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Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
"Fix issues" implies that there is something wrong or something is not working properly. It is different when something is just not liked. In that situation, the onus for adaption changes from the thing not liked to the one not liking.

Look kids, Uncle Leo says not to vote unless the system is wrong, otherwise, no matter how much you dislike it you're supposed to just sit there and stew.

Unicore wrote:
PF2 is a role playing game and not a tactical simulator. Playing it as a tactical simulator would be weird because the mechanics of the game only work within their own system and are not applicable to any situations where you would want to run tactical simulations.

Strange that 80% of its rules are focused on combat and that it innovates very little when it comes to writing crunch that promotes interesting exploration and roleplaying. It seems very much like PF2 is a tactical game with some token rules to move your players from one fight to the next with a couple of die rolls in between.

Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:

I'm trying to say that it is designed to function at x difficulty. It is possible that you may not like x difficulty. The beauty of the system is that shifting it to x-1, x-2, x+1, or whatever difficulty you want is sooo easy. That is the design of the system.

Many other systems I've played end up being unable to equally challenge multiple characters. Either it is too easy for one or too hard for another.

So a party of 4 bomber alchemists won't need any adjustments to tack the same challenges as a party with a cleric, fighter, rouge, and wizard? That's news to me.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, the premise of Gloomhaven is basically "I want to play a game like Pathfinder, but nobody wants to be the GM" isn't it? So it's specifically built to be a system that runs itself. So it's a weird comparison for a roleplaying game that assumes there's an actual human at the wheel capable of improvising, making judgment calls, etc.

Kind of but it can also function as a deep tactical single-player game or, as my group uses it, a tactical RPG where the combat is the focus but people still play in character.

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Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:

"...it's not just about difficulty." (and then proceeds to talk about difficulty)

This is the whole thing though. The game is intended to be the way you are describing. It is also designed to be easily toned down if the players want less difficulty. How is this a bad thing?

If they design the game to be at x difficulty every class should be designed to function at x difficulty. If some classes need to function at x-1 difficulty because Paizo botched their design process, that will lead to these sorts of threads cropping up.

Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
It tracks in that your attack stat for every class (excluding Alchemist) allows the character to do what their class is intended to do (attack, land spells, etc..).

I wasn't aware that Wisdom was needed for Cleric to buff and heal their team, so that disproves your point right there. The Fighter can be built with pure Dexterity in mind and thus can dump their "primary" stat and still work. Do Monks even have a primary stat?

This assertion also doesn't prove that offense > defense.

Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
Fair, but I am positing that the only 'need' is your attack stat. All others are wants.

How does that track? Is attacking more important than surviving? Is a +5% to hit provably better than a +5% chance to avoid a hit or make a save?

Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
Oh, I get that. I really do. But I am merely pointing out the difference between want and need.

By that logic all stats are wants and none are needs. Classes might want certain things they do to be effective, but as it's a game with zero stakes nobody ever needs anything.

A character with straight 8s in all stats at level 1, while impossible under standard stat generation, is perfectly playable.

Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:

Yes, and you want that in more cases than you want an extra point of most non-primary stat. There's a reason why the default way to assign things is to boost your primary stat + save stats. You lose out on too much in terms of saves if you don't.

Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:

They don't really fluctuate that much though. 10% at the very most. This is speaking of at level enemies. Once you get into the level+ range, the difference can fluctuate more at the multiples of 5.

The point being, the design is that an at level enemy is a challenge for 4 at level PCs.

Yes, and against those threats as well as the level+ type threats you really do want that extra point on each save and that extra bit of AC. Anything to avoid those extra percentage points to get crit because crits end fights.

AnimatedPaper wrote:
Verdyn wrote:
I added the duration specifically so it could be cast on the way into the fight to avoid this issue.

A much easier way to accomplish the same goal would be to simply not have the focus spell have somatic components. Casting a Spell does not natively provoke AoO, the somatic, focus, and material components do.

A 1 action verbal only focus spell that adds the dice damage you're talking about to your next strike on the same turn would be much more in line with current iterations on this theme; make it a two action spell that includes the strike as part of the cast and you're definitely on firm ground. The Cha damage on top of the dice seems a bit out of line but probably not outrageously so.

Yeah, that does fix things. I'm still too used to the paradigm that any casting provokes and didn't even think of this.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Maybe that's because what you're imagining isn't very good? Just a possibility. It basically just a needlessly complicated spell strike.

I do not want a spell strike. It's something that shouldn't have provoked in the first place; smite 100% shouldn't let the demon it's aimed at get the first attack in. I added the duration specifically so it could be cast on the way into the fight to avoid this issue.

Plus, divine spell striking isn't great with the arcane spell list, it would be even worse using what few divine blasting spells we get.

Cyouni wrote:
With respect, your proposal reads like someone who doesn't understand PF2 design in the slightest tried to design for PF2.

With respect, I don't see anybody else in here designing jack. People are proposing re-flavors of existing classes or half-assing suggestions for new classes. Nobody has yet even tried to design an actually mechanical means of doing what I'm imagining.


Also it's kind of a joke compared to a swashbuckler, who basically gets that every turn.

If you want a more casting-focused setup, go Champion MC Cleric/Divine Sorcerer. Or Fighter MC Cleric. There are tons of ways.

A level 9 my version of Smite would add 6d6+Cha Mod to existing weapon damage, while a swashbuckler would do 4d6 with feat-driven riders. It feels like I could probably make my version of smite a basic focus spell and not break anything, but I wanted to start conservatively as my goal is to get a class the plays my style and not to break PF2.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Your proposal was bad, and didn't actually look like a PF2 ability. Nor did it especially resemble PF1 smite.

PF1 Smite was only good because it was on the Paladin chassis which was awesome for stacking damage. If you just recreate smite exactly as it was you don't accurately capture what actually using it in PF1 did.

If you make smite a limited use melee ranged blast that uses the focus mechanic it gets close. If you get really weird maybe you get into amp territory and have an amped smite and an unamped smite, but that seems needlessly complicated. I could template that up, but the formatting isn't what you object to.

VampByDay wrote:
And, I guess I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the point. . . what about making a summoner that takes that feat to merge with their eidolon. You could be walking around AS an angel, still have access to a few spells, and in eidolon form you have decent attacks, armor, and HP. Would that solve the OP’s request?

Yeah, that would work well if Paizo gave that to us. It works even better if the summon spells could convert to heals, but that's an easy feat to add.

Captain Morgan wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Divine Favor maybe? At least that's a paladin spell.
Maybe? But it is a by Verdyn's standards a "piddly" +4 even with Fortune's favored, so that seems off.

It's a luck bonus, so even a small number helps because it stacks easily with other sources. It's also applied to weapon damage and thus multiples with charges and crits.

Captain Morgan wrote:
OK, so how is the paladin adding additional damage to the smite? Because there's plenty of ways to increase your basic melee damage, but that's not a paladin specific ability.

Things like Divine Might and easy access to Enlarge Person aren't specifically Paladin exclusive, but your average melee beat stick wasn't self-casting them and didn't get a free mount to amp up their spike damage for free.

Captain Morgan wrote:

Most fiends have weakness to good damage about equal to their level. PF1 Smite evil was the paladins level in damage, except on the first hit in fiends where it was doubled. But meanwhile the PF2 Paladin is dealing persistent damage that triggers round after round, plus the extra damage from Smith Evil (4 or 6 depending on level) plus 2 extra damage dice for Blade of Justice.

Paladins do what you are asking for already.

Nobody that was building around smiting in PF1 ever did that little damage and you know it.

Captain Morgan wrote:
They DO that. That was the whole point of the post you quoted.

They hit for some piddly bonus damage, they do not capital S smite.

Captain Morgan wrote:
What are you asking for at this point? Because PF paladins weren't exactly renowned for their blasting spells. But if that's actually what you want, play a battle oracle. True Strike+Searing Light is pretty sick damage.

What if the Paladin's melee smite that can only hit specific targets a few times per day, could deal blasting spell level damage on hit? If that doesn't work make it a focus spell that costs 2 points of focus with the effect granting you a single smite blessed strike within the next minute. That should make it PF2 friendly.

Perpdepog wrote:
Yeah, Smite Evil and Blade of Justice are pretty boss-melty against the right boss. Most fiends have weakness to good damage, Qlippoth are the only ones that are coming to my mind right now that don't, and a good many also have some form of physical resistance. Using both Smite Evil and Blade of Justice triggers their weakness, bypasses their resistance, and adds on extra damage to boot.

Isn't that what a Paladin should do? They banish evil from the material plane using their righteous anger, let's let them actually do that once in a while rather than applying some chip damage and letting the team pick up the kill.

Captain Morgan wrote:

Because PF1 was a different game? Plus, you can also just... Play a smite focused paladin. There are a fair number of offensive feats and features available, and while the reaction has a protective bend it is still ultimately about striking the enemy.

You won't get the boss melter that PF1 smite was, but nothing does that in PF2. And you still get the crazy durability that PF1 paladins had by default.

What would be wrong with a Paladin spiking the damage of an on-level single-target blasting spell a few times per day against specifically evil foes?

gesalt wrote:

Iirc, it was something like having perfect proficiency and an 18 in a stat will give you a 50/50 or 55/45 chance of succeeding on a save vs apl+0.

Essentially, much like AC, the idea isn't to pass/not get hit, it's to not get crit.

Yeah, the difference between a 5% chance to eat a crit and a 0% chance is a big deal. This is especially true against level+2 and level+3 enemies where you can tank a hit and get healed but a crit could easily drop you and leave your team in a bad spot.

Captain Morgan wrote:
The spirit totem barbarian has anthema, a relationship with undeath, and a mechanic that might as well be smite. Healing is but a single feat for Blessed One (Lay on Hands is one of the rare spells that works with rage) and the relationship with the deity can be reflavored from the spirit of your ancestor.

Look at it this way, in PF1 would you ever have told a player who wanted a smite-focused Paladin to play a Barbarian? If not, why are you doing that here?

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Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
...you are aware that NPCs are constructed differently than PCs right?...

How does that change anything regarding how you need to build PC's (especially their saves) to avoid getting wrecked by the NPC casters with their enhanced casting ability?

Unicore wrote:
That is why the Barbarian is the right fit for this build request. You can already do it with the spirit instinct but maybe a celestial and fiendish instinct could be released as well and you have a great divine ranger with temp hp, damage boosts and thematic flavor.

No smite, no healing, no anathema, no special relationship with a diety, no ability related to undeath. It's exactly like a cleric!


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Sanityfaerie wrote:

So, first, I have to raise the flag and continue to be really severely against the idea of making either kineticist or shifter into a slot-caster. PF2 needs a way to have magic-wielding characters who aren't bound to daily slots. It's not that hard to balance. Martials are already dealing predictable amounts of damage all day every day and can serve as an easy starting point. It'll need to wait until the final version of the Psychic and Thaumaturge get out there in the real world so they can get feedback from those, but it should be quite doable. If anything, I suspect that at this point it might be easier to balance as a non-slot caster than as a wave caster.

That said, let's look at what a wave-casting "battle priest" might look like. I'm not trying to build an inquisitor here (sorry, @keftiu) but rather a completely different class that should give people some of that battle cleric feel without really stealing the inquisitor's lunch.

The basic idea here is a character who goes charging into battle, hitting the enemy with their deity's weapon of choice, with a heavy focus on both self-buffing and buffing aura effects that assist both themselves and allies.


Looking at the general magus chassis... it looks about right, actually. A few tweaks suggest themselves. We can let the spell attack proficiency cap out at expert, and we'd like to have heavy armor plus shield block. Weapons would be limited to deity weapon plus simple weapons. If deity weapon is a simple weapon it comes with free deadly simplicity, Deity weaon would get its crit effect, and proficiency for other simple weapons lags behind and caps out at expert. Oh, and they get that whole "anathema" thing, just like champions and clerics.

The core class-defining ability is a self-targeted focus spell stance with a sustained duration, that progressively powers up if you self-buff (ie, cast a spell with a duration where you are one of the targets) while under the effects. It's one action, but you can also...

Wasn't PF2 specifically looking to get rid of the buff, buff, buff style of meta? How many good buffs could an optimized buffer even reasonably stack and how would trying to do this in the face of the enemy impact that? This sounds like jumping through hoops to be worse than a Fighter with a divine archetype.

WWHsmackdown wrote:
In your opinion. A necessary clarification in most of your posts.

For everyone's posts really.

Also, I'm far from the only one who feels this way. Do I need to link to our most recent Magus thread?

VampByDay wrote:
I think you could do this with magus actually. One of my favorite PF1 Inquisitor archetypes was the iron-bound tome. That person had the inquisitor spell list but essentially had a spellbook that they smacked people with, and they cast with Int. You could make a magus hybrid study called ‘Iron-bound tome.’ Which changes your spellcasting to the divine list (still uses Int to cast), and gives you some other divine abilities. You’d get everything else a magus has, just a unique hybrid study that gives you divine casting instead of arcane. Gives you what you want, right?

Not really because the Magus kind of blows chunks unless you go Starlit Span and do your damage at range. The main ability provoking AoOs, other damage booster being, by RAW, unusable kills, and damage still being worse than most melee-focused CRB material kills the class. It also lacks heavy armor and couldn't spellstrike and heal from the same tiny spell pool without being worthless at both options.

Alchemic_Genius wrote:

Please, for the love of god (haha) don't make it melee only. We've already somewhat got past that with starlit expanse not having the same weird janky limits ranged magi had in 1e, and there literally no reason to limit it to a melee class wheee there are a lot of dieties with thrown and ranged weapons.

This was one of the big issues with the playtest pfnthe 1e warpriest, they eventually made the warpriest thrown and ranged friendly, and it was a mich more fun class as a result.

Champion as melee makes sense, since you have to be close to your allies the shield them (although I'd have liked to see a ranged versions with extended ranged on the reactions via feats, as well as ranged shielding somehow, but that's a different thread), but no reason to lock the offense themed class to melee

My idea is very much the PF1 smite Paladin translated to PF2, and that was often melee locked but I have no objection to thrown and ranged weapon support being added either as subclasses or via class feats.

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Ascalaphus wrote:

Considering there are only two classes who even get heavy armor proficiency, and favored weapon proficiency is usually either a specific martial weapon or a simple one boosted close to martial with Deadly Simplicity -

You're basically trying to see "what can I take away from Champion to free up space to put in casting".

Yeah. What's wrong with an offense focused champion that loses legendary armor proficiency, any in built synergy with shields, and their reactions for wave casting and a smite?

keftiu wrote:
What's the reason for them to be in Heavy Armor? The obvious slot of an offensive divine wave caster is an Inquisitor, who was always Medium outside of specialty archetypes.

Mostly 3.x tradition but also because a 40k style heavily armored pious fist of the heavens is awesome.

I found some Clerics in MtG card art that somewhat fit my vision.

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I picture the inquisitor as being closer to Hellsing's Alexander Anderson or Father Pierre Barre from The Devils. Much more of a force of will than a raw physical force.

From the recent Warpriest discussion, I'm left wondering if there is enough space for a divine class that gets:

Heavy Armor proficiency advancing to Master at martial rates
Master with simple and diety favored weapons
At least d8 Hit Dice
A healing Font like ability
At least wave casting

Can this be made to fit?

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Bard is also a full caster and does everything the Warpriest does except better. Better buffs, actual debuffs, better spell list, better proficiencies in Perception and Will, and can be equally proficient in similar weapons, or in superior weapons thanks to either Warrior Muse (which is just a feat) or Fighter dedication. Other than a Heal Font, there's no justification to play a Warpriest over a Bard.

Also, Legendary Spellcasting is a capstone ability only available by 19th level. Master Fortitude is something available by 13th level on average. They are by...

I predict that you'll get a response about how the Bard is an unfixable mistake and that nothing in the game should be as good as the Bard or Fighter.

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The question that I have is where is our offensive fist of God type class went. Paladin and Cleric used to be able to carry that banner, and both have been reformulated to be more defensive and more supportive.

I want to play:

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Let me be the lion among a sea of faithless lambs.

Exocist wrote:
Verdyn wrote:
Would giving the Warpriest a bonus to strikes on rounds where they've cast a spell help them any? That would lead to a buff/heal and strike gameplay loop that feels like one of the things people want the class to be better at.

Could get very stale if the optimal rotation is cast+strike every turn. A feat at level 12 or 14, when their proficiency falls off, to give a free melee strike when you cast a spell maybe? Something like

Striking Spell (F) Feat 14, Metamagic
Prerequisites: Warpriest Doctrine

If your next action is to Cast a Spell that requires two or more actions to cast, you may immediately make a melee strike after you finish casting that spell.

That’s something you could give those who want that platstyle that isn’t just a numerical buff.

I could see that helping, but when the issue is that they can't hit very well in melee I'd rather focus on that.

The reason why I think a simple solution works here is that you still need to cast a spell and as a full caster that gives many options. So spell + strike every round won't always mean doing the same actions each round except in easy fights or while mopping up where it will likely be cantrip into strike until things are over, but being honest those types of battles tend to be like that anyway.

Would giving the Warpriest a bonus to strikes on rounds where they've cast a spell help them any? That would lead to a buff/heal and strike gameplay loop that feels like one of the things people want the class to be better at.

You could make a Con-based class by making a submission hold-based class. They grapple and then start dealing damage based on their Con bonus. You could also add feats to let them make a Fort save when an opponent tries to escape the hold to give them a penalty on their escape attempt.

aobst128 wrote:
It would be something between expert and master as master should be +6 and legendary is +8

Yeah, that works. I was just laying down the basic idea.

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Isn't this just showing that we need one extra level of proficiency in the mix?

Maybe, something like:
Untrained: 0
Trained: Level + 0
Skilled: Level + 2
Expert: Level + 3
Master: Level + 4
Legendary: Level + 6

So true casters max at skilled, hybrid classes max at expert, martials max at master, and fighters and gunslingers get legendary. I chose the numbers to try to keep to existing math for easy use at home, but I'd have gone by twos all the way up if I was redesigning everything to fit.

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QuidEst wrote:
Modern examples are not very good for this. Dynamite wasn't invented until 1867. The nitrogen fixing that makes fertilizer what it is wasn't invented until WWI, and was responsible for extending the war by multiple years by providing the Germans with access to far more explosives than they would have normally had. That was a huge scientific breakthrough, both in the areas of agriculture and warfare.

Raw gunpowder has plenty enough grunt to get the job done and my examples, while modern, simply show that one doesn't need much sophistication to get impressive results.

If you just pack in more black powder, I don't think you're going to get great scaling of effect, since it's going to cut off oxygen to the rest.

Black powder has its own oxidizer so it doesn't really care if it has access to external oxygen. If you do find that you're getting incomplete detonations you could try adding fine shavings of rust which shouldn't be outside the ken of an INT 18+ character with alchemical leanings.

Well, at that point you're running a Guy Fawkes campaign, and the fact that he didn't succeed shows there's plenty the GM can do to stop them. Acquiring enough ingredients or powder for that much of a bomb could attract attention, getting that much into place is going to take work and be easily noticed, it will take some architectural analysis if the party wants to have confidence that the explosion will do the job.

Guy Fawkes wasn't exactly a battle-hardened adventurer.

A party of four could have an alchemist, an inventor, a wizard, and an investigator and easily have all the skills needed to craft explosives and conduct sapper operations while still fairing well in more conventional combat situations.

When I'm using a setting, I often start from the assumption that the inhabitants of that setting are not stupid. Major Alchemist's Fire costs a lot more than Lesser Alchemist's Fire. There is probably a reason that the inhabitants do not just make a big bottle of four Lesser Alchemist's Fires for 12gp instead of one regular flask of Greater Alchemist's Fire for 2500gp.

Pure physics shows that one can simply add more explosive mass to produce greater results. Your volume of explosive mass isn't suddenly going to start producing diminishing volumes of gas just because you brought more of it.

The more likely explanation for the alchemist fire situation is that it is relatively easy to get the basic effect of alchemists fire into a given volume of liquid but hard to get a drastically increased effect from the same volume. A larger volume may simply be considered too unwieldy to throw or just isn't needed for non-adventuring uses. Making a jumbo jug of alchemist's fire should give vastly increased effects scaling with volume.

TOZ wrote:
Verdyn wrote:
Sure, that's fair game if the big bad happens to have minions that are fanatically loyal, the enemy has been shown to use guns and/or explosives, and they're set up as a proper encounter that the PCs have a chance to spot and overcome.
Or just a fireball from 300ft away.

That assumes they know what you're trying to do, have casters with the spell prepared, and that you didn't try to pick off any obvious sentries before enacting your plan. Hell, you could go full sapper and spend a few days digging a tunnel and advance your plan without even contrived risks.

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aobst128 wrote:
If it would be a repeating black powder firearm, it would almost certainly be an advanced weapon. D6, concussive, repeating (6) range(40 feet). Would be my guess as to how a revolver could be an advanced weapon.

Does a revolver feel like it should require special training to use? It feels like it should be easier to use than something like a slide gun.

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TOZ wrote:
Suicide bomber exploding the PCs before they get there.

Sure, that's fair game if the big bad happens to have minions that are fanatically loyal, the enemy has been shown to use guns and/or explosives, and they're set up as a proper encounter that the PCs have a chance to spot and overcome. If the GM does it on the fly in response to the players coming up with a clever plan (and especially if they also do everything they can to ensure that the PCs can't avoid the attack) that's just adversarial GMing and the players should flip the table and never come back.

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Shinigami02 wrote:

Of note, a horn of gunpowder, not even a properly made bomb but just loose horn of gunpowder, is specifically stated to do a 5-foot burst of 1d6 damage.

As for an actual crafted bomb... well, I mean, it depends on the size of the pipe, how well it's sealed, the effectiveness of the primer, to a degree even the composition of the powder itself. In short: It would depend on the Crafting check. If it's a poorly made pipe bomb, yeah, it might not do more than 1d8, Splash 1 (notably, still enough to royally ruin the day of, and in some cases even straight up kill, your average Level -1 NPC). Heck, since this is a straight up explosive rather than the napalm-esque Alchemist's Fire that is the most obvious point of comparison, I'd probably bump up the Splash damage to 2 or even 3 rather than the Persistent Fire Damage. A well made one might rival the 3 or even 4d8 of high-level bomb. If it's an exceptionally made bomb, a really high DC but then high-level adventurers can make high DCs, I might even bump the damage higher, something like 6d8, splash something like 12-18 because Percussion Bomb, something roughly equivalent to taking a non-Critically direct hit from a cannon it you're the direct target, easily enough that the splash is going to slaughter most NPCs if they aren't lucky (probably extremely so, it would probably take a nat 20 not to crit fail that save against a high-level PC's DCs.)

I appreciate the effort here, but the level of craftsmanship isn't what scales an explosive or firearms effective damage, its how much bang you pack in and what the bang is made out of. A fertilizer bomb is so easy to make that we have to track gardening supplies because a truck loaded with the stuff can bring down buildings. Did the OKC bomber need to make an insanely high crafting check just because he did a simple thing on a large scale?

Does your complexity really rise if instead of a pipe you take a thick-walled cooking pot, fill it with a large amount of gunpowder, and seal the lid on really well? Obviously, you don't want this thing to hangfire, and delivering it could be troublesome but the crafting itself is simple enough. Even better it's something that can easily be extrapolated from an alchemist's bombs or firearms in general.

I get that not all GMs want their campaign to end with the PCs wheeling wagon loads of primitive bombs into the big bad's dungeon and blowing his castle sky high, but logically if they can get the required materials I don't see how the GM is supposed to stop them.

Unicore wrote:
Verdyn wrote:
I don't get the desire for niche protection. What do you gain by making sure that another class can't attempt to do your thing? Heck, what does a class system, in general, bring to the table these days? It would have been far more interesting if Paizo let you assemble a class the way they let you assemble the rest of your character.

niche protection was a very intentional decision, very early in the game development process. The developers themselves have talked about it at pretty great length on various live streams and convention talks. PF2 was never going to be a classless system or a system that moved in that direction.

There was a concentrated effort to have some flexibility in class design, and that is why we have class feats, archetypes and some ability to adjust trained, some expert and very rarely master proficiencies through means other than class feats, but those are tightly controlled.

It was established that way in the core rulebook. Some people held out hope that additional content was going to really free that up, but over and over again the decision has been made not to do that, and when something that does break those limits does pop up in an AP or other supplement, we are told quickly that it is a mistake and will be quickly changed.

The framework of PF2 is open source. You are welcome to invest as much time designing a classless PF2 as you wish. The development team at Paizo has no interest in doing so for you.

Casting spells silently in PF2 requires spending time studying the underlying structures of arcane magic. It is a narrative decision that establishes what wizards uniquely do in the world of Golarion. They also do things with illusions that no one else can do.

Additional feats and abilities for existing classes that build up the classes as unique and interesting are something that feels perfectly reasonable to ask for and expect in future supplements. Those are requests that align themselves to the design principles of the game. Asking for...

Is there some reason why, besides Paizo's lack of desire to do so, that we couldn't get an unearthed arcana style tome that deconstructs system staples and adds options that dramatically change the game. 3.5's version of this book gave us spell points, gestalt classes, generic classes, ways to replace a d20 with 3d6, alternatives to hit points, and more. I don't see why this is outright impossible for Paizo to do for PF2, and thus I will keep pushing for it.

Arcaian wrote:
1: You can bundle interesting mechanics together without having to worry about whether or not they'll all be taken. If you were removing classes from PF2 (without trying to change everything else about the game at the same time), you've got lots of mechanics that'd cause issues on this front, I think. A barbarian's rage without an instinct doesn't have much going for it, but if you also need to take the instinct then you've functionally just locked people into the Barbarian class if they want rage and you're getting nothing out of being classless. You can afford to be more generous with these powers the less focused on balance the system is, and the more narratively focused (instead of numerically) the game is. Classless systems (or class systems with absolutely no niche protection, functioning more as a general guide) work well for games like PBTA/Forged in the Dark because of this.

You can still do this, just make larger abilities cost more. You could also sell them to characters level by level. Even a basic PF2 Barbarian has a lot of little things that could be tweaked, much less something similar designed to be bought part by part and level by level.

2: Given you're not picking large chunks at a time, the options you're picking have to be scaled down in impact. To continue the example, you couldn't give out a giant Barbarian's rage without that being your sole defining feature - it's a huge damage boost, and being able to pick that and anything else would be absurd. Given that, you'd end up with less feeling of differentiation between characters - or long chains of abilities that take longer for you to get through, and functionally lock you into a pseudo-class anyway.

This functionally doesn't happen. GURPs exists and it doesn't tend to lock you into a pseudo-class, and when it does it doesn't do it for long before you're adding something else to your kit.

3: You end up with more homogenous characters if your players are focused on making good characters. It's fine in a game that's less of a tactical battle game, and it's fine in a game that isn't particularly well balanced in the first place, but it's nigh-on-impossible to balance every possible option from a huge list with each other, and some will be better than others. That's true in any tRPG like this, but lacking niche protection/classes is just going to make you able to pick the best options. If you were trying to play a swashbuckler-like character, you might pick fighter proficiency, Opportune Parry and Riposte, and Precision Ranger's damage boosts to make the best version of that you could. With classes/niche protection, you could play a Swashbuckler, a Fighter, or a Ranger for a similar narrative and get different results - if you really enjoy the narrative of a swashbuckler, you might even play all three. There's still going to be a difference in power, nothing is perfectly balanced, but it's a lot easier to go "well, I feel like using a diverse third action is what I want to be doing, so I'll go with Precision ranger for the character" at character creation and accept it might not be as powerful as a fighter, instead of having to consistently pick the weaker option in a direct comparison when you could blend your preferred playstyles together.

There are certain things that people would want to prioritize and some stuff that people just wouldn't touch. So you'd test for that and up the cost on must takes or make it so you can't start with, for example, no class skills but attacks, saves, and perception all starting at expert. Though it might be possible that you could have this if you also sacrifice the equivalent of a level 1 feat. You could also give resources that can only be used to take the bits of the game that aren't worth a full customization point much like what PF2 does with skill feats. These could easily give much-needed color to a character while still allowing for crunch-focused players to optimize.

This of course assumes you build such a limited system that you can max 'everything worth maxing' at level 1, which I doubt this sort of system would allow for.

Deriven Firelion wrote:

I've heard these ideas for decades. It will never change.

All the sacred cows are what make D&D/PF what it is compared to a game like GURPs or some other RPG. Why would the designers ever move away from what differentiates their system from other systems?

If they did, they would see comparison with systems that don't have the history or market power of a D&D type of game.

Plenty of other games using different system mechanics that people can play. But D&D as the big daddy is there for a reason and it isn't getting rid of sacred cows that have kept it as the market leader for going on what? 40 plus years?

I'm pretty sure that with the right marketing they could change D&D a fair bit and still be comfortably the top dog in town. 4e 'failed' for a lot of reasons, but I don't think most of them were related to mechanics and that it was the presentation and poor communication about the new style of the game that was an issue.

Deriven Firelion wrote:

I'm starting to think the finisher wasn't meant to be used every round, but mainly when the target gets into finisher range for a kill.

So many people posted that maximum damage was achieved using a finisher every round that most people want to be able to do it to remain competitive.

I think that they wouldn't have included the regular precision damage bonus if they did not intend the swashbuckler to use regular attacks more often. I think maybe swashbuckler players shouldn't rely on using a finisher every round.

If you're not rocking a finisher every round then what exactly do you bring to the fight? I ask because in doing that you've just put yourself below the Champion in terms of DPR and don't get a ton of stances like a Monk, or skills like a Rogue, or range, or unique utility, or...

I don't get the desire for niche protection. What do you gain by making sure that another class can't attempt to do your thing? Heck, what does a class system, in general, bring to the table these days? It would have been far more interesting if Paizo let you assemble a class the way they let you assemble the rest of your character.

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