Amiri

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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 1,391 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.




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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Back in the playtest, I liked to keep a list of things I felt were issues with the game as it stood, and order them from most concerning to least. I think it'd be fun to do that again, but with a focus on what we'd like to see Paizo add to the new edition!

Here's mine:

1. Errata of the most glaring issues. (This is currently confirmed for late October!)

2. More ancestry feats/heritages. I think this is critical, since there are so few options right now, and 17th level is completely blank! I think we need a bushel of new ancestry feats for every ancestry as soon as possible.

3. Class archetypes. This would give me some of the extra level 1 tweaking that I find I'm missing in PF2, and open up some personal preference options (like legendary armor fighters?)

4. More magic items. I'll be honest, the loot I'm spreading into my campaign is looking pretty thin! Animal companion gear is a big missing piece too! And we need more interesting staves!

5. Firearms + technology. I group these together, because I sincerely hope technological items like rail guns and arc rifles can follow the same design principles as the rest of the game, instead of feeling too tacked on.

6. More spells. Mostly need to fill in old standbys and flesh out certain lists focused on a single type of spell.

7. Monster building/item designing rules for GMs. I need to augment my game!

8. More classes. There's a reason this is down at number 8. I'd love to get a handful of more options, but I think what we have is already pretty good.

9. More ancestries. I actually don't think I'll be *too* excited by new ancestries until the current ones feel like they have enough feat options.

What do your guys' lists look like?

For fun, here are my last playtest issues and what happened to them:

1. Lack of combat style customization and flexibility outside of class
Update: A surprising amount of combat customization can come from ancestry feats. I still feel general-feat weapon or armor style archetypes may be in order, but overall it's not going too badly. Houserules are also easy fixes for this.

2. Weak spells
Update: Not an issue for me any longer.

3. Limited class options (narrow feat level tiers, enforced party roles, "least bad" feat selection)
Update: In general, there's always a feat I want at each tier, even if it's a multiclass feat. This issue seems resolved.

4. Limited first/early level customization
Update: I still feel things take a longer time than I want to come online. House ruling extra feats solves this, and may show up in the GM guide.

5. Over-reliance on a designated "healer"
Update: Medicine and focus healing has largely made this a non-issue.

6. Low success rate for optimized characters
Update: Non-issue, with high end optimization reaching ~95% chances of success.

7. Heavy armor being too heavily penalized
Update: Fixed.

8. Skill feats taking too much away from baseline skill functions
Update: Largely fixed.

9. Class specific problems (Retributive Strike, Hunt Target)
Update: The different class paths make these a much smaller issue, letting you pick your flavors.

10. Bland races
Update: Almost fixed. We need more ancestry feats!

11. Focus
Update: Non-issue.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My character is a level 13 soldier equipped with an IMDS Missile Launcher, which is a heavy weapon.

I have loaded it with a Tactical Missile, which has the special property explode (6d8 B&P; 30ft)

Does this missile gain damage from Weapon Specialization?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, the Ancestry request thread shows lots of people would be interested in playing true dragons. It seemed obvious that the new Ancestry paradigm should better enable playing big strong creatures, but how exactly?

Personally, I would like to see as much as possible built into the ancestry itself via ancestry feat progression. For example, a dragon could start small, then take a feat at X level to get large, or get better flight, or some other useful dragon feature.

What I find, however, is that there are far too few Ancestry feats to let this make any sense. Dragon feats would have to be jam-packed with bonus features or the dragon player wouldn't feel very dragony later on.

Considering the power of lots of the Dragon features, like flight, natural weapons, breath weapons, innate spells, energy resistance, and more... it seems like by necessity Class will have to take some of the balance load. This would align with the method in previous editions of offsetting high powered races with level adjustments, effectively giving you "levels" in your ancestry.

Furthermore, given that the combination of dragon features would be very hard to balance if they were all fully available to pick and choose from a "Dragon" archetype, and the fact that dragons lean hard into a weapon selection (bites and claws etc) which is in the purview of a full class's kit, I would hazard that we would need a full Dragon class, which can only be taken by those of the Dragon (or half dragon?) ancestry. (A dedication archetype into Dragon would be a good Dragon Disciple, though.)

I would also like it if these types of characters could be balanced against regular ancestries, so that you don't have to ask the GM to run a specific high-power campaign just to play some cool monsters.

This could work pretty well, but runs the risk of flooding Paizo with requests for custom classes for every other monster in the bestiary. This could be less of a problem, though, if the need for a monster class is only necessary for monsters that have different versions that span many levels like dragons' age categories.

It also blurs the lines between the ABCs, which Paizo might be strongly averse to.

What do you think? How would you go about making playable powerful ancestries?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Some fight scenes with Balsa from Seirei no Moribito

So, part of putting the system through its paces is feeling out the various ways you can tweak a concept to get a specific feel. Balsa is a straight up spear wielder, but there are lots little things that make a build not obvious. Looking for some ideas!

Ancestry: Human

Background: Martial Disciple (athletics)

Class: The one thing that's probably unavoidable is being Fighter, so that she can reach the peak of martial capability with a weapon. That's not to say she's legendary, but in an even matchup she doesn't fall behind anyone, which means her spear proficiency has to be at fighter levels.

Weapon: You would think Spear, obviously, right? But the weapon she uses is a shortspear for one, which is an unremarkable simple weapon with only Thrown as a redeeming trait. Longspear would work just fine, but its traits really don't help the rest of the character's tactics which are all non-lethal. The ideal weapon would be something spear-like with trip and disarm.

For mechanics, I think the war flail would be amazing. Sweep for her ability to take on multiple opponents at once, trip to knock people down and get away, and disarm to remove lethal threats. Too bad it's a huge flail!

Ranseur comes in next with reach and disarm, with a shape that could reasonably approximate Balsa's weapon if you squint.

The bo staff might be a winner with parry for defensive maneuver's like hers, and reach, and trip, and since she hardly ever actually attacks with the spear end, maybe your GM will let you just put a blade on the end for looks?

What would you do for her weapon?

Armor:
She is clearly lightly armored and has a high dexterity. I would think Explorer's Clothes may be sufficient.

Class Feats:

1: Sudden Charge. She's pretty fast to spring into action.
1: Exacting Strike. Seems like she'd be the type to not let a miss slow her down.

2: Lunge. She does quite a few lunges.

4: Knockdown? Quick Reversal? Swipe?

6: Really wish Guardian's Deflection didn't have the one hand free requirement. Maybe go back and get one I didn't grab at level 4?

8: Blind-fight. It seems like her combat senses are just really sharp.

10: Improved knockdown? Certain strike? Combat reflexes? Monk's Flurry? Basic Kata?

General Feats:
1: Assurance, athletics. To trip and disarm mooks.

3: Toughness. She's undeniably pretty sturdy.

7: Incredible initiative. She's quick to react to danger.

Ancestry Feats:
1. Natural ambition

5. General Training (Fleet)

9. Multitalented (Monk)


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, I really want to run Starfinder games on the same rules chassis as PF2. I'm dissatisfied with quite a lot of Starfinder's baggage, so I've put together a proof of concept document to feel out my approach for porting over the minimum amount of things from Starfinder to PF2.

In the link below, I have a proof of concept attempt at converting the following:

Classes
Ancestries
Technological Weapons, Armor, and Items
Technological Skills
Starship rules

I would be very happy if I could get some feedback from you kind folks about these approaches. If there are any serious pitfalls you predict, or modifications you would suggest. I'm also open to hearing if it's all just a bad idea!

Starfinder to PF2 Conversion Concept


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you were going to try to update Starfinder to use the majority of the improvements seen in PF2, how would you go about it?

I'm looking at the bones of the PF2 system and I see that it might just make the most sense to port classes and technological items and skills from Starfinder to PF2, and just use a lot of PF2 as-is.

How would you start?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What would be the impact of giving everyone a focus pool of 3, right from the start?

Why would you do that?

1. Give people items that grant focus powers. For example, my homebrew Holy Avenger gives dispel magic as a focus power, but the player might not have a pool yet.

2. Some confusion surrounds which powers grant points and which don't. This could do an end run around the problem, since everyone would always have 3.

3. Some characters start at level 1 with two already, and hit the cap shortly thereafter. Why beat around the bush?

4. If a player has one neat power they like, why make them jump through hoops to get more that they don't intend to use just to get two more pool points?

So, would that destroy anything?


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Was this feat designed to be taken with retraining, or was it designed to be taken with a higher level feat slot and just sits in 8th to fill that level out? Is it a mistake? By the way, I'm referencing Hero Lab and Archives of Nethys.

Are there other instances across the system where low level feats require high level features?

I want to know if I should just house rule out the prerequisite, or if there's some good reason for it.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Link to Google Doc

Now, I'm not a user interface or graphic designer, but I put this together because I have a set of very specific requirements and problems. This character sheet prototype is meant to meet the following goals:

Goals:

1. Printer friendly, with no dark areas that bleed through my cheap paper

2. Hand writing friendly

3. Usable by the visually impaired

4. Amenable to drastic house rules, like doubling the number of class feats you receive.

5. Transparently track proficiency and ability boosts throughout a character's career

6. Put all combat relevant actions and focus spells in one easily accessible place near weapons

7. Have space to record spells known from advancement and in-game acquisition

8. Allow fast and easy transcription of key statistics from HeroLab, since HeroLab's printout is an unusable mess

9. Provide lots of inventory room for all the odds and ends we drag around, as well as space for easily tracking consumables

Here is the overview of intent:

Sheet Walkthrough:

Pages 1 and 2:

The idea is that pages 1 and 2 will be printed front and back on one sheet of paper, and will contain all character build information. This will serve as the heart of the character, and may not even be necessary to bring to each game if you don't expect to level. Keep this sheet tucked at the back of your clip board or folder. Very little on these pages will ever need to be overwritten or erased, so this sheet should last a long time.

All of the proficiencies and ability boosts are contained on page 1. In the TEML boxes, there is enough space to write the level at which you acquired that level of proficiency.

All feat choices are contained on page 2, with enough room to add lots of bonus feats. It mirrors the class advancement table in each class's rulebook entry.

Page 3:

This page is the combat or action sheet. Most values can be copied directly from Hero Lab, and the calculations are subsumed into the final displayed values. Where proficiency level is important, a letter can be appended to the bonus total (ex. Acrobatics: 12E). I included the equation to calculate most values in case some special scenario occurs during play.

The biggest feature of this sheet is the 12 lines to write down actions from class feats, focus powers, and innate spells. This will allow a much smoother play experience when you start collecting lots of combat options at later levels.

Page 4:

This page can be printed on the back of page 3, but it doesn't have to be. It's a straightforward inventory sheet with lots of space for usable items like wands, potions, and ammunition

Pages 5 and 6:

The caster pages, which don't need to be printed for non-casters.

Page 5 has a very compact means of writing the spells you know throughout your career. It has a generous number of slots (58) for wizard spell hoarders. The number of actions and description spaces have been omitted since almost every spell our group casts is with the full spell description close at hand. The [P/S] column lets prepared casters mark a spell as prepared (with a number to indicate multiples) or a spontaneous caster to mark a spell as Signature.

Page 6 has a straightforward familiar block and a multiclass casting block that's a slightly shrunk version of page 5.

I am eager to hear feedback or criticism. I've made this in google docs so that anyone can take it and customize it, but be forewarned: I got reeeaaaal crazy with tables.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The more I think about the second page of the character sheet, the more I think it doesn't make sense. Comparing the class feature table to the one on the character sheet makes me wonder what exactly is supposed to go where.

Look at the Rogue class features: initial proficiencies, rogue’s racket, sneak attack 1d6, surprise attack, rogue feat, skill feat

Okay, leave out the initial proficiencies and the racket (even those are super important and don't get listed elsewhere on the sheet) we still have two lines to list sneak attack, surprise attack, and a bonus skill feat. There's no level 1 skill feat slot for the rogue's bonus skill feats, nor is there a spot for the extras gained at other levels.

Every other class has too much going on to fit neatly either. There's also no neat place to list skill increases. If it's going for clearness and helping a new player step through a character, then it does a poor job because it appears to gloss over lots of little important things.

It just seems like a lined sheet of paper beats out the numbered boxes in usability in every regard.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Current rule:

When your enemy can’t properly defend itself, you take advantage to deal extra damage. If you Strike a creature that has the flat-footed condition (page 620) with an agile or finesse melee weapon, an agile or finesse unarmed attack, or a ranged weapon attack, you deal an extra 1d6 precision damage. For a ranged attack with a thrown melee weapon, that weapon must also be agile or finesse.

As your rogue level increases, so does the number of damage dice for your sneak attack. Increase the number of dice by one at 5th, 11th, and 17th levels.

Proposed addition to rule:

If you Strike with a weapon that is neither an agile or finesse weapon, all sneak attack dice are reduced to d4s.

Reason:

I liked sneak attacking in PF1 with big weapons, it was fun. I also abhor being told what kind of weapons a class should use, even if they seek proficiency in other kinds of weapons than baseline.

Expected impact:

Many rogues will see the reduction of dice and the feats required to obtain different weapons, and just decide to stick with their agile weapons.

Ruffian rogues still get better dice with simple weapons, and can still apply their crit effect if they do decide to pursue martial weapons at the cost of sneak attack die size.

Rogues of different races will be able to sneak attack with various racial weapons.

Everyone taking the Rogue dedication will be able to use the sneak attack feature without changing their prior weapon of choice.

Overall increase in Rogue class's strength.

Overall increase in Rogue Dedication strength.

Main Questions:

Just how much stronger would this change make sneak attacks?

If it too greatly encourages using non-agile weapons, what modifications to this rule would help?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

We know the idea is that prestige classes will be archetypes with requirements that can be met at roughly 6th level. While I'm not sure how that's going to interact with prior multiclass dedications, I think the potential is there for prestige classes to mesh much better with a wider variety of character builds.

Shadowdancer, for example, had combat reflexes, dodge, mobility, stealth 5, and perform (dance) 2, as requirements. It primarily gave progression in roguey stuff, as well as a variety of shadow magic things.

Should it require rogue dedication? Simply trained in stealth and some sort of performance? Should it have mostly shadow stuff in its feat list, or should it also include rogue themed feats? Should the shadow stuff be focus power based?

In general, how many levels of feats should prestige classes have? Enough to take all of prestige feats from 6 to 16, to mimic their 10 levels in PF1? Just a handful of really good feats you could take at any level mixed in with your base class stuff?


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've been playing the Pathfinder: Kingmaker computer roleplaying game and I think it just has to be said: Second edition is going to be crazy amenable for turning into a CRPG. Not just to faithfully re-create the game, but to provide an enjoyable experience for non-ttrpg players.

You have:

1. Straightforward ABC character generation that's easy to code and walk through.

2. Separate pools of feats, obtained in a predictable progression that can be easily visualized over a 20 level spread

3. Opt-in mechanics to limit cognitive overload and let subsystems be independently excluded or modified

4. 3 action economy for straightforward turn based combat

5. High skill floor, allowing a narrower band of game difficulty options

6. Fewer build options that require pre-planning many levels in advance

7. Easier monster customization, to make more interesting monsters that are enjoyable to face, and also easier to scale slightly up or down for player level wiggle room

8. Better defined out of combat rules for searching, sneaking, traveling, etc to help spice up the time walking between encounters or through the world

9. Refocus feature allowing extension of adventuring days without encouraging players to retreat and spam rest for a better overall gaming experience

10. Easy to code and parse conditions, which stack or cancel in obvious ways

11. Scaling cantrips providing consistent magical blasting to avoid fatal encounters with non-obvious threats like swarms, which are highly intolerable to inexperienced gamers

12. Sensible experience system with meaningful numbers for new players

13. Opportunity to provide new kinds of hidden rewards, like bonus feats, without destroying game balance to cater to non-loot motivated players, or fans of "use a skill to improve it" systems.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Have we gotten any information about whether Rangers will be getting Focus Spell feats in the core rule book? I could have sworn I saw something about them, but I can't find anything one way or the other.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sword and Pistol:
"When you are wielding at least one one-handed melee weapon and at least one small arm, you can make two attacks against the same target with one of each type of weapon as a standard action. Each attack takes the same –4 penalty as a full attack action."

Throwing Fusion:
"A melee weapon with this fusion gains the thrown special property with a range increment of 10 feet."

Called Fusion:
"A weapon with the called fusion can be teleported to its owner’s hand as a swift action"

I'm trying to find a way to make Sword and Pistol somewhat useful. This would let you use it without closing on someone. You also have a swift action free to retrieve your weapon and be ready to make AoOs with it, unlike the Returning fusion.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm going to be honest. I almost never crack a physical book anymore. I buy them as a collector's piece and because I think Paizo deserves the money. This isn't anything new.

What's slightly more concerning is that I almost never crack a PDF anymore either. They can take time to load and search, and aren't responsive to screen size. PDFs are essentially a digital recreation of a nearly outmoded information distribution system.

Nine point nine times out of ten I'm searching on Archives of Nethys (now that d20pfsrd has those popups, and the proprietary stuff isn't included) for rules or info.

Even the forums, which are invaluable as a source of unofficial rules clarification, are behind the times. Even after the redesign I don't think anyone would call these forums the forefront of modern discourse media.

Managing characters electronically has become exceedingly common, but is rife with its own issues, like the arm-and-a-leg prices of HeroLab or the fiddly, unreliability of custom excel character sheets. Online play compounds this problem, with Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds essentially requiring you to build your character again within their ecosystems.

As much as some tables resist the infiltration of technology to the table, others embrace it, or would embrace it more if the tools were available, or rely on it to even begin to play.

TL;DR:

I think neglecting digitization (beyond PDF distribution) of at least some portions of Paizo's business model is dangerous in the long run.

Some of the things I expect to see in the future somewhere:

Near Term:
* SRD app that connects to a purchase account, but is searchable offline, and maintained by a UI and UX expert. Can enable and disable content based on table specific preferences. Serves as proof of purchase for organized play. Stores recent and common searches.

* Character builder and format that can be shared (Like HeroLab Online) and interfaces with Roll20 and FG, without a middle-man. Acts as character verification for organized play. Can track exchanges between players and GM in a game. Obviates need for a physical character sheet.

Long Term:
* AI voice interface that: searches rules, tracks combat rounds, initiative, and damage, manages inventory

* Augmented reality heads up display with character sheet info, battle map AoE display, customizable AR miniatures.

What do you think vis-a-vis Pathfinder and technology?


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Some of the playtest skill feats were examples of things I felt should be baked into the use of the skill, or at least gated by proficiency level and not feats.

I'm planning on house ruling out any such feat, and letting people perform such tasks with a simple check. What I'm wondering is how to formalize this rule so I can tell my players which feats, now and in the future, they can safely ignore without having to list them all.

Here are some feats from the playtest I felt should be baked in:

* Assurance (just like taking 10)
* Bargain Hunter
* Expeditious Search (Should just increase DC)
* Experienced Tracker (Should just increase DC)
* Forager (Should be built into proficiency increase)
* One-Handed Climber (Should just increase DC)
* Pickpocket
* Recognize Spell
* Survey Wildlife

What do you think constitutes a skill feat that should be baked in? Are you fine with most of the skill feats I listed as they were in the playtest?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Has anyone heard about there being a Sorcerer or Wizard focused on a specific type of elemental damage? In PF1e, you could convert a variety of damage types to your chosen one to expand your spell selection while remaining thematically on point. Was there something like that in the Playtest or mentioned for the full 2E?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Here's the thing. I love Starfinder and I love Pathfinder, and I love running both systems simultaneously with the same players. Where these systems differ on various rules is always a stumbling point when swapping back and forth, and I would be absolutely in favor of making sure the two systems don't diverge too far from each other.

Given that Pathfinder 2nd Edition is thought to be an overall improvement, I would sincerely like to see a Starfinder optional ruleset that adopts as many 2nd edition features as possible. It's too early in Starfinder's life to do a Starfinder 2E, and I don't feel it would be necessary in any case.

What do you all think about the relationship between the two systems going forward? Should they simply be treated wholly separately, or should some consideration be given for aiding players who want to swap back and forth? Do you think it's possible to create a Starfinder patch like that?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've been rewatching clips from Star Trek TNG and I have to say... captains in Starfinder do not live up.

Why is there no Sense Motive based Captain action that lets you out-maneuver the enemy?

It could be a difficult check that makes the enemy re-roll their piloting check to determine initiative.
It could be a check that allows the players' ship to move one hex in any direction immediately after the piloting phase.
It could grant the players' ship some sort of AC bonus against one arc of the enemy's ship, declared before the piloting phase.

I don't know, but the captain being a cheer leader is sorely unfulfilling.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Q1: It specifically says "when you intentionally step into thin air", do these not work in a vacuum?

Q2: If you activate these in zero gravity, does it essentially give you a fly speed? Does orientation (ascend/descend at 45 degrees) matter in zero gravity?

Q3: If you activate Force Soles in a region with gravity, could you walk perpendicular to gravity in the air upside down? Or are the force fields not "attached" to your foot?

Q4: Mark 2 Force Soles appear to let you stand in air indefinitely, is that true?

Q5: Can you run/charge through the air using Force Soles?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've been looking around and I can't find a definitive answer to whether you can add the Throwing weapon fusion to a Solarian weapon crystal and attack with it at range without it being dismissed as soon as it leaves your hand.

Does the Throwing Fusion overcome that portion of the solarian weapon rules?


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, I know everyone's been thinking about it, but let's bring the elephant in the room up for discussion.

Fireball does not use a ball of bat guano as a material component in the Playtest, which is frankly unacceptable.

What if every casting class defaulted to Eschew Materials, but real spellcasters could spend an action to add material components to a spell to get a bonus either to damage or save DC?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Spitballing from a comment I made.

What if Vanguards got a temporary HP pool very similar to an energy shield and their abilities keyed off of the status of that shield.

Concept:

Entropic Bubble: You attract a field of entropy around yourself that protects you from harm. Depleting the field allows you to more easily manipulate the entropy of the battlefield.

You gain a pool of temporary HP equal to your Vanguard level, which replenishes at a rate of 1/round, increasing as you level.

Certain vanguard disciplines can only be used when the shield is depleted. (Previously ones with an EP cost)

As a move action, you can absorb the field and gain access to certain vanguard disciplines.(Previously ones with an EP cost)

Benefits:
1. You don't have to track a new resource pool, it's the same rules as energy shields.

2. You have something making you "tanky" even before you start taking hits.

3. You can drop your shield each round with a move action to open up your cool abilities.

4. When you take damage your shield is dropped for you and you can move and act, or do two actions, making being in the thick of things still feel good.

5. Desiring temporary HP loss doesn't equate to you being a masochist.

6. You could have some abilities usable while the shield is partially damaged, versus fully depleted.

7. You could make builds and abilities that keep the shield up for more "tankiness" and others that deplete it faster for more bang.

Drawbacks:
1. It's not as unique

2. It might be hard to tune how many HP should be in the shield.

3. They might need to reduce the class's innate stamina and HP.

4. Might not interact well with the addition of regular energy shields.

What do you guys think?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Kneejerk reaction time!

Negatives:

Conceptually, they're very similar to Solarian, and I'm worried there might be a bit of toe treading going on.

I notice the Vanguard gets 6+int skill points while Solarian gets 4+int. Vanguard also gets more HP and Stamina.

Entropic strike hits against EAC, but a full fire damage Solarian Weapon still hits against KAC. Sweet. Not really a big deal though.

Pathfinder ended up shying away from directly tying Constitution with damage without some pretty severe drawbacks (Kineticist burn). It's worrisome to me that the Vanguard has this beefy 8 HP per level and con as primary stat.

11th level for flashing strikes versus 7 for Solarian seems a bit harsh.

Entropy points are going to feel really bad in play. Already, many people avoid using Resolve Points on anything but survival, so taking damage is going to be the primary means of generating them. On a class that has heavy armor, shields and AC bonus from generated EP, a bunch of misses are going to lock the player out of class features for an uncomfortably long time. Also, resistances and whatnot reducing an attack below the threshhold to generate EP is going to feel like a kick in the nuts.

Forgoing crit damage to get an EP is also going to feel lame, unless the enemy is already on its last leg. "I crit yay! Oh but instead I'll just add a point to my pool. No don't worry, I'll do something cool later guys. What do you mean you'd rather the enemy just die now?"

Having an engineering background, the vanguard aspect names feel kind of cringey.

"Flatten Bullets" - if you're hit by a kinetic ranged weapon (pretty rare in my games so far), you can spend one of your precious entropy points for the opportunity to attempt a fortitude save to halve the damage, but can only do so if you can move and are wearing heavy armor or a shield. Halving the damage might mean you don't get an EP from the attack.

"Friendly Fire" - Hey, I got tired of you guys hitting me all the time. No, don't stop doing that I'll just spend a class feature to reduce the damage. Sorry for being in the way. Sorry.

"Jump on a Grenade" - How about change this to bounce grenade (return to sender?), and make the heroic act of jumping on a grenade an option for anyone?

Positives:
It's nice to have another non-weapons based class.

I like the potential for someone to actually use combat maneuvers.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Lots of things have changed since the beginning of the playtest, and I think it would be a valuable exercise to re-evaluate which issues are currently at the top of the heap with respect to enjoyment.

As an example, for me early on, the list was:

1. Resonance
2. Lack of combat style customization and flexibility outside of class
3. Weak spells
4. Bland races
5. Limited first/early level customization
6. Limited class options (narrow feat level tiers, enforced party roles, "least bad" feat selection)
7. Lack of out-of-combat healing
8. Low success rate for optimized characters
9. Over-reliance on a designated "healer"
10. Heavy armor being too heavily penalized
11. Skill feats taking too much away from baseline skill functions
12. Class specific problems (Retributive Strike, Hunt Target)

Now it looks like this:

1. Lack of combat style customization and flexibility outside of class
2. Weak spells
3. Limited class options (narrow feat level tiers, enforced party roles, "least bad" feat selection)
4. Limited first/early level customization
5. Over-reliance on a designated "healer"
6. Low success rate for optimized characters
7. Heavy armor being too heavily penalized
8. Skill feats taking too much away from baseline skill functions
9. Class specific problems (Retributive Strike, Hunt Target)
10. Bland races
11. Focus

Maybe we could brainstorm some less specific problem area categories that we could put into a survey to rank the importance of current concerns?


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Since update 1.3, I've re-evaluated where I stand with regard to Class Feats, multiclassing, proficiencies, and character creation flexibility.

First, I want to state my position on a few topics:

Personal Opinions:

1. I generate characters first by choosing a general concept, fighting style, and flavor, then selecting the class that best allows me to fulfill my vision.

2. I think combat style options should be class agnostic, and particular modifications to a style should occur through class flavor mechanics. The ability to improve your character's capabilities with any given fighting style should not be locked behind class. Ex. applying sneak attack damage to generic TWF is sufficiently "rogue-y", and you shouldn't have to dip into fighter to improve your TWF.

3. I think it's important that, if skill with a chosen fighting style is important to your character concept, you should be able to distinguish your character from others that do not have the same focus. This should be achievable without sacrificing other character defining flavor abilities, such as those granted by class.

Overview

Let's look at what selecting a class currently does for you.

1. Grants a bonus in one ability score that is thematically relevant to the class.

2. Grants armor and weapon proficiences, and improvements to those as you level.

3. Gives you a number of skill increases, varying based on a class's thematic interaction with the skill system.

4. Grants HP, representing the physical toughness associated with people of that class.

5. Grants a small handful of baseline class features, such as Spells, Rage, Sneak Attack, etc.

6. Gives you a list of feats to select in order to customize the thematic abilities of your class

7. Gives you a list of feats to select in order to customize your character's style of combat.

I argue that Item 7 should not be included under the class umbrella, which raises the question of whether Item 2 should be as well. The others appear to be reasonable ways to distinguish classes from each other and package flavorful mechanical abilities that allow you to create a wide variety of distinct character concepts.

Class and Combat Style

I think combat style should be class agnostic for several reasons. The first is simply because that's how I build my characters. Frequently I will imagine a person with a bow, or a rapier, or a greatsword, or shooting bolts of energy, or even abstaining from violence. Then I ask what kind of things they do to support that style. Do they fight in a blind rage? Do they do it with skill, or with the aid of magic?

I don't say, for example, "I want to play a paladin, so that means I will have heavy armor, a sword and a shield."

Second, I think it's going to be a stupendous amount of effort to create class-specific versions of feats to give every class the ability to delve into any fighting style they might choose. Furthermore, since these options will have analogues from class to class, it's going to be very difficult to make sure each is balanced against another. You will have to balance them, or people will feel hard done by if their class gets a flatly inferior version of the same ability, for example.

Furthermore, multiclassing in order to unlock combat feats you would like to have access to in your original class is an unsatisfying reason to multiclass, in my opinion.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, using class feats in order to improve your skill with a certain combat style means you have to sacrifice class defining abilities. You end up losing out on features that were part of the main reason you picked the class in the first place. This is a distinct difference to how things were in PF1e, and I don't believe it's healthy.

Class and Weapon and Armor Proficiency

In PF1e weapon and armor proficiency is a big part of a class's kit. It's also one of the features most frequently modified by archetypes, and very, very frequently circumvented via Race traits, dipping, magic, and materials. I argue that, except for prestige class requirements, proficiencies became an increasingly minor part of the class kit as time went on. I didn't see many complaints about that, and indeed I relished being able to circumvent class proficiencies and build around out-of-type weapons and armor.

Now that PF2e has a universal BAB, and light, medium and heavy armors all trend toward providing similar total AC bonuses, it seems Class or feat expenditure is the last factor keeping people from picking and wearing or wielding whatever they like. What would be so bad about removing that barrier?

To be good with a weapon (as in, better than those not focused in its use) you need to expend something. In PF1e it was feats, in PF2e it's class features (right now).

Proposed Solution

My proposed solution has two parts. First, we need a pool of combat feats separate from Class Feats that allows us to customize and distinguish our characters with regard to their chosen fighting style without losing important flavor abilities of our class. I think we need to be given more general feats and a Combat Feat pool.

Second, I think Backgrounds should be expanded to allow you to choose your armor and weapon proficiencies, and perhaps unlock fighting style groups within the combat feat pool. Class progression charts can still list when you get proficiency increases in your selected weapon and armors, and certain classes can still gate access to the highest proficiency levels with combat feats as optional alternative paths.

Example Background Options

Here are some quick ideas for what the background options could look like. You'll note a buff focused caster wouldn't necessarily need to take Spell Combat.

Select Three Weapon Proficiency Options:

Spell Combat (ray and touch attack, etc. and grants access to other spell based combat feats)
Unarmed
Simple
Martial (Simple Required)
1 Exotic (Martial Required)

Select Three Armor Proficiencies (everyone starts with Unarmored):

Magic Defenses (Mage armor, Shield Spell, other)
Light Shields
Heavy Shields
Light Armor
Medium + All Shields (Light Armor Required)
Heavy + All Shields (Medium Armor Required)

There are also many other ways to do this, like selecting a handful of specific weapons, or weapon groups, or letting class add or remove a number of choices (monk and armor might be appropriate).

TL;DR

I think you should be able to select a combat style regardless of class, and boosting your relative performance with a certain fighting style shouldn't cost you class flavor.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hear me out. Lots of Class Feats have built-in prerequisites, like Rage, Spells, Spell Points, or other class features.

The Class Feats that don't so far look to be pretty reasonable choices for other classes to take. At least, based on my browsing.

If Class Feats were unlocked, what would that mean? Keeping in mind, if something is too class specific or powerful it could be locked back up with an arbitrary prerequisite or trait.

Here are some examples of pre-requisiteless Class Feats that would be opened up:

Alchemist:
Alchemical Familiar - Get a familiar
Alchemical Savant (Trained in Arcana) - Identify alchemical items
Far Lobber - Throw bombs better
Quick Bomber - Throw bombs faster
Calculated Splash - Use int to throw bombs better
Poison Resistance - Resist poison

Barbarian:
Sudden Charge - charge better
Internal Fortitude - Recover from sickness better

Bard:
Bardic Lore - recall knowledge on any topic
Steady Spellcasting - lessen spell disruption

Cleric:
Communal Healing - bonus to casting Heal spell
Emblazon Symbol - make an item a divine focus
Healing Hands - boost Heal spell
Holy Castigation - use Heal to damage devils and demons
Life Sapping - casting harm heals you
Turn Undead - Heal can cause undead to flee on a crit
Irresistible Energy - Remove some heal resistance from target

Druid:
Animal Companion - get a pet (might need to be class locked)
Leshy Familiar - gain a familiar
Reach Spell - increase spell range
Storm Born - reduce weather penalties
Widen Spell - Increase spell area
Wild Shape - use Pest Form 1/day (might need to be locked)
Poison Resistance - Resist poison
Savage Slice - Add a die of damage to second attack
Steady Spellcasting - lessen spell disruption

Fighter:
[The majority are PF1e Combat Feats or similar]

Monk:
[Basically all stances]
Ki Strike - gain ki spell points (might need to be locked)
Monastic Weaponry - proficiency with monk weapons based on your unarmed proficiency
Stunning Fist - stun with an unarmed strike
Brawling Focus - critical specialization with brawling weapons
Crushing Grab - str damage while grappling
Dancing Leaf - increase jump distance, reduce damage from falling near wall
Deflect Arrow - bonus to ac against ranged attack
Flying kick - jump and make an attack

Paladin:
Hospice Knight - medicine training
Divine Grace - reaction bonus to a saving throw (might need to be locked)
Aura of Courage - reduce fear effects for you and allies (might need to be locked)
Divine Health - resistant to diseases
Attack of Opportunity - you know

Ranger:
Animal Companion - get a pet (might need to be locked)
Double Slice - combine two attacks into one
Monster Hunter - bonuses to attack for identifying monster
Quickdraw - interact and strike at once
Running Reload - reload during movement
Scout's Warning - give bonus to team's initiative rolls
Twin Parry - Bonus to ac with two weapons
Skirmish Strike - move and attack, or attack and move
Wild Empathy - Diplomacy animals

Rogue:
Nimble Dodge - Reaction to gain bonus to AC
Trap Finder - bonuses to dealing with traps
You're next - Use reaction to intimidate after killing
Footpad's Focus - critical specialization effect for certain weapons
Mobility - half speed movement does not trigger reactions
Quickdraw - same
Sniper's Aim - Ignore concealment for the rest of your turn
Battle Assessment - learn about an enemy
Dread Striker - feared enemies are flat footed for you
Poison Weapon - add poison to a weapon for a turn
Reactive Pursuit - chase an enemy as a reaction
Running Reload - reload during movement
Sabotage - attempt to break an item with a thievery check

Sorcerer:
Counterspell - Reaction to spend a slot to attempt a dispel
Dangerous Sorcery - add bonus to spell damage
Familiar - gain a familiar
Reach Spell - metamagic
Widen Spell - metamagic
Conceal Spell - metamagic
Magical Striker - cast a spell and gain a bonus to nonmagical weapon
Resilient Concentration - give bonuses to spells on allies that you're concentrating on
Steady Spellcasting - less chance to be disrupted
Vicious Concentration - add damage to concentrate spell

Wizard:
Counterspell - same
Eschew Materials - replace material component with somatic
Familiar - gain a familiar
Reach Spell - metamagic
Widen Spell - metamagic
Conceal Spell - metamagic
Magical Striker - same
Quick Preparation - if you use a spellbook, you can swap spells in 10 minutes
Steady Spellcasting - same


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Animal Form spell lists static AC, TAC, and attack bonuses.

What do you all think of this for Wild Shape focused Druids who use Animal Form?

Shouldn't Strength and Dex be valuable for such characters?


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm fairly confident that flavor is a key element in making a rule system fun to play. This is a more controversial statement than you might expect because we will never all agree on what flavor is important, and what can be left out or refluffed at individual tables. It becomes very easy for us to sacrifice flavor (which might not be everyone's cup of tea anyway) to achieve some elegant system that solves a numbers problem.

We all have good imaginations. We can add whatever window dressing we need after the fact to make a robust system somehow fit our narratives. I argue that this approach is backwards and loses sight of the fact that rules are supposed to help us tell the stories we want to tell, not force our stories to change to support those rules.

From my posting history, it's obvious that I'm concerned that Resonance is an example of sacrificing or altering flavor to solve a numbers problem. I've gone into plenty of detail elsewhere, so I'll leave it at that.

My question is: What flavor do you feel must be preserved (if any), even at the cost of added complexity or sacrificing balance?

Here are some examples that should reveal what I mean by flavor and mechanics clashing. Don't get hung up on whether these are actual rules in PF2e. Some might not appear to be a problem at all.

1. Players find the legendary sword and pull it from its stone, then immediately strip its enchantments off to evenly spread out among them.

2. A player is gifted a circlet from the time of the old elves, that grants its wearer the ability to see into the past. Since they already have a hat they like, they decide to transfer the circlet's power to a ring instead.

3. The heroes return from the depths of the old dwarven ruin carrying hard won arms and armor. They sell it all and buy more appropriate gear from the well stocked magical item merchant.

4. The powerful wizard throws crackling bolt of lightning one after another at the demon, until he is spent. He then rummages through his bag to pull out a sheaf of scrolls to cast from for the rest of the fight.

5. The queen of the elves gives each member of the party a boon to help on their journey. One player receives a vial of fluid that shines brightly and is instructed to drink it "when you have exhausted your talents and no hope remains". They drink it and it has 50% chance of taking effect.

6. The fighter hits the ground, bleeding out, but the fight has ended. The cleric rushes to cast a powerful heal, but is stopped by the rogue: "Wait, use the wand. Save your spells for when danger is near."

7. The party arrives in the largest city in the land, fresh from battle with a dragon. They head to the magic item merchant and say "We want scrolls of every known spell, and twelve wands of healing" They plunk a bag of platinum coins worth more than half the city on the table and say to keep the change.

8. The paladin, after selling his share of the loot from the necromancer and buying a new shield decides to donate the rest of the money to his church. "Wait," says the wizard. "You're going to screw up our expected wealth. Save it to buy more gear later."

My personal opinions:

A. Treasure found in a dungeon should have meaning beyond a resale value.

B. Gold should be a valued resource at all levels of play, and spending it on things other than personal power should not unduly disrupt the game, and there should be things to spend it on beyond personal power.

C. Wizards should have something magical to do all the time

D. There should be unique items that can't be found for sale or craft at all levels of play.

E. If you have acquired a magic item for a purpose ahead of time, you should be able to use it for that purpose when the time comes.

F. The Magic Mart should be limited


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

To be clear, I plan on playtesting Resonance as it stands. However, I don't have a great deal of faith in the system and I think it would be smart to have a replacement ready to go in the event that my group's enjoyment is unduly hindered by it.

I'd like to generate some discussion about the consequences of removing Resonance, and use this thread as a reference to start from when we have access to the full rules.

Here are the advantages listed in the Trinkets and Treasures blog post:

1. Using items is clear and consistent. Spend the required actions and 1 RP, and you activate or invest your item. If someone else wants to use the same item, you can remove it and let them put it on and invest it themselves.

2. You have less to track. We get to remove some of the sub-pools that individual items have (such as "10 rounds per day which need not be consecutive" or "5 charges") because we know you have an overall limited resource. There are still some items that can't be used without limit, but they get to be special exceptions rather than being common out of necessity.

3. It puts the focus on the strongest items. Because you can't activate items indefinitely, your best bet is to use the most RP-efficient item, not the most gp-efficient item. You want a high-level healing wand because you get more healing for your Resonance Point rather than getting a bunch of low-level wands because they're cheap.

4. Investiture limits what you can wear. That means we don't need to rely heavily on an item slot system, creating more flexibility in what kind of worn items are useful. You'll read more about this on the blog on Friday, when we talk about removing the magic item Christmas tree!

Here are the concerns I currently have:

1. Resonance may interfere with the items I give out that may be necessary for planned challenges. Ex: The players may not enjoy me effectively spending their Resonance for them by giving them water breathing potions before a flooded dungeon.

2. None of my players enjoy having past purchases become invalidated by future ones. Ex: In PF1e a low level wand is always useful, but in PF2e it may not be worth the Resonance at higher levels. This is like throwing out low level potions in an MMO.

3. My players may not enjoy tracking consumables and Resonance. Ex: Scratching off a potion and ticking off a Resonance point is that much extra tracking.

4. My players are highly risk averse, and will not utilize the overspending feature of Resonance. Ex: They have spent in game hours tearing down a door with a pickaxe to avoid taking a CLW charge worth of damage from a blood sacrifice puzzle, asking them to flip a coin for the cost of a potion will not fly.

5. I don't want to have to ask the players to do item preparation in the morning, especially for non-casters. This is personal preference, but if they're wearing an item I'd like to assume they have access to its abilities.

6. Resonance does not replace item slots, so it may be inconvenient to have no formalized list of slots. If there is such a formalized list, then it would be easier to just use that.

7. It's a change in flavor that my group may not enjoy. Ex. One of my players specifically plays martial characters to have fewer resources to track and to be an all-day character. Lack of spell-like tracking is important to him.

8. My players like gold, such that the question about whether they will use an RP efficient item versus a GP efficient one will mean they will err toward spending as much RP as possible and waiting for it to come back to minimize gold use. Ex: They've spent days resting during quest to avoid using a handful of wand charges. They decided they'd deal with the fallout of the delay as it comes.

There are more, but the above list gives me the sense that it's worth preparing an alternative. That being said, it looks like a straight removal is going to be impossible.

My current plan is:

1. Remove Resonance from characters baseline.

2. Items can be equipped in slots, or just equipped if slotless, and their "Invested" bonus will be active.

3. Let gold be the primary limiter on consumables.

4. Give Alchemists exclusively a Resonance pool for their class features that use it, resized appropriately.

5. Everyone gets a charisma based UMD skill for Wands, Scrolls and Staves. No spell caster needs to roll UMD for these.

The hard one:
6. Items that have an RP requirement for their activated abilities will instead be usable 1/day.

7. 1/day per 4* levels you can make a UMD check to regain a single item's 1/day charge. *Adjustable based on expected number of Resonance uses outside of potions and investment per day at different levels.

Please let me know what you think would be a good alternative to Resonance. Remember, I intend to playtest Resonance, but if it puts up too much of a barrier and prevents me from playtesting the rest of the system I will not hesitate to excise it. I just want to be able to do it with some thought.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've previously asked about Shaman Spirit Magic qualifying a kobold with the Scaled Disciple feat for Dragon Disciple. Since Spirit Magic allows the shaman to spontaneously cast divine spells I came to the conclusion it would satisfy the feat requirements.

I just read about Mnemonic Vestments which allow a spontaneous caster to use their spontaneous spell slot instead of expending a scroll to cast from that scroll. My question is now: Does the shaman count as a spontaneous caster for the requirements of this item with Spirit Magic?

Can a character be considered both a spontaneous an prepared caster? Is there some assumption in the rules that prevents being both?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Link to the math I did: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mf1s7vreBZZC7-R0WPPox8vIopD08x753Pl PAtYWNCI/edit#gid=0

So I was wondering how worthwhile it might be to mix unarmed strikes in with natural attacks with the Shifter, since I was picking up a Zen Archer Monk dip anyway. Unarmed strikes are marked with brackets []

Here's what I've got:

Monk1, Shifter7

Feats: Weapon Finesse, Shifter's Edge, Two-Weapon Fighting

Items: +1 AoMF, Belt of Strength +2

Stats: 22 Dex (18, +2 from level, +2 from Aspect) 16 Strength (14, +2 from belt)

Humanoid Form:

Claws: +14/+14 dealing average of 10.5/10.5 damage (21 total)

vs.

TWF Unarmed and Claws: [+12]/[+12]/+9/+9/[+7] dealing average of [7.5]/[5.5]/8.5/8.5/[7.5] damage (37.5 total)

Tiger Form:

Natural Attacks: +13/+13/+13 dealing average of 14/14/13 damage (total 41)

vs

TWF Unarmed and NA: [+11]/[+11]/+8/+8/+8/[+6] dealing average of [10.5]/[7.5]/11/11/10/[10.5] total of (60.5)

If we add in Power Attack (+4 dmg -2 hit):

Humanoid Form:

Claws: +12/+12 dealing average of 14.5/14.5 damage (29 total)

vs.

TWF Unarmed and Claws: [+10]/[+10]/+7/+7/[+5] dealing average of [11.5]/[7.5]/10.5/10.5/[11.5] damage (51.5 total)

Tiger Form:

Natural Attacks: +11/+11/+11 dealing average of 18/18/17 damage (total 53)

vs

TWF Unarmed and NA: [+9]/[+9]/+6/+6/+6/[+4] dealing average of [14.5]/[9.5]/13/13/12/[14.5] total of (76.5)

Edit:

Conclusion: It appears effective against easy to hit enemies. Adding power attack only works against really easy to hit enemies.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Spear Dancing Spiral
You wield spears with poise and grace.

Prerequisite(s): Dex 15, Spear Dancing Style, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus with the chosen weapon.

Benefit(s): While using Spear Dancing Style, you gain the benefit of Weapon Finesse with the chosen weapon if it is appropriately sized for a creature of your size category. In addition, you can use any feat or ability that functions with a quarterstaff with your chosen weapon.

Shillelagh
Your own non-magical club or quarterstaff becomes a weapon with a +1 enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls. A quarterstaff gains this enhancement for both ends of the weapon. It deals damage as if it were two size categories larger (a Small club or quarterstaff so transmuted deals 1d8 points of damage, a Medium 2d6, and a Large 3d6), +1 for its enhancement bonus. These effects only occur when the weapon is wielded by you. If you do not wield it, the weapon behaves as if unaffected by this spell.

The crux of the argument is whether spells count as "feats or abilities", neglecting the issue of requiring an oak club or quarterstaff.

My conclusion is that, no, it would not be possible because spells and abilities are separate as evidenced by the numerous times a rule specifies "spell or ability" rather than just "ability". Someone has pointed out that I might be incorrect.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The archetype is vague, the errata is inadequate, and the full intent is unclear.

Do you still get normal hexes?

Does Extra Hex let you choose hexes like the minor spirit hexes, i.e. choose any from the Witch and wandering spirit list and switch them every day?

What are Minor Spirits? Do they give you anything besides flexible hexes?

While I like the idea of a more flexible, less attached Shaman, I can't help but feel like this archetype is a homebrew cludge. That got me thinking, how would you write up an Unsworn Shaman archetype that was clear, concise and had an acceptable level of power?


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I want to play a Shaman/Dragon Disciple

Does the spontaneous casting offered by the Shaman Spirit Magic class feature count as "Ability to cast 1st-level divine spells without preparation"?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a character concept kicking around in my head but I need some help making some decisions about what class it should be, and what I should do to make her effective.

She is a dwarf from a very, very old, secretive, deep dwarven family. They consider themselves caretakers of dwarven lore, history and secrets. Kind of like a clan dedicated to being the Keepers of the Secrets Under the Mountain. To other dwarves they are a little creepy, a little out of touch and not much fun to be around.

The clan is so old they're still using Words of Power and keep them scribed on their collection of runed axes. Axes feature prominently in the clan, and for whatever reason they believe axes are a natural, holy extension of dwarfishness. The walls of their halls deep, deep underground are completely filled with ornate, runed mithral axes on which the history of the dwarven race is recorded.

My character is very proud of her clan and is traveling now to record current events on the axes she brings with her to eventually hang on the halls of her clan's home.

So:
She loves axes, and is effective wielding them.
She is a highly proficient word-caster.
She wears armor as heavy as she reasonably can.

What would be the best class thematically? Mechanically? What would you do?