfiitar Protean, the...I think it's the Olethrodaemon which is the Level 20 Daemon? The Yamaraj Psychopomp.

And then just...Agathions. since we didn't have them in Bestiary 1 at all.

Also, I know so many people want Primal and Imperial Dragons, and yeah they should probably come first, but I really want to see Planar dragons as well. Give me my Havok Dragon! And my Tumult Dragon and Infernal Dragons!

I see what you're saying here, but I also feel like you can make this argument for ANY of the classes with multiple paths.

I wanna be a Paladin Champion for some of the feats that are gated behind Paladin (for no good reason that I can see at all), but I don't really want Retributive Strike. I'd rather just take another Champion feat instead. I wanna play a leaf order Druid but a Leshy familiar? Eh, I don't really need that. Another feat please!

Sorcs are already one of the most versatile and powerful classes in the game. Probably the first time I can remember where I actually think they're better than Wizards. The initial bloodline power is a part of being a sorcerer and separates them from the other spellcasters.

I agree with getting to chose to take or not to take later bloodline powers, since not being able to pick that would heavily narrow your options for possible Sorc builds, and because you can say that a Sorc can chose to delve deeper into their blood to find greater power but don't HAVE to. But at the end of the day you HAVE the blood and there needs to be SOMETHING to show that.

Pre-chosen spells which anyone else could also have, and skills which again anyone could have, are not enough for this. The bloodline magic could be, but that is a very small effect that IMO wouldn't be enough to make the base Sorc unique enough.

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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.

I admit I also would love an Improved Familiar feat which would allow you to take the effects of the familiar and layer them on top of various CR 1 creatures, basically one for each "type" of monster. A Pseudodragon for Dragons, an Imp for Devils and Quasit for Demons, an Alchemic Ooze of some sort, a Cassisian Angel, Arbiter Aeon, Voidworm Protean, Lyrakian Azata, and so on and so forth.

I don't know what sort of level restriction there'd be on that, but I don't think it would be that powerful if given the basic restrictions of familiars. I just want my chaotic good Fey Sorcerer to have a Lyrakian or Voidworm and to actually have those abilities. They're so coooool!

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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.

Another potential option. In the case of Clerics, a your divine power comes from your deity of choice directly. However in the case of Sorcs, their power comes from their bloodline directly. Thus, an argument can be made that your spells should in some way reflect the source of your bloodline powers.

Infernal Sorc uses Divine Lance cantrip? Evil or Lawful damage. Even if the Sorc themselves is Chaotic Good.

I know that isn't RAW and probably wouldn't work very well in the actual rules considering if it was, considering bloodlines like Undead. But if I was GMing and one of my players came to me with that, I'd probably agree to it as long as they could make a good case for it.

These are phenominal and I am about 87% sure that I probably used a character sheet from you for PF1 because they also were phenomenal. I can't wait until they are finalized.

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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'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 ('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 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. 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.

Well that's unfortunate. I do appreciate the Swift response. I don't have my book yet and couldn't find an answer on Archive of Nethys.

For the purposes of certain abilities like the different Champion's reactions, do you found as "an ally"? This makes a HUGE difference for the usage and potential builds for the Champion.

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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.

Well my favorite PrC was always Winter Witch (well, and Dragon Disciple, but we've already discussed that).

I feel like this would be a more or less easy implementation as well. I believe that it was implied that we'd eventually get Archetypes that are unique to specific classes, that would slightly adjust the base class features that those classes would get, and the Winter Witch would be a great option for this as an alternative for the regular Witch.

The real question would be, would the Winter Witch PrC archetype also be attached to a regular witch path that would also be a Winter Witch, sort of like how in PF1, you had the Winter Witch Archetype and the Winter Witch Prestige Class. And you could only pick the WW PrC if you were already the WW Archetype...which was weird, but I still really loved it.

Looking at spells, are there any Level 10 Blasting Arcane spells other than Meteor Swarm? Specifically ones that might do Cold damage (although any other type is fine too)? I am not a fire damage kind of guy.

And what does Polar Ray look like in PF2. In the playtest it was immensely powerful because of the Enervate status effect which was insane, but I believe that specific status effect doesn't exist anymore. Is whatever it was replaced with equally as powerful?

Combining these two questions, I really hope that Polar Midnight is a level 10 Arcane Spell. It is my favorite high level Pathfinder spell ever. Well, my favorite damaging spell at least...

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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...

Has the Dragon Bloodline Sorcerer undergone any changes from the playtest? More specifically, has the Dragon Claws Focus Spell been better defined and what is the blood magic of the bloodline (the rider effect on all of their Bloodline spells and focus spells)?

How does the Liberator Champion look when compared to the Redeemer and the Paladin? I am definitely a Chaotic Good fanboy, but most of the time I find chaotic good "powersets" to be sort of lackluster, if that makes sense.

AZATAS!!! I love them! Pretty much my all time favorite greater outsiders. I don't know if that's a term, but you know what I mean, the sorts of residents of the alignment planes that are the equivalent to Angels/Devils/Archons/ect.

The only other one I am really hoping for is Proteans. I want me my chaos otherworldly serpents!

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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:

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:

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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