To the OP and his buddy.
You seem to have stumbled into a heated debate that's been going on for the last ten years. How to fix fighters. People have suggested that fighters just get a few more skills and bonus skill feats but, were told that that would make them too rogue-like. There were other options that let them make alchemist preformance enhancers, but this made the too alchemist-like. There were options to make them educated combat tacticians, but this made them too bard-like. When asked "what do you want", the answer was usually MOER DAMAGE!
Fast forward to PF2 play test. Fighters have the best consistent damage output and the best feats to control combat, such as Sudden Charge and Swipe. Fighters are currently the best (or one of the best) classes in the game. As a long time fan of rangers and alchemists (which are currently much weaker than fighters), it's really hard to emphasize with your point of view and agree that fighters need to be even stronger.
If you really are looking for versatility, then I have good news for you. Multi classing. You can make your fighter more rogue like, or bard like, or wizard like. I'm not sure if they'll make you more powerful, but they certainly add new abilities.
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
So basically it's there to punish newbie players and/or veterans who don't metagame and make the game less fun for them?
By level 12 you shouldn't be a noob anymore. Unpleasant conditions happen and by that point you should have something to fix it. Like the old saying goes, if you fail to prepare then you prepare to fail. Even at level 1, you should prepare for as much as possible. What if you run into a sealed vault and have no one to pick the lock? What if you have to get up a smooth stone wall and no one remembered to bring a grappling hook? What if you contract ghoul fever? The GM shouldn't have to remove challenges from the game because you didn't expect to run into challenging problems.
While on the general topic, under using Perception to find invisible targets I recall the rules saying,"If you beat the invisible creature's stealth roll then you know what square it's in or get a clue." Do we have anything more concrete that that? Seems like pinpointing an invisible creature just by succeeding a single Perception check is too easy and only getting a "clue" is too vague. Is there any clarification of this, or did I read something wrong, or is it really that vague?
I would greatly prefer buffing the weak ones. Once my players thought about how cantrips take two actions, they quickly changed what they use. Now they only use Ray of frost, the electric one, and short bows. They have stopped using cantrips nearly so often (except the electric one) once they noticed that they can just shoot a short bow and cast a spell on the same turn. RIP acid splash, produce flame, and sometimes Ray of frost.
Playtest so far - Round Two! Three things you Love, Three things you Hate, and Three Houserules you'd Make.
They don't give +1 at this time, they give you expert proficiency. If you already have expert proficiency then it does nothing at all.
While not fully worthless, I think Lightning Reflexes, Iron Will, and Great Fortitude fall into this weird catch 22 area that makes them far less useful. Each makes you expect in the relevant save, no more, no less. And each requires a 14+ in the associated attribute. So to get Iron Will you need to have a pretty decent will save, but not a good will save.
I've already had a couple of players with poor saves want to take one, only to find that they don't have good enough attributes. And the ones that already have good saves don't need or can't use it. Even with the tight math in PF2, I seems reasonable to just give a flat +1 to the save.
I don't want to play a story of the heroic magic sword and the farmhand that carried it. I want to play the story of the heroic warrior with a sword that burns with holy fire.
This is actually a deal breaker for me. It is a very unheroic feeling to know that if you lose or drop your sword then your damage goes down the crapper. It also puts a huge burden on the GM to make sure that everyone has exactly the weapon that they are supposed to have at the exact level they are supposed to have it. I've read APs where a level 2-4 fighter can find a +3 frostbrand. That's strong but not game breaking. Now if a level 1 Barbarian happens to find a +1 ghost touch dagger (and transfers the rune to a greataxe), all of a sudden he's doing triple the damage of anyone else. Now that is game breaking and if it remains in PF2 then I'll remain in PF1.
I wasn't being literal. It's the "non listed DC for anything so just assume that you can do it on about half the time" that is the problem. Identifying a rabbit nest should be a nature or survival DC of about 10. Peasant hunters do that kind of thing every day. Assigning a DC 27 to a task that a 14 year old farmer could do is just artificially inflating the numbers and most players are going to be smart enough to notice that.
It is pretty annoying that unopposed checks don't have some kind of listed DCs. Players shouldn't still have a 50/50% of doing the same stuff they could do at level 1 (like identifying a rabbit nest), they should be doing more epic stuff. People have already complained about the DC of medicine checks increasing with level, but how about all the other skills? Treading water in a pond when you are level 1 might be DC 11, while treading water in the same pond at level 20 might be DC 30 (it might even require expert training). This kind of thing really breaks immersion for the players, and makes the world feel like unreal or stacked against them.
Paizo either needs to list some DC guidelines for each un-opposed skill or they could save themselves some time, really "simplify", and make each skill check a coin flip. Heads; you can do the thing, and tails you can't.
A really amusing scenario would be when a high level player fails to roll a DC 30 to climb a tree, only to watch a child climb it a few minutes later.
Regarding overpowered encounters, if the 1st level party is traveling and crest a hill only to see three trolls down on the road ahead eating the remains of a horse and rider you can still have a good scene. They can fall back, they can sneak around, they can set an ambush and try to pick them off one by one, but whatever they do they know they live in a world with its own rules and logic that doesn't just exist for them. That is vital to the world seeing real.
Indeed. The most memorable encounter in part 3 of Strange Aeons is when they are in a city that is attacked by a CR 26 Old One. They aren't supposed to fight a thing that looks and acts like Godzilla (@ level 7) and deserve to die if they try.
Saying "What class are you?" just sounds wrong. So what would you say?
You might have to ask a subtle series of questions. Ask if they can do X, Y, and Z that only one class can do all of (unless they have some weird archetype). I had a bard once that always claimed to be a warrior/sorcerer, and had the spells and archery feats to prove it.
So far my group has had no issues with Treat wounds. With only a modest investment the party barbarian had a 50% chance to succeed at level 1 and will end up being 55 or 60% at level 20. Seems like a reasonable cost in time and a couple skill increases. Yes, someone is going to have to invest in it, but that doesn't seem much different than how someone has to invest in diplomacy or intimidate and someone is going to need to take arcana. I think barbarian is glad to have an important out of combat job.
And tearing down walls will be downtime material so a character with an adamantine weapon can't play Minecraft anymore.
My first "for the party" purchases in PF1 was always a bag of holding and an adamantine hand axe. You have no idea how many times we just chopped through the hinges of locked doors and chests. We even tunneled around a door with a really nasty magic trap once.
This issue is that fighters can use there preferred melee attacks the large major of turns of combat. A wizard can only use their preferred actions (spells) the minority of turns of combat. Even when they do use one of their few spells, there's only about a 50-60% that the spell will hit or the target will fail to resist it. So a wizard uses their mediocre option most of the time and fighter's use their mediocre option only rarely.
The result in my group is that everyone agrees that the least valuable party member is the wizard. They feel they absolutely need a tanky martial, a healer, and a skill monkey, but the wizard offers low damage, unreliable battlefield control, and not a lot of utility out of combat. I imagine some of this will get better with higher levels, but it feels like wizards/sorcerers have been over nerfed.
If they A) increased their spells/day, B) Made cantrips at least as good as a shortbow, or C) increased the DC of spells so that they would do the thing that they are supposed to do most of the time, then arcane casters would feel more useful.
Didn't know that you couldn't strike an object. I let my players break down a door and just assumed it had a hardness of 5 and made a lot of noise (alerting monsters in the next room).
This is silliness of about the same magnitude as when your animal companion just sits there while it's master gets beaten to death.
By the rules couldn't you check for mimics by attempting a strike against all suspect objects, and if you can actually roll an attack, then it's really a disguised monster?
Treat Wounds seems like a decent fix to a really bad problem. It's not quite how I would have done it, but it works alright and adds about 3 hours to the 15 adventuring day.
As far as difficulty;
A level 1 a cleric (or druid) with 18 wisdom and a healer's kit would have a 60% of hitting a DC 13 medicine check (+1 from level, +4 wisdom, +0 item quality).
A level 20 barbarian with 14 wisdom, a master healer's kit, and expert medicine proficency would have a 50% of hitting a DC 36 medicine check (+20 level, +2 wisdom, +2 item quality, +1 expert)
A level 20 cleric is going to be much higher (70%?)
Each attempt takes 10 minutes. Half may fail, increasing the time spent, and when you critically fail (5%), you are locked out for the rest of the day. Additionally it requires a modest investment of player resources, but that certainly seems reasonable to me.
Some people are saying Treat Wounds is too weak, some are saying it's too strong, so I guess Paizo isn't going to be able to make everyone happy.
Maybe this changes at high levels, we've only played in the first two adventures so far. What I've seen is that cantrips hit about as frequently as the barbarian, but take two actions instead of one and do about half the damage (or less). With the barbarian frequently making a second or third attack, she is inflicting at least three times the damage as the wizard. Yes, the wizard has a few real spells, but with the current 50/50 system, they only stick about half the time.
Yes cantrips can sometimes take advantage of weakness, but many more monsters seem to have unexpected resistances that reduce incoming damage much more than boost it.
I could easily see the wizard being dropped from the group without a major problem, while the loss of the cleric or tanky martial would be devastating. Again, maybe this changes with higher levels, but wizards currently feel kind of weak and with cantrips being their default action, lackluster cantrips just showcase the issue.
The problem is that firing a crossbow into the crowd is now better than cantrips.
At level 1 a hand crossbow does 1d6 compared to a produce flame that also does 1d6 (and takes 2 actions)
At level 20 a hand crossbow +5 does 6d6 compared a produce flame that does 4d6 + (Ability modifier) (and takes 2 actions)
The term "caster level" may not exist anymore, but a level 5 wizard still casts spells as if they were a level 5 wizard.
I believe the assumption was that the feat meant you would cast the spell as though your were a wizard or druid of 1/2 your level.
Like feats with the "press" descriptor, if the majority of players are misinterpreting the rules, then the rules need better clarification. In fact counter intuitive writing of the rules and poor book layout is about 1/2 of my group's complaints.
Dante Doom wrote:
100% of my players misread this to mean 1/2 caster level. (Paizo staff attempts to craft clear rules. They rolled a natural 1, what happens).
Is that seriously how that feat works? You don't get a 10 and add modifiers, it's just plain 10? That is so awful that I never would have assumed that it was supposed to work that way.
I don't really see the big problem with the treat wound system. I does have a cost, it's just character development rather than gold. The target for level 1 is DC 13. The parties cleric with medicine +5 can get that more than half the time. Even a martial with only 12 wisdom and an expert kit could get that half the time. At level 20 the DC is 36. With +20 (level), +2 (wisdom), +2 (skill increases), and +2 (master work healing kit), you'd still have that same 50% chance from first level. This seems like a reasonable cost for the party to pay for not needing a devoted healer.
I personally would make the target DC based on the level of the patient, and make HP healed = (doctor's level) x (patient's Con).
Is this exactly how I would have fixed the problem. No. But I'm guessing that each of us here would have a different fix and then we'd be complaining about that one. I'll just say "good enough" and worry about other issues.
The cost is essentially time, rather than gold. Can you sit around in the lobby of a keep, after killing the guards, and heal up for an hour without someone interrupting? That's up to the GM, but I certainly plan on wandering monsters being a consequence for healing this way. I also plan on house ruling that a healing kit has 10 uses, so you'll need to stock up with several before each dungeon.
I'd just say that the target DC is based on the patient, not the doctor. As for a cost to make it slightly less unlimited, just give healers kits a number of charges before they run out of supplies, like in PF1. It would still be cheap and most of the cost would be time spend, but not actually free.
Still, I'm very happy to have the new option. I think fixes far more problems than it causes.
I can sometime be a fairly pessimistic person, but I wanted to thank the Paizo team for all the fixes in 1.3
This update solves at least a third of my groups issues with PF2. There is still a lot I'd like to see changed but this is a great step forward.
My favorite changes include:
Things I'm hoping to see in the future:
Thanks again. I look forward to trying out the new rules this week with my group.
While a martial character with battlefield control would be awesome and give rangers a unique purpose, that would be making rangers awesome.
Currently they cost far too much, take far too long to set, and effect far too small of an area. They certainly are traps, but only for the character that wastes feats on them.
Dire Ursus wrote:
I think it matters a vast amount just how the GM plays. We have not had any TPKs, but I don't try to kill my players. I don't generally focus fire on one player, don't play the monsters as expert tacticians, and remind them they still have a hero point when they hit dying 3. If I GMed more aggressively, but still within the rules, I certainly could have killed them.
Also, does anyone actually use the secret rolls? The system already seems stacked against them, it feel mean spirited to just pretend to roll some dice and declare they they break their lockpicks and trigger the trap.
Joe M. wrote:
Rogue: Since our rogues have always been finesse combatants, I don't care much about brutes, but more options is always nice.
Rangers: Great to hear that rangers are going to be able to use their iconic combat style again. Seems odd that they would remove the one early level ranger feat that is actually good.
Skills: If they are going to make non proficient penalty -4,but reduce DCs by 2, that would make proficient users 10% more likely to succeed. Seems good to me.
Shields: Thanks for the clarification.
Multi classing: Happy to get a version for each core class. Please don't Nerf them too much. Class feats are our most limited resource, trading them away should get us nice things.
I'm happy to see three of my group's concerns being addressed. Returning to a state of cautious optimism. Still want to see alchemists fixed, bonus damage dice not linked to weapon +, better general feats, slight buff to magic (remember that monsters save about 50% of the time), and user friendliness of the core book improved.
Agreed. The pre play test comments were quite toxic, but the vast majority of the current threads don't feel mean spirited to me.
I posted my own, careful to be organized and constructive in my criticism, because I want the problems fixed far more than I want to just rage. I think this represents the majority of posts these days.
My group's current frustrations can be best summarized as 1) Poor layout of the book and 2) Breaking stuff that wasn't broken before (such as rangers, alchemists, and reducing the 15 minute adventuring day to only 10 minutes). I want to like the new version, but the current version fixed problems that didn't effect our group and created problems that never afflicted us before.
But more seriously, a rangers biggest strength was it's flexibility. A switch hitter was decent at melee damage, decent at ranged damage, decent with a pet, pretty good at skills, and even passable with spells.
Love the idea in general. I'd like to see a one hour ritual with medicine as it's primary skill, with nature, religion, or alchemy as a secondary. Costs a little bit of rare herbs (maybe gold = to highest effected character level). Success heals 50% HP, failure heals 25%, crit success heals 75%, and crit fail heals 0.
Honestly, there are probably dozens of variations that would work, but this would fix both the cure wand problem and the mandatory heal bot problem. And the time and gold cost would be enough to discourage abuse.
The OP seems to want an entirely new game that isn't Pathfinder. The argument that magic should be free makes little sense to me. Magic, in almost every setting is rare, requires lots of training and usually arbitrary restrictions on top of that (such as natural talent, magical lineage, or favor of the gods. IRL hiring a highly educated specialist is always expensive. Why doesn't a surgeon work for free? It only takes him an hour or two, plus some minor material components. Why doesn't a gemologist identify stuff for free? Well, people don't like going to years of schooling, spend a lot money on equipment, and then get nothing for it.
An average town in PF might have only one or two clerics. Hiking out to a farm to treat a sick kid or cow could take hours (because hiring a specialist to make house calls always takes hours and costs money). I would generally assume that most of time of low level casters is spent studying, running their Church (for clerics), and attending to the needs of the local government or wealthier folks that are willing and able to pay for a quick fix.
If you compare hiring a caster to hiring a surgeon (cleric), chemical engineer (alchemist), or electrical engineer (wizard) then the reason for why it is expensive should quickly vanish. This isn't to say that good clerics might not offer free healing for worshippers, but it's going to be at the cleric's schedule, not the supplicant (similar to churches in my area that offer a free clinic one day a month.) Maybe only available to the first three supplicants, in the hour before the cleric goes to bed.
The current magic weapon system is the feature of PF2 I hate the most. At the end of the first dungeon the players get a +1 ghost touch dagger. They instantly had it transferred to a great axe for the barbarian and now she does more than double the damage of anyone else.
Not only does it feel super non-heroic to realize that 3/4 of the damage that a level 20 fighter does is his awesome sword and not him, the responsibility now falls on the GM to make sure that everyone has exactly the weapon they are supposed to have at the levels they are supposed to have it. Previously the difference between a MW great sword and a +1 great sword was trivial, now it's night and day.
My solution is basically the same as your; +1 dice to all weapon attacks, bombs, and cantrips when they get each new attribute bonus. Magic weapons will still give bonuses to hit and have secondary properties (like ghost touch), so players will still want them. It's not an elegant solution, but it seems both noob and munchkin proof.
My group's experience has been pretty similar to yours.
Especially the frustration with alchemists and rangers being so underpowered, dislike of magic weapons in there current state, and wands.
One of my players actually laughed at me when I told him they got a wand of produce flame. He said, "So it has charges AND it costs resonance AND it just does a cantrip that I can do all day for free? Wow, what a piece of s#**! Guess it's PF2 vendor trash."
Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
I reminded my players of no AoO in the second to last fight. Then in the last one, against Drakkus, the rogue tried to circle around him one to be AoOed for 1/3 of her HP. " I thought you said no AoO". Yeah, well except for the ones that can. " How can you tell?" You can't. Then Drakkus used his action to crit her for the other 2/3.
The biggest issue for my players was just dumb luck. If I hadn't played a couple of the fights kind of dumb,they likely would have gotten a a death or two. The monsters had a hit bonus of +6 to +10, so they hit a lot. Two crits in a round and someone was going down.
No one complained about rangers in the PF1 forums, so paizo assumed that on one cared about them. And even though fighters are the kings of martials, they still complain about not being good enough. Thus, they'll get even stronger and ranger's will be the "special needs" class of the martials. At least they can get a companion animal.
But seriously, my players and myself are all very disappointed with the current state of rangers.
Drakkus was a hard fight for my players. He got a critical and dropped the rogue in the 2nd round. The cleric, wizard, and barbarian all took hits (I think the cleric and barbarian were about 5HP). The wizard got lucky with a magic missile and shocking grasp, dealing 27/40 HP. Next round he would likely have KOed the barbarian and maybe the cleric too.
Did anyone else notice that the monsters had a hit bonus of +6 to +10, (while I think all my players were +4 or +5)?
The problem is that the character's damage is supposed to be homogenized, but just through the quality if equipment rather than the quality of character. After finishing the first dungeon, it's even worst than I initially feared, because now it's going to be the duty of the GM to make sure that all the martial characters have exactly the right quality of weapon at the right time. At the end of the first dungeon the player's get a +1 ghost touch dagger, which they instantly had transferred to a great axe. Now the barbarian is doing triple the damage of anyone else because they got a weapon that they aren't scheduled to get until level 4 or 5.
At least if it's a trait of the character then they'll all get it when they are supposed to and not too soon or too late.
Having owned several different bows in the past, including crossbows, a compound bow, and a traditional single piece bow that was about 5 feet long (you know, a longbow), the thought that it's easier to hit beyond fifty feet is absurd. Just straight up absurd. Yes, all bows fire in an arc (so do bullets), but when it's that close the arc is so small that you don't even bother taking it into account. It's when the target is 150 feet back and you have to aim several feet above the target, that's when things get hard. This is simple a curse being placed on longbows for being too good.
*Also, while I haven't had a chance to see it in action yet, the multi-classing looks really good overall. It seems like a very fair way to build-an-archetype to get abilities you normally wouldn't. I'd like to see all the main classes get an archetype.
My group (consisting of 2 very experienced players and 2 moderately experienced casual players) just finished our first 2 sessions of the playtest and here are our thoughts so far.
General Character Creation:
Cleric: Feels like the only viable healer.
Ranger: Feels lackluster. With no spells and most nature related class features being the weak option, they just feel like a pen and paper version of a WoW hunter.
I want to like PF2, but in it's current state, we'll probably just stay with PF1. Some issues with bland customization, but I'm less worried about that as additional books always add lots of options. I'll cut this up and put each topic on it's own page, but since issues touch on more than one topic at a time, I wanted it all together.