Cale the Calistrian

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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?


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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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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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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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?


Greatswords are one of the most well loved weapons in classic fantasy roll playing for a variety of reasons, especially when you are playing as a Barbarian or the like.

Why would they, seemingly intentionally, make the Greatsword a functionally inferior weapon to the Bastard Sword?

When you weird the BaSw two handed, it has the exact same damage as the GrSw. The GrSw has only one advantage against the BaSw, that being that it is versatile and can do slashing or piercing damage. This will usually never come up unless you happen to come across something that is specifically weak to piercing damage (I don't even know how many of those that there are in the bestiary, other than not many). You could literally go through a whole campaign and never benefit from that.

Meanwhile the Bastard Sword can also be used 1 handed, exactly like a Longsword. This is extremely useful even for a character desiring to use two-handed weapons. It allows for grappling, picking up things more easily, and a bunch of other stuff. And if you need sheer DPS, again, the the BaSw can be used exactly as a GrSw as well.

I don't mind certain weapons being straight up better than others. Nothing can ever be perfectly balanced without being boring and homoginized, but one martial weapon should never make another martial weapon completely obsolete. Especially one as iconic and popular as the Greatsword.

The Greatsword needs something. Something just a little extra to give you a reason to use it. It doesn't even have to make it as good as the Bastard Sword. It just needs something substantial that the BaSw doesn't have so that there is a reason to use it. Piercing damage is not substantial.

Personally I'd pick the forceful trait. It's a relatively minor damage buff that only works on multiple attacks, but it still makes the Greatsword potentially hit harder, and it goes along with the idea of building momentum while swinging a Greatsword around.

tl;dr version. Greatswords are awesome and need something cool to make them not just a Bastard Sword that you can't weild one-handed.

For the record, all this applies to Longsword too. It also needs something to give you a reason to use one if you want. Maybe Parry for a Longsword?


Question for all. I've been playing Pathfinder for a little under a year now and another friend is interested in trying, so my DM and I have decided to set up a quick one-mission game for her in order to let her have a taste and see if she likes it.

We're starting at lvl 2, since that's easier to work out, and she rolled up a Halfling Investigator. The way my DM does stats is by having the player roll 4d6, and drop the lowest die roll, do that 6 times and plug your scores in wherever you want.

She ended up with scores as follows

6 Str, 19 Dex, 16 Con, 17 Int, 14 Wis, 15 Cha, after racial modifiers.

Problem is that now, with a Str modifier of -2, and being a Small creature to begin with, she going to be doing negligible damage at most.

There are a few ways around this. Give her a crossbow perhaps. Only problem being that we would not have any up-close fighters in the group. Have her just not be a combat focused character is another choice, but since this is a mini-game designed to show her what the game is about, I feel like that would not be very productive.

Or, even though it might be sort of b~+%~##$, give her an agile weapon and let her know that in a more legitimate game that would never happen at level 2 (she would then take Weapon Finesse as her feat if we did this).

We'd have a lot more options to choose from if we weren't just sticking with level 2 characters (I might have a chat with my DM and up that to 4 or 6 for her), but as it stands...yeah not a lot.

Are there any other decent ways that this Halfling Investigator could be usable in combat?