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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 1,420 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Midnightoker wrote:
BellyBeard wrote:
What is this about shields needing changes? Is it because any class can use them?
I think Waterslethe means the special shields HP/Hardness which are much lower than an appropriate level shield. Just a guess.

Yeah! It seems that high level shields are too easily broken.


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Payton Smith wrote:

The time is finally upon us! This week's Pathfinder Friday (Oct 25th) is all about the Pathfinder Second Edition ERRATA! Join the designers as they talk about what major things have been changed with the Errata due to the amazing feedback from all of you!

You can find more information about when and where the stream is here.

I'm stoked! I hope I can make the stream that night!


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I'm pretty interested in how shields turn out. If they decide not to errata them, that's as interesting as what an errata might look like.

The shield paradigm is bizarre as-is, but who knows what might be introduced later.


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Lanathar wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

It's interesting to me that the Kingmaker PC game feature of real time combat is what the OP cites as their expectation, but that feature was what killed the game for me.

I couldn't even start playing that game until the Turn Based mod came out.

It definitely points in the direction of flexible, rules-light games for the OP. Trying to do real-time dodging and spell directing would end up a nightmare without a simple hand-wavy system.

There is a turn based mod? I guess I am being really dense but how big a change does that actually make? Are there other games that are turn based as a comparative point?

There is a turn based mod! It's super good!

It fundamentally changes the feel of combat, the balance of classes and options, and radically alters the difficulty.

I wouldn't even consider playing without it.

The impact it has on spellcasting alone makes it a massive game changer.

It plays pretty similarly to Divinity, and feels a whole lot more like actual Pathfinder.

It's also far less slow than people try to portray. Since you are more in control, you can avoid wasted spells and actions, and can cut through difficult encounters with fewer losses, meaning less down time. If you're fighting easy encounters, you can always turn off the Turn Based mode and let the AI go at it.

In my opinion, it's the way the game always should have been.


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I've been wondering if we should have a meta-discussion about the forums. I see a trend of combativeness on the forums, and in other places online, that deserves some attention.

Starting a thread with a superior tone seems like it's tied into a fear of seeming lesser. That if you don't have some level of snark, you're baring your throat to the wild forum goers who will laugh at you. Maybe it's an attempt to fit in with the smart alecks here.

In any case, I keep seeing otherwise smart, thoughtful posters reduced to incoherence because they feel threatened. Like every comment is being judged by a multitudinous hivemind looking for either agreement or amusement, and you're fighting for points.


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GM hat: If a player asked me if they can do this, I would say yes. If they invest it, then it and all its runes will become active the moment you take off your over-armor, otherwise you would have to stop and perform the invest an item activity (maybe 3 actions for adventurer's clothes?)

Player hat: I could see myself doing this. It could make a lot of sense, depending on what utility armor runes you have available, etc.

Realism hat: I don't particularly see what's wrong with substituting some of the under layers of heavier armors with explorer's clothing. That's not the kind of minor issues I care about anyway. I wouldn't let heavier armors than padded slide, however.


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When Paizo first announced that they would be giving AON their official blessing, everyone and their mother asked if there was going to be some compensation for the effort of maintaining the site.

I was one who asked the u/KaruiKage on the announcement thread on Reddit if they were worried about the new server load and if they'd be fine financially.

Long story short, they had no concerns and was happy about the official endorsement.

If you look at it from an outside perspective...

1. The "official" title gives AoN a distinct advantage when compared against similar sites when competing for Patreon or ad revenue. This comes from:
1.a. Prestige
1.b. Access to art assets
1.c. Early access to materials

2. The site administrator was going to do all the work with or without the official endorsement. They are a big fan of the system, and it may have been personally rewarding to be recognized for their efforts.

3. If costs start to become a problem, they are in a fairly good position to collaborate with others. As people become more accustomed to using AON as their go-to, keeping it around will be of interest to a large audience.


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I EXPECTED AN UPDATE ON MY DESK THIS MORNING!!! BULMAHN, SEIFTER, WHERE ARE YOU???


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It's interesting to me that the Kingmaker PC game feature of real time combat is what the OP cites as their expectation, but that feature was what killed the game for me.

I couldn't even start playing that game until the Turn Based mod came out.

It definitely points in the direction of flexible, rules-light games for the OP. Trying to do real-time dodging and spell directing would end up a nightmare without a simple hand-wavy system.


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Malk_Content wrote:

I guess I might be wrong, but I thought that presenting scenarios in which certain characters can really shine every now and then was common wisdom for good story telling, especially if you have less confident or less experienced players.

And yeah if they've specifically set things up as an awesome teamwork moment, fantastic. But when its just the bow rangers time to shine against those harpies, but due to double feats the greatsword fighter who has been dominating melee is also just as good if not better than the ranger due to having the spare feats for all the bow stuff too then that isn't highlighting awesome teamwork, thats just the ranger not getting their cool moment at the table/in the narrative.

Don't forget that in that scenario the Ranger would also have double feats and be able to get good at something else. The Fighter also spent the feats to be good at sword and bow, as opposed to something else.

In my experience, my players aren't satisfied with being good in just one situation. Also, I always shoot for at least two players being able to "shine" at the same time in any situation.

With double feats there are still many combinations of different focus areas available. It doesn't work great if you want to only play a shooty ranger with no other areas of focus. In that case, default rules work for you.


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NielsenE wrote:
For those of you trying the double class feat approach, how is it holding up as more options are released? Are people wanting triple feats to fit in more archetypes/etc or is double still feeling comfortable?

The real problem is that we haven't had enough people trying it out to say. Even I have only had a couple sessions, and lots of discussions with my group.

I'm not worried about players begging for more feats. That sort of thing is decided at the start of a campaign, not willy nilly.

A couple of the downsides of double feats are that it requires a new character sheet, and it's more intimidating for new players.


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Malk_Content wrote:
Oh yes absolutely it can be right for a group. Just wanted to offer a counter point to whether it is advisable or not. I don't feel it would be, as I'm of the strong opinion that correct amounts of restriction make choices flourish.

Yeah, I'm genuinely happy to get counter points and different perspectives. You're always one to contribute in a positive way!

There are a lot of things I'm struggling with, so it helps a lot to get different viewpoints.

Among the things to navigate:

1. Personal preference.

Obviously some people prefer heavy limitations, others like more freedom. I think some posters are of the opinion that everyone should like it their way, so they provide unnecessarily harsh criticism of house rules designed for people of a different mentality.

Another preference is level availability. Some people are fine with having to wait until mid-to-high levels to have somewhat mundane character build features come online, while I find that to be far to late for too many things.

If double feats could let people who want more freedom to have it, and solve "late bloomer" build problems, all without significantly impacting game balance, it'd be fantastic.

So it's important that I filter feedback based on the target audience for the house rule.

2. Actual power differences.

Based on my initial results, you almost can't tell the difference between a double feat character and a normal character until 3+ combats in a day. It's aggravating that I can't gather more data about this until more people try it out, but I have a sneaking suspicion that double feat characters will require little if any adjustments to encounter difficulty. Everything is capped by actions and feat situationality. These characters can effectively respond to a larger variety of situations, but is that a problem in most games?

3. Edge cases

Certain characters might want to play a single class, and find nothing compelling to spend their extra class feats on. I have yet to come across this, but it's a possibility. I worry that my narrow experience isn't taking into account other unforeseen problems. I LOVE feedback about edge case problems, since I'm kind of prone to glossing over those things.

4. Knee-jerk reactions

I've had many people respond to double feats, understandably, with the assumption that it *must* be overpowered. Or breaks some underlying design principle. Or would mean everyone is a spell-slinging-ninja-fighter monstrosity. It's difficult for me to tell when a response is knee-jerk and when it's duly considered. When pressed, a lot of it comes back to their personal preference.

5. Future-proofing

Right now, in my games, this house rule works pretty well, so far. Who knows what combinations might come down the road. It'd be nice if this house rule got included in the gamemaster guide so they could keep it in mind.


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K1 wrote:

Agree.

The system is tough, and doubling the feats won't do anything but ruining it.

The only thing I could consider to deal with is the dedication class dc for non casting classes which has no way of progression.

Keep in mind, the *only* people who should use the double feat house rule are those who feel they are too restricted by the default system. For others like yourself, doubling feats could ruin your experience no question.


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Malk_Content wrote:
The multiclass characters are making the choice to give up some of their previous class identity. Double feats means you don't have to do that at all. The true multiclass player in my group thought long and hard about what they were giving up to come to their choice. Doubling feats would take that away, everyone would be a gish.

The characters that we're using were converted from PF1, and all have almost exactly the same capabilities as they had before with this house rule.

For reference:

The Fighter/Rogue is a passable sword and board slayer, being able to sneak attack and push people around with their shield.

The Ranger/Druid is once again capable of limited casting, highly focused on bow use, and forsook the animal companion for better terrain mastery.

The Monk/Druid was a bit special, and used to have a custom curse that let them wildshape into a cow, now they can do it natively but it came online later. They also get casting similar to their prior ki spells, like barkskin.

The Wizard/Sorcerer/Bard still has a slew of low level spells, primarily used for utility stuff.

Do you feel that PF1 had too many abilities, too many gishes, or classes felt too samey?


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Claxon wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I think doubling feats in the long run will just make characters way more samey
I'd love to hear more about what brings you to this conclusion.

You'll have so many feats there wont be tough choices about what you want to specialize in.

Everyone can just get a grab bag of feats.

To be clear, double class feats is a house rule I think people who feel restricted should look into.

Being able to grab a bag of feats, for those people, should be an improvement.

What I'm wondering is how it makes characters feel "samey".

Without multiclassing or taking archetypes, I will grant you that characters of one class will very much feel more "samey". That is, until more in-class feat choices are introduced. However, character concepts which require multiclassing (which is 100% of the characters in my game) will not at all feel "samey" unless I'm missing some source of that feeling.


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Malk_Content wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I think doubling feats in the long run will just make characters way more samey
I'd love to hear more about what brings you to this conclusion.

The first time I heard it suggested was talking about the Ranger. Doubling the feats let them take everything they could ever want, which means instead of choosing from A and B in several instances you'd just choose both. You don't get one character focused on synergizing with their animal companion and another on their own martial prowess, you just get all characters with both.

EDIT: All my players have had to makes several difficult choices for their characters. With double feats this wouldn't exist they would just have both options. Same when I've been building villains, double feats would just make them all have 0 drawbacks.

Interesting.

How many of your players took multiclass archetypes?
Was this a game that was converted, or a new PF2 campaign?


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Malk_Content wrote:
I think doubling feats in the long run will just make characters way more samey

I'd love to hear more about what brings you to this conclusion.


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Metaphysician wrote:
It sounds like that isn't a system problem, but a "My GM throws too many foes of too high a CR" problem. Remember, Starfinder does *not* use the same difficulty curve as Pathfinder. When it says a CR +4 fight is a Deadly encounter, it means it.

I knew someone would say that. The thing is, the way we're playing is enjoyable for all involved. If we played differently, the system as a whole would no-longer serve our needs. rather than just one half of one subsystem (non-hp management uses of Resolve).

We'd be setting ourselves up for a monthly, low stakes snooze fest.

If there were two separate pools for health management and utility, there would be no problem for either style of play.

Which takes us back to the discussion that started this exchange; that one person prefers having a single unified pool that does everything, and I prefer multiple pools or mechanics that serve different purposes to make things easier to balance.

In PF2, hero points take on some of Resolve's emergency "don't die" function, but the normal death and dying rules take on the rest of that. Focus points have a health management aspect if you're the right class, but will often just be a limiter on going nova with cool class abilities. Wounds and mundane healing take on a significant portion of Resolve's stamina recovery and adventure day length functions.

What's funny is that I campaigned during the playtest for bringing over Resolve and Stamina/HP because it works *so* well for health management in Starfinder. I just made it clear I didn't need it for anything else.


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Also, speak with your GM about trying out a double class feat house rule.

We're using that rule, along with a few others, for a game that was originally using PF1 and it has enabled a smooth transition.

The sky has not fallen down yet. There has yet to be mass panic in the streets. Jackbooted Paizo thugs have yet to come arrest me.

Generally, what it does is enable concepts *much* faster. My Ranger could pick up druid dedication to get his spells back and still get fun ranger feats that map well to what he could do in PF1. All while doing so before level ~15.

I strongly recommend people who played the playtest like me and felt restricted look into this house rule. I'm hoping it comes up in the Gamemaster guide as an optional rule.


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WatersLethe wrote:


Triceratops
"A huge dinosaur crashes through the underbrush as it charges at you, two great horns atop its stout, beaked head."

look at this dummy


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Maybe we should do a quick practice exam?

Let me pick some random enemies and give the answers in a spoiler:

Duergar Bombardier
"An angry, grey-skinned dwarf with a white beard lights the fuse on a bomb and prepares to throw it at you"

Arbiter
"What looks like a tiny spherical automaton approaches you, it has a mean looking sickle for an arm and flies on tiny metallic wings."

Mummy Guardian
"With an unwholesome groan, a humanoid figure lurches toward you, its outstretched arms covered in tattered, linen bandages"

Pegasus
"A beautiful white winged horse rears as you approach, whinnying and kicking with its forelegs in warning."

Triceratops
"A huge dinosaur crashes through the underbrush as it charges at you, two great horns atop its stout, beaked head."

Young Gold Dragon
"A large, gleaming golden dragon sits calmly as you approach, rings of smoke playfully puffing from its snout"

Medusa
"The humanoid figure stands facing away from you, her hair a writhing mass of snakes. She has a bow at the ready."

Anadi
"This humanoid spider is covered in colorful and distinctive markings, it mumbles to itself as it reads from a scroll as you approach"

I'm 6 out of 8 for correctly guessing worst save. I didn't guess the strongest save on the other two.

Answers:

Duergar Bombardier: Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +4

Arbiter: Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +7

Mummy Guardian: Fort +14, Ref +10, Will +16

Pegasus: Fort +9, Ref +11, Will +7

Triceratops: Fort +18, Ref +12, Will +14

Young Gold Dragon: Fort +22, Ref +20, Will +22

Medusa: Fort +15, Ref +16, Will +14

Anadi Elder: Fort +10, Ref +14, Will +16


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Ascalaphus wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
My experience as a Soldier 1/Solarian X has been hitting the floor and spending resolve to not die every other session, starting at my very first time...
Are you often going up against high-CR enemies or something? I'm finding the Dead Suns AP to be comfortably easy.

Yeah, it's a homebrew campaign my friend is running. Due to the format of one game per month, we tend to pack a lot of action in a short time so it's often tougher fights with fewer opportunities to rest.

It's always the big bad melee enemies that put me down, though. I'm roleplaying a brash character that overestimates her abilities so she stays toe-to-toe and doesn't rely on cover much.

It's a lot of fun, but if I were using Resolve differently I would have been perma-dead 4 sessions back.


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Ascalaphus wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
(...)

All true, but there's also the aspect of opportunity costs to consider. Like, you can spend a feat for the ability to spend a resolve point to do something, or you could spend a feat for a bonus that's always there, and you get to still have all your resolve available to not die.

When comparing options that you haven't done the math on, it's pretty easy to justify ignoring non-health Resolve abilities when you know for sure that using them directly correlates with your likelihood of death, and at some point you're going to be locked out of using the Resolve ability based on whatever dire straits your resolve pool is in.

Maybe it's illogical, or mathematically inferior, to ignore lots of resolve abilities, but having a nice big resolve buffer is a nice psychological boon.

For what it's worth, there are quite a few Resolve abilities that are good and useful to me, they just are primarily about not dying. If there was a big push to make more non-health related Resolve abilities, it would largely be irrelevant to me and my group. I just think Resolve is best suited for health management, and things like Focus are better utility pools.

Yeah, but try seeing it from the other side. My Soldier 1/Solarian 10 has a strength of 22 so he has 11 resolve. He also has a ton of stamina, good armor, deals fire and electricity damage to any enemies that hit him and has DR 11/- as well as resistance 5 or 10 against most elements. I generally go 2 fights before I'm halfway through my stamina and decide to play safe and spend a point of resolve to fill it up again. So to really make me nervous about resolve it would have to have about 16 encounters. That's more than a full level worth of encounters.

So I'd be pretty comfortable spending some resolve on this and that.

My experience as a Soldier 1/Solarian X has been hitting the floor and spending resolve to not die every other session, starting at my very first time playing Starfinder.

There was also that one time that I dropped, stabilized but pretended to be dead, and still got hit in the edge of a grenade blast aimed at my party.

So yeah, I think a lot of it comes down to table variation and personal traumas.


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Personally, given how many cantrips you can prepare or aquire, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing if one is ahead of the pack for pure damage. As long as it's not competing against same level non-cantrips it's not going be a big problem.

In fact, having a slightly higher performing option that's not actually a problem in the grand scheme of balance means you've added a bit of character to the system.

Like I always say, squashing something purely for the sake of balance is a bad habit.

If anything, we might see a return of cantrip foci that give the others a bit of a boost.


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Another aspect of rarity that an algorithmic approach would have difficulty reconciling is the level aspect. Rarity accounts for both the effect and the level at which you can obtain that effect.

Dimension Door requires the caster to be 7th level. A 7th level prison should have magical wards, and be able to handle all the 7th level skill feats that come online.


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I feel like a lot of tweaking to the feel of armor, as well as the balance, is still available in future runes and items.

For instance, a reflavored armor potency rune that instead increases the Dex cap would be thematically appropriate for high dex characters but have little mechanical difference (especially if the rune still takes up the item bonus to AC somehow).

A specific armor type, like a belt, that lets you attach armor runes could also appear. It could also say "Wearing this item prevents your from benefiting from item bonuses to AC" and be done.

If we find that the cost to get into heavier armor (feats, class features, strength rating, etc) is too hefty then new desirable heavy armor runes can be made.

Other specific armors which appeal to certain archetypal characters might also be introduced. For example, a leather armor that gives bonuses to sneak attacking. These could help people make thematic choices without purely worrying about getting the lightest armor their dex can support.


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Temperans wrote:
A GM doesnt need to look at every option, just those the players pick. But my comment wasnt about players, it was about everything else. If the GM says the sky instantly combusted, the sky instantly combusted. If the GM says there are a thousand 30 ft giants playing frisbee in a giant frisbee tournament, that's a thing that is happening. He can remove gods, make new ones or alter the very rules of the game if he wants.

EXTRA ULTIMATE FRISBEE!


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Ascalaphus wrote:
Zero the Nothing wrote:

I'm looking forward to an Unchained Solarian in a few years(wishful thinking, I know), maybe plug something into those dead levels. No arbitrary "balance" aspect with the whole Photon/Graviton stuff. More options for damage type other than fire?

WatersLethe wrote:

Resolve as anything but a health management mechanic was a total flop for my group. We all actively avoid options with a Resolve cost unless it directly relates to HP or avoiding death.

That's another reason I'd love to get a PF2 addon for Starfinder conversion.

Same here, I hate Resolve fueled class options and feats. I'm not trying to use my "Can I make it through the day alive?" pool to do cool tricks. Hard to be frivolous with those points when you didn't max out your Charisma and you're constantly being dropped in combat from being the only person not behind cover the entire time.

I think this is a problem with the Solarian being MAD and their resolve stat not doing enough for them apart from resolve.

Operatives, soldiers, mystics.. plenty of resolve. Their resolve stat is the same stat they use to attack, the stat you want to max. Max Dex, Dex/Str or Wis. So a level 1 soldier, mystic or operative can expect to have 4-5 resolve while a solarian has 1-3. By level 10 the difference has flattened a bit though, say 11-12 vs. 9-11.

As for "frivolous" tricks or survival, compare that to Pathfinder (1) clerics: should they reserve all their spells for healing, or use some spells to win fights faster and give monsters less time to deal damage?

So yeah, a resolve ability does need to be good enough to be worth it, but as a player you have to weigh risks instead of categorically avoiding them.

All true, but there's also the aspect of opportunity costs to consider. Like, you can spend a feat for the ability to spend a resolve point to do something, or you could spend a feat for a bonus that's always there, and you get to still have all your resolve available to not die.

When comparing options that you haven't done the math on, it's pretty easy to justify ignoring non-health Resolve abilities when you know for sure that using them directly correlates with your likelihood of death, and at some point you're going to be locked out of using the Resolve ability based on whatever dire straits your resolve pool is in.

Maybe it's illogical, or mathematically inferior, to ignore lots of resolve abilities, but having a nice big resolve buffer is a nice psychological boon.

For what it's worth, there are quite a few Resolve abilities that are good and useful to me, they just are primarily about not dying. If there was a big push to make more non-health related Resolve abilities, it would largely be irrelevant to me and my group. I just think Resolve is best suited for health management, and things like Focus are better utility pools.


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If you want to play in a game where rarity doesn't exist, tell your GM that you want to ignore it. If your GM says no, then you were always going to be playing "mother may I" because your GM has different views than you. Now there's a language to use for it.


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swoosh wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:


While I think this is a perfectly fine opinion to have, I disagree with it.
This isn't really something to disagree upon though. You can not like the patron dynamic, of course, but the concept of witches with patrons has existed for as long as the witch class itself has existed in Pathfinder. This is not a new thing being dumped on your head. But to say the Pathfinder Witch having a patron is somehow antithetical to the concept of the class is fundamentally misleading, because it's always been a component of said class.

No need for hyperbole. I never said having Patrons is antithetical to the class. I said it's not something I personally find important to the class's concept, given that every witch in my games has handwaved them away.

When we're talking about hopes and expectations for the class, I hope that I can continue to handwave away patrons or better yet have a canon option to proceed without them.


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Vali Nepjarson wrote:

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.

While I think this is a perfectly fine opinion to have, I disagree with it. I think it's nice and neat in this edition if you allow an int based prepared caster who learns Occult spells to be a Witch and one who learns Arcane spells to be a Wizard.

"A feat or whole archetype that lets them take some spells from the Occult Spell List" might just as easily be multiclassing into Witch.

I think the fact that Witches must seek out and expand their spell repertoire really feeds into this notion that I have that they should be analogous to Wizards. If Witches truly receive all their power from a Patron, they should get the full spell list like Clerics.

I'm okay with a portion of their power coming from a Patron, as long as it's handwavable or, even better, explicitly avoidable through a different option.

As for the "Patron" etymology question, and this is a severe tangent at this point, it's a small enough issue for me to let it go, but I do consider it a contributing factor as to why I personally don't care for it. In modern day Wicca, it's common to use "Matron" or "Patron" to describe one's personal goddess or god, specifically because of the masculine association of the word Patron. Patroness is commonly discarded because it implies the female patron is a special case of the default, similar to how people object to words like stewardess. I'm sure you can see how it can be a bit of an eye-twitcher issue.


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Starfinder is balanced on the assumption that players have equipment roughly equivalent to their level. You can give players much higher level equipment, but their "effective level" is going to be very difficult or impossible to estimate.

So a group of unarmed level 5 PCs will have a somewhat nebulous effective level lower than expected. A group of level 5 PCs with a bunch of level 10 items will have a nebulous higher effective level.

Play will be drastically different between the two, as somewhat described in the OP. Against level 5 threats, the overgeared party will hit about as often as expected, but deal outsized damage. They'll also be much harder to hit, with their better armor.

If you want to approximate these scenarios with XP, my first guess would be to grant XP as normal to the group without gear, and use the average item level of their gear as their effective level when determining XP rewards when they get super-geared.

As others have said, milestone leveling would be a much easier way to go about it.

As an aside: I like XP for open world, sandbox games. When there's no real story to track, or they can go where they like, it's very difficult to arbitrarily decide when they should level. For Starfinder, I find sandbox games harder to run, so I've been exclusively using milestone leveling so far.


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masda_gib wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

I personally hope there's a good way to downplay or ignore patrons. To me, patrons weren't the fun part about witches and every one my group played actively ignored it. In my head, patrons = warlocks.

What I liked about Witches was their spooky spell list which oozed flavor, and their hexes which helped shore up their patchy spell list and gave them a unique niche as an all-day spooker.

I think being the pre-eminent Occult spell slinger and having hexes as cantrips/focus powers/rituals/etc would be more than enough to sustain a class.

Patrons can be an optional flavor extra for those who liked that, similar to wizard schools.

Personally, I hope there isn't an option to ignore patrons that much.

The one thing I like about the current classes is that there is always a cause, a source of magic if they have spellcasting abilities.

I don't want a class that can do magic just because it's cool without any explanation. For the witch, that explanation is the patron.

For that reason, I like the multiclass system. There isn't just a class archetype for the fighter that grants spells because that would be cool. If your fighter wants spells, they can MC into a spellcasting class and with that also gain the source of magic of that class. It's far more thematic.

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 all the way back to "pater" or father which has some pretty annoying connotations for a class called Witch.

I'm just saying, I hope either Patrons are refluffable (so don't have anathema) or we're given an option to not require one.


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Mechagamera wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
To my mind, a warlock is a male witch. Other than sex, there's no difference.

I reserve the term Warlock for the D&D class that focuses on all-day blasting, is charisma based, has limited casting, and requires a pact.

The PF1 Witch was not even close to that to me.

The 4e warlock could be either an int caster or a cha caster and spent all day making sure that warlock's curse was on somebody (and a lot of somebodies at higher levels) and could hang around a summoned minion. By 3rd level, the 'lock only used eldritch blast if he/she ran out of creepy encounter or daily spells. I don't know about you, but that seems just a cackle short of being a lot like the PF1 witch to me.

The 3.5e warlock was cha based, didn't have regular casting, was focused on the Eldritch blast, could wear armor, and had a better BAB.

5e Warlock doesn't have regular casting, is cha based, and does lots of Eldritch Blasts (Or so I've heard).

If the Witch had an offensive blast they could spam, and was a spontaneous caster, and had either 6th level casting or a reduced number of slots, I would have seen them as a much closer Warlock imitation.

The 4e warlock is clearly the inspiration for the witch. It doesn't matter what the 3.5 or the 5e version does. It is just as relevant to talk about what the 2e ranger or 1e paladin did as it is to bring up either of those warlocks.

Not at all. For one, I said I personally reserve the term Warlock for D&D warlock, but I didn't specify which edition. I followed up with the editions that I have in mind when I say "D&D Warlock". Whether or not the Witch is an offshoot of ths 4e Warlock (which is up for debate) is immaterial.

The fact is, coming to Pathfinder from D&D 3.5, I personally do not feel the witch is even remotely a stand in for my warlocks. They fill significantly different niches, and I would argue that the D&D warlock fulfills the "make a pact for power" fantasy much better.


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Mechagamera wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
To my mind, a warlock is a male witch. Other than sex, there's no difference.

I reserve the term Warlock for the D&D class that focuses on all-day blasting, is charisma based, has limited casting, and requires a pact.

The PF1 Witch was not even close to that to me.

The 4e warlock could be either an int caster or a cha caster and spent all day making sure that warlock's curse was on somebody (and a lot of somebodies at higher levels) and could hang around a summoned minion. By 3rd level, the 'lock only used eldritch blast if he/she ran out of creepy encounter or daily spells. I don't know about you, but that seems just a cackle short of being a lot like the PF1 witch to me.

The 3.5e warlock was cha based, didn't have regular casting, was focused on the Eldritch blast, could wear armor, and had a better BAB.

5e Warlock doesn't have regular casting, is cha based, and does lots of Eldritch Blasts (Or so I've heard).

If the Witch had an offensive blast they could spam, and was a spontaneous caster, and had either 6th level casting or a reduced number of slots, I would have seen them as a much closer Warlock imitation.


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Ed Reppert wrote:
To my mind, a warlock is a male witch. Other than sex, there's no difference.

I reserve the term Warlock for the D&D class that focuses on all-day blasting, is charisma based, has limited casting, and requires a pact.

The PF1 Witch was not even close to that to me.


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I personally hope there's a good way to downplay or ignore patrons. To me, patrons weren't the fun part about witches and every one my group played actively ignored it. In my head, patrons = warlocks.

What I liked about Witches was their spooky spell list which oozed flavor, and their hexes which helped shore up their patchy spell list and gave them a unique niche as an all-day spooker.

I think being the pre-eminent Occult spell slinger and having hexes as cantrips/focus powers/rituals/etc would be more than enough to sustain a class.

Patrons can be an optional flavor extra for those who liked that, similar to wizard schools.


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Hyena

Goat

Wyvern


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Yeah, the one spell known per level is shockingly inflexible. I feel that increasing that to two known per spell level is a decent change, but increasing it even further might be in order.

There really should also be signature spells available as well.


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The weapon trait budget likely requires the Longbow to have a negative trait.

I'm leaning toward giving Longbows a "Strenuous" trait. Longbows have an absurd draw weight, and using them rapidly will make even the most trained archer knackered quickly.

No other weapon requires you to go to the extreme of your physical capabilities for every attack like a 200lb bow.

So, I'm trying out a "firing this weapon reduces your movement speed by 5 for every shot fired this round" type penalty. Still working on it though.


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BellyBeard wrote:
Nyerkh wrote:

Most of the 40 classes of 1E will show up at some point, one way or another. Some may not be actual full classes, some are likely to be fused, but we'll get them.

Shifter is not one of the four for next year.
But I'd expect it'll appear down the line. Probably not in the second or even third batch though.
Sorry for the tangent, but do we know all 4 classes in the APG? I know of witch but not the others.

Witch, Swashbuckler, Oracle, Investigator iirc


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Hiruma Kai wrote:

Out of curiosity, for those DMs who encourage their PCs to play to their ability scores, how do they deal with high int and wis PCs (Like a 20 Int and 18 Wis Wizard around level 10) in and out of combat? Are they not allowed to take sub-optimal actions and the group suggests better options? Or simply don't allow people with less than perfect system mastery to play such a character?

Oh, that's easy. I straight up give extra hints and help to intelligent characters. Once I even let them retroactively buy some spell scrolls when they were in a dungeon.

But really, players get to slide a lot more in how they behave with regard to their character's stats as long as they're having fun.

When piloting enemies as a GM I get really into acting them out realistically. The moment when the cowardly bandits break and flee. The animal that attacks the scrawny, slow member of the party from stealth. The over-confident Ogre boss who straight up killed his own team mate as it tried to flee.

My players would get fed up if I played all enemies the same.


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I would bet money that a martial focused shifter class is going to come along eventually.

I would love it if they took another swing at the Shifter from 1e.


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I was very close to allowing free access to any class feat list, as long as the feat doesn't have prerequisites.

I went through the feat lists and highlighted all the feats in the playtest that would qualify, and found there were surprisingly few balance concerns. I didn't go through the final feat lists in the same way, so I can't say for sure if that's still true. I do know some combos are great, but can also be achieved with dedications, so getting them early with free list access isn't *too* bad.

I also found the bonus feats and dedications got my character conversions from PF1 to PF2 down really nicely without extra freedom required. Unrestricted feat access is far more likely to cause problems in the future too, with new things being added. At least with bonus feats you're still restricted to half-level feats.

I think if I did end up doing that, I would go whole hog and make a classless homebrew ruleset.

A nice alternative might be creating a pool of "general class" feats that you populate with things you think anyone should be able to grab. Gives you more control.


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I think at the heart of this whole discussion is that some people wanted PF2 to be an incremental change from PF1, with a focus on backwards compatibility.

You cannot build a new edition from the ground up while being shackled to having exactly the same spells available at exactly the same levels with exactly the same effects. It's just not possible, you would end up with a half-assed Unchained 2.

It's fine if some people don't want to port their PF1 games forward because the mechanics of PF2 cause some problems for their particular party.

It should be noted that GM discretion is 100% in play. In PF2 the GM can handwave Goodberry to grant you a bushel of berries every 6 seconds if they want to. The GM can also give you a special Goodberry ritual that meets the story requirements.

Refusing to work with the new system to any degree, and then claim it has failed you, is unreasonable.


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I would agree that "pick a tradition" doesn't exactly fit the PF1 version of the witch whose hallmark was the weird spell list that they had to work around. I think Occult fits that particular list pretty well.

Getting bonus spells from Patrons will do a lot to keep Patrons relevant, and give the witch distinct flavor.


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Man, we had our first 2e session the other weekend, and it was a blast, but they were having so much fun RPing that we only got two easy encounters in. They were designed to be easy, as I'm easing them into the big stuff. Two easy encounters aren't enough for me to give a full report, but I can at least comment on when they've used their extra class feats.

Important house rules:
1. Bonus class feat at every odd level
2. Bonus general feat at 1st level
3. Multiclass feats can all be taken 1 level earlier than listed

Campaign Notes:
A high powered, sandbox type game where they can acquire items outside the expected power curve if they are determined to do so. Lots of homebrew. Some off-the-wall character concepts, like a were-cow.

Party Summary:

Everyone is level 9.

Fighter/Rogue Sheet
Sword and board fighter with a homebrew railgun, and a house rule that you can sneak attack for 1d4 with non-finesse weapons.

Wizard/Sorcerer/Bard Sheet
Evocation wizard.

Ranger/Alchemist Sheet
Ranger with a pet dog, using a homebrew paintball gun that shoots alchemical paintballs.

Monk/Druid Sheet
A monk who can transform into a cow.

Ranger/Druid Sheet
Archery focused ranger with a homebrew arc rifle.

First encounter:

Two level 7 Ogre Bosses. XP total 40 = Less than trivial.

They set up an ambush for a pair of ogre vanguards. They were defeated in three rounds and dealt minimal damage to the party.

From memory, the times where each player used their bonus feats to their advantage during the first combat:

Fighter/Rogue: Bonus Toughness, gives extra confidence to charge forward.

Wizard: Bonus Improved Initiative, gave her a better initiative.

Ranger/Alchemist: Was able to create free daily ammo for their homebrew gun.

Monk/Druid:

1. Was able to wildshape. Used one out of three Focus points earlier to transform into a cow to pull their wagon. The second was spent to transform into a cow and gain a speed boost, some bonus HP, and a hefty damage die increase for 1 minute.

2. Bonus Fleet got her into combat faster

Ranger/Druid: Used level 1 Heal spell from Druid Dedication feats to heal 12 HP on the Ranger/Alchemist's pet.

Second encounter:

Two level 7 Ogre Bosses, 1 level 8 Ogre Lord. XP 70 = Approximately low threat.

Three ogres came to investigate the missing scouts, and were also ambushed.

Fighter/Rogue: Bonus Toughness again.

Wizard: Bonus Improved Initiative again.

Ranger/Alchemist:

1. Free ammo again.

2. Threw a VERY ineffective free alchemist's fire.

Monk/Druid:

1. Wildshape again, her last focus. That extra damage was very noticeable.

2. Bonus Fleet got her into combat faster, and let her move in and out.

Ranger/Druid: No benefit from bonus feats this combat.

Summary of Easy Combats

The limited number of rounds meant that there was a very low likelihood of getting to flex all the options available to each player.

Everything listed above is achievable by a character with no bonus feats. They would just have to trade out more of their baseline feats to do so. In other words, if the Monk/Druid wanted to continue to be a shapeshifter, they could do it without bonus feats but lose out on all their nifty jumping and athletics feats they picked up from Monk.

The two points above indicate that further analysis requires at least a full adventuring day to see the true benefit of the additional utility (spells, feats, and abilities)

Furthermore, tactics and ambushes make a powerful team even more powerful.

Speculation Going Forward

I would wager that in the future the things that will be most noticeable will be:

1. Extra spells at the trailing end of an adventuring day. My Wizard preferred her wizard spells, but once those start running low, her backup spell slots may start to look more enticing, even if they are filled with mostly utility things.

2. Extra flexibility from encounter to encounter. In the encounters above, the Monk/Druid combined Flurry and Wildshape effectively, but once out of Wildshapes she can fall back on her athletics and jumping feats to, for example, climb up and down from trees to remove herself from danger. Something a non-bonus-feat character wouldn't be able to fall back on.

3. That bonus general feat is going to provide more consistent value throughout the character's life than a lot of the bonus class feats, which are all situational.


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Corrik wrote:
Quote:
We knew, from the outset, that the story of the game had to remain the same, even if the rules that made it manifest needed to change.

Unfortunately I do not find that this is true, and it's the primary reason I won't be playing Second Edition. The story of my Druid using Goodberries to help feed the survivors of Phaendar simply does not work with the new version of the spell. That story is gone, and any changes made to "make it work" create a new story. This is true for numerous changes made throughout the system, to the point where I don't consider the Campaign Setting in the editions to be the same. Things just feel too different. I've mostly moved to more narrative systems, so a game that is constantly telling me how I should play in a setting I have no investment in just really doesn't interest me.

Yeah, if your stories hinge on single specific spells being cast at the exact right level with no substitutes accepted (such as a custom spell or ritual), then edition changes are not for you.


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I'm also one of those people who enjoys spending time outside of the game tweaking concepts, and getting off-the-wall ideas to work mechanically. I've put in hundreds of hours pouring over PF1 options. I own almost every hero lab data package. I spend extra hours helping other people in my group polish their characters. Suffice to say, I'm a fan of PF1 and character optimization.

However, I don't know anyone else who comes close to my passion for that work. I don't even know any friends of friends who would even vaguely be interested in that. I've gone online to find new groups, and none of them have been interested in lengthy character building.

That all being said:

1. Pathfinder 2E has loads of out of game optimization, tweaking, and theorycrafting.

2. House rules, which are encouraged by the new system's design, allow for a vast array of new avenues of charop. Double class feats makes the system sing.

3. The other players now feel empowered by the system to make decisions based on roleplay, and they're more energized about character building.

4. Players who I outdid in character optimization are now challenging me with their tactical in-combat ability, proving the system unlocks more avenues for players to shine in their unique ways.

5. Just wait for class archetypes.


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In an open field scenario, if my group of 4 is facing off with a group of 8 orcs who employ this tactic...

Options:

1. Group up to negate flanking
2. Have ranged characters attack as normal
3. Have melee characters attack the designated orc flanker with one action, and use two actions to ready an attack against others.
4. Move as a group to take down one orc at a time with impunity since they're not grouped up
5. Use environment control spells and items
6. Ready trips and grapples
7. Retreat at a rate of 1 move action a round

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