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I'm stuck as my group's playtest DM, but if I had the chance I'd have a character with a feat for Additional Lore: Dragon Lore, even knowing it'd literally never come up.

I found it amusing that the Goblin Pyro NPC in Lost Star had Fire Lore.

"Does throwing up provoke AoO?" is a problem legendary heroes should have. (/s /joke)

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I don't disagree with you. Dozens of things that I liked got shafted in the almighty name of Balance. It's like they forgot Fun was the primary objective. Not to mention that Roleplaying has been sacrificed on the Balance altar as well, as Balance Almighty has shafted any character concept that doesn't fit one of their narrow class stereotypes. I definitely wouldn't mind a better balanced RPG than PF1, but if it comes at the cost of the R, then I start to question things. Given that they're in this deep though, they're probably unwilling to start from scratch, and the best we can probably do is reach a compromise... Or just play PF1. Playing PF1 instead works too. Px

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Instead of specialized magic shields, would the system instead be accepting of having specialized "shield runes" instead? The magic shields that exist now could simply be converted to rune equivalents.

Shields: Expert and better shields have one rune slot, which can only accept runes with the "Shield" tag (Most shield runes would only function on shields, but exceptions could exist). Their rune slots don't increase with their quality. Weapons affixed to the shield are treated like a separate object for the purposes of runes.

Spellguard Rune (Shield): A shield with this rune grants its circumstance bonus to saving throws against spells targeting the user.
Arrow-catching Rune (Shield): Blah blah blah you get the idea. You could basically rune-ify most of the magic shields. Exceptions like the Dragonslayer Shield would remain unique objects.
+1 Sturdy Rune: +2 Hardness, +1 Dent
+2 Sturdy Rune: +4 Hardness, +1 Dent
+3 Sturdy Rune: +6 Hardness, +1 Dent
+4 Sturdy Rune: +8 Hardness, +1 Dent
Sturdy Runes only go up to +4 to not exceed the bounds of current Sturdy Shields, but given how fragile shields are, a +5 version could probably exist without breaking anything. As a bonus, druids can get in on the magic shield action too! Sturdy Runes could also be completely unshackled from shields, for other items you really don't want broken as well. Slap that sucker on the cover of your Legendary spellbook. :) This is just a rough idea of course, but it could potentially enhance shield variety without breaking anything. #Showerthoughts

I only know English unfortunately. New languages don't come easily to me, not that I haven't tried. But, I may have just convinced my holdouts to still try modules 4 and 7 when the time comes, so not everything is lost.

I still wouldn't mind joining another group on the side though, so if me being Eng-only isn't a deal breaker, I'd be happy to join.

My gaming group started the Playtest with 2 GMs and 8 Players. As of now we're down to 1 GM (me) and 2 Players. One of the remaining players is also considering dropping out. The other is still on board, but not interested in solo play.

Since there isn't really an LFG hub for the Playtest, I guess this is as good a place to ask as any: Anyone out there playtesting on Roll20 or Tabletop Simulator willing to take on an extra player or two? Preferably one that either hasn't started Pale Mountain's Shadow or is willing to run it again? (Not required, but would be appreciated.)

(Warning Label: I'm a heavy roleplayer.)

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Oh boy, you guys are right on the money.

I just GM'd the second half of Lost Star for my party yesterday. Our party agreed that the hardest challenge in the second half was the fifteen foot ledge with the secret door on top of it. This part of the dungeon turned into an absolute circus when it took the PCs what felt like a couple dozen rolls, a measly five feet at a time, to get up the ledge. Not only that, a couple crit fails also sent people back down to the bottom (they succeeded their "grab edges" to remove the damage at least). And then once they were on the ledge nobody actually succeeded the check to reveal the secret door's keyhole, preventing them from even trying to open the door and ending in a huge anticlimax! Then it got even better when in the process of climbing back down, one of the PCs crit failed and fell off the ledge from the top (also failing their Acrobatics to save damage), taking more damage from the wall then anyone had taken from the (spoiler) trap! One could say that injury was added to insult. ;)

I know some of this is just down to bad luck, but it also is down to one of the party members having a 15%/45%//35%/5% chance for Cfail/fail//pass/Cpass, with +2 Athletics vs DC 15 (other PCs were marginally higher). Given that the DC for almost everything in the dungeon is 14-16, only a fully optimized character should even bother trying! One character didn't even try at all, because his crit fail chance for the wall was an amazing 40% thanks to Armor Check Penalties. In PF1, the party's armor-less monk could have made it up the same wall in seconds just by taking ten, but wait, taking ten doesn't exist anymore! Am I supposed to believe that no PC can ever climb higher than ten feet unless they've studied their entire life climbing? I've struggled up a 60 foot high (DC 12 surface in PF2 terms, as a Level 0 High DC?) climbing tower personally (it was a one time thing), and if I had a random 5% chance to fall off every literal 2 seconds I'd have never made it to the top. I wouldn't even consider myself Trained in Athletics (on second thought, maybe I was at the time... but IRL skills fade without use), and I don't think I have a feat in Athletics Assurance either. Nevermind that Assurance will cause you to autofail vs anything "trivial" anyway. I'm just a level 0 commoner with 10 strength at best, yet I was somehow a better climber than most level 1 PF2 adventurers! I must be an NPC! (Oh wait...)

Wasn't the idea of giving the players +level to everything so that they'd be reasonably able to succeed at basic tasks outside their field, even if they weren't trained in them?


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The problem with the "safe space" speech is that it immediately makes me feel unsafe. Like everything I say or do is going to be Judged, and that if I make one accidental misstep I'm going to irrevocably anger someone, or worse.

I'm just a human trying to enjoy his hobby with his human friends. We know and respect each other and I've even toned down a harrow caster after accidentally crossing a religious boundary.

I think we can all agree "don't be a jerkwad" and "respect other people's boundaries and beliefs" is a pretty good policy. But the way it's presented could be improved.

I don't normally drop into charged threads like these. I won't say anything further than that, for fear of offending someone. But that's my 2cp.

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Chiming in here, and agreeing with OP. I've since swapped places with my GM since he doesn't like running prewritten, but when I was playing as a player, one thing I noticed a lot was that challenges vs "not completely optimized" characters seemed completely FeelBad all around. Our first attempt at Lost Star crashed and burned, and when we tried it again we replaced half the party roster with optimized Big Stupid Beatsticks to ensure maximum odds of success. Deciding to make roleplaying-focused character-building decisions can actually endanger your character if it interferes with any of the stats that the game assumes you've maxed out (usually your corresponding offense and defense stats). On the larger meta-level, it also feels like the game expects you have a specific party composition as well, reducing flexibility even further.

It's almost like we need two versions of the game - one where the players are assumed to have optimized to the greatest extremes the system allows, and another where "reasonably good" is the baseline. As the system stands currently, tuning the system for one of those two groups breaks the system for the other group, because every +1 matters a lot more in PF2 than it did in PF1. Two versions of the game obviously isn't feasible, however, so I'm at a loss. Given that loss, I'd rather have a system tuned closer to "characters are reasonably good" standards than "characters are 100% optimized" standards.

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I'm at about this point too with my group. I'm a chronic low-roller though, so my group actually defeated the ambush in its entirety before stopping to rest. Logically, I would have Drakus escape and become a recurring foe for later (taking the journal with him and knocking the entire campaign off the rails); but, nothing about the playtest is logical, so I plan on running it as if it were a videogame, which is to say nothing changes during rest. It disappoints me to have to run it this way, but PF2 reeks of videogame anyway every time I read it. I also generally dislike having NPCs (or even most animals) fight to the death either, but the module explicitly forbids any sort of negotiation, and doesn't even mention what you're supposed to do with goblins you've KO'd instead of killing.

The best I can think of is papering over the incongruity by making the goblins too afraid to actually report to Drakus that there's adventurers slowly cutting apart their number. I might also refluff the final encounter slightly without changing its mechanics, throwing in an "I've been wondering where all my minions went; I suppose you're to blame" before combat begins in earnest, playing the trope of "villain who thinks he's stronger than he actually is and doesn't take impending danger seriously". Alternatively, one could also make the excuse that Drakus has been keeping to his lair for the past couple days because it takes time to sort through all the trash he raids, or that he's been trying to decipher additional info from the journal and hasn't even noticed his minions going missing. These suggestions are all without context though, and don't factor in the specifics of how you've ran it. Feel free to season to taste or invent your own excuse.

For the sake of the playtest I would avoid changing mechanical details, so that the data Paizo receives aligns with what they expect. Even something like adding extra goblins to the final encounter would have a dramatic effect on encounter difficulty, and thus, on reports of "number of PCs downed/killed". GMs have already been advised elsewhere to remove the Dire Rat from the final encounter, as it was somehow added in as the result of an editing error and threw off the final encounter difficulty enough to cause TPKs to parties that didn't go in prepared (this can be verified by noticing that the xp budget of the final encounter is slightly off). There's also a section of the surveys that asks how the quality of the module's story was, so significantly editing even the fluff also ends up skewing the data. Overall as a GM you just have very little freedom while you're running this. :\

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Oh boy, this is a sore spot for me. Trying out PF2 feels like wearing a straitjacket, especially when as one of my group's two GMs I look through the monster manual and notice that most given monster's stats perfectly represent their fluff, but it's impossible to do the same thing as a player if your square peg doesn't fit the class's round hole.

One character I play regularly is a Magus, mechanically. For all in-world purposes though, he's a Bard, complete with corresponding skills. Such a thing is literally impossible if I were to try to make the same character in PF2. In the same party is also a Bard, who for all in-world purposes is a preacher, a "Cleric" if you wanted to throw him in a stereotype bin. This character is also impossible to play in PF2. Many other characters simply don't fit any single stereotype at all.

Signature skills shouldn't exist. If they must exist, they should only exist as a number representing how many unique skills you can raise above Master, rather than telling you which skills are your signature skills beforehand.

Don't even get me started on the mess that's class-specific combat and metamagic feats. That's a whole 'nother kettle of fish, and an equally unpleasant one at that.

Found a workaround for free-hand fighters and shield users at least:

Freehanders: Doubling rings + gauntlet on free hand, enchant your gauntlet and copy the properties to your mainhand.

Shield users: See above, but replace "gauntlet" with "shield boss/spikes", enchanting your shield and mirroring its properties. Added danger however - if your shield is screwed, so are you.

Sadly doesn't work for 2-handed weapons since (for all intents and purposes) you have to be wielding a weapon in order for properties to transfer, and a gauntleted hand on the hilt of a greatsword or the string of a bow isn't being "wielded".

Personally I wouldn't mind splitting it so most, but not all of the dice came from the user. 1 dice native to weapon, up to 3 dice gained through leveling, and any magic weapon adds +1 dice, for the same total of 5. Magic weapons are generally expected to be supernaturally sharp, have perfect weight balance, etc, which gives a slight edge, but still the lion's share of the power comes from the wielder.

Chiming in just to say that the faster this myth dies in a fire the better, thanks. I'm willing to tolerate some unrealisms in the name of game balance, but as-is, the penalties heaped on medium-heavy/heavy armor are just beyond ridiculous, to the point of being immersion-breaking as well as game breaking.

Also, word should be spread that gambesons (padded armor) are as good as or better than fantasy-leather. Seeing the fragile trait on them hurts my brain-cells.

Chiming in just to say that the faster this myth dies in a fire the better, thanks. I'm willing to tolerate some unrealisms in the name of game balance, but as-is, the penalties heaped on heavy-medium/heavy armor are just beyond ridiculous, to the point of being immersion-breaking as well as game breaking.

Chiming in just to say that the faster this myth dies in a fire the better, thanks. I'm willing to tolerate some unrealisms in the name of game balance, but as-is, the penalties heaped on heavy-medium/heavy armor are just beyond ridiculous, to the point of being immersion-breaking as well as game breaking.

Chiming in just to say that the faster this myth dies in a fire the better, thanks. I'm willing to tolerate some unrealisms in the name of game balance, but as-is, the penalties heaped on heavy-medium/heavy armor are just beyond ridiculous, to the point of being immersion-breaking as well as game breaking.

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Yeah, the general expectation that you're going to have maxed out what your class specialization is without question bothers me. The party I tried the first module with crashed and burned because the Cleric was the only character that was 100% mechanically optimized. Even having 2 lower than max in an offense stat not only decreases your to-hit by 5% but also your to-crit by 5%. Having a less-than-optimized defense stat does the same thing but with your defense numbers, increasing your incoming hits AND crits. I shouldn't feel punished if I want to start with 14int (bonus lang!) and the background I want (fluff!) instead of selecting background purely on how the stats line up and ignoring any stat that isn't my main class stats (to get that "perfect" 18 16 12 12 10 10 array), but that's how I felt.

A magus with max perform and sleight of hand (a quirky performer. a lowercase-b bard, essentially).

Thanks signature skills. I guess I can't make this come online till level... 10? (fighter, 3 wizard feats, 2 rogue feats) And I consider the 2 rogue feats just feat taxes for stuff I used to be able to get for the cost of the skill points. Signature skills really kill any RP concept that doesn't adhere to your class cliche.

This was an attempt to replicate the spirit of a level 7 character I'm already playing, and it failed the skills part of the evaluation because at level 7 and beyond skills are class gated. It's technically still possible but the feat tax is harsh just to get the mechanics to match the fluff.

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I get that PF2 is "core only" for now and I don't begrudge it. There's plenty of content in the PF2 corebook... But most characters can't access near as much of that content now, because the amount of class-exclusive content has gone up. No universal combat or metamagic feat list, Signature Skills artificially prevent you from breaking out of your class stereotype, etc. Multiclassing can help both those issues some, but that just papers over the problem instead of actually solving it.

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I feel like this problem is endemic with PF2 in general. There's no space for you to color outside the lines.

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I think the point is to not gimp multiclassing (every primary feature uses the same resource), but also give every class that uses it their own specialized use of the SP pool (keeping their individual abilities and such). One pool to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them...

The point of making things like Wild Shape and such run on a separate pool from SP is they'd quickly drain your SP if you had them linked with the main pool as mentioned above.

The previous two things said, Alchemists should totally have their own "craft points" pool instead of their main class feature eating all their resonance.

Dante Doom wrote:
Wowie wrote:

Degrees of success:


It takes an action to change a 1-handed grip to a 2-handed grip, or vise versa. Don't ask me why this is.


AS already stated, drop a hand is a free action Archetypes#313

Surely the rules could have been more intuitive than "to change to a one handed grip, drop the weapon, but with only one of your hands"? Is there a page number for it anywhere? How was I supposed to intuit this???

On topic: Nature and Religion are WIS-based now.
Double check your sheets if you filled them in as INT-based.

Increased weapon size is not an affect that increases your die size. The reason the text is there is so you don't have to flip to a different page to see how Dual-Handed Assault works.

Large weapons have no affect as written unless you're a Titan mauler, in which case using one gives you Sluggish 1 and doubles your Rage bonus damage. That being said, I tried one out anyway and it still did the highest damage of anyone in my (level 1) party without needing heavy optimization.

The item sizes page should have detail about what happens when a creature tries to use a mis-sized weapon, armor, or gear, but they don't. The implied rule, however, seems to be that Large weapons are normally unusable, and that Small and Medium weapons are interchangeable. I'm no final authority though, so someone else is free to swoop in and correct me if they notice something different.

Another clarification that needs to be made is whether or not Titan Mauler functions with two one-handed weapons. With the text as-written, it seems as though nobody even thought of them, as it unwittingly assumes you're going to use the largest two-hander you can find.

Degrees of success:

Everything has four tiers of success now.

Crit success: 10 or higher over the DC.
Success: meeting or exceeding the DC.
Failure: not meeting the DC.
Crit failure: 10 or lower than the required DC.

Crit hits and crit fails as you know them are gone. Everything operates off of the four degrees of success now.

In most cases, nat 20's will increase the degree of success by one, and nat 1's will decrease the degree of success by one. Sometimes, a few rules techicalities will alter this.

This means if a fighter has a +6 bonus and a +2 assist, and rolls a (total of) 24 or higher against an AC 14 target, he crits, even if the roll wasn't a natural 20. Critical failures in combat have no affect other than missing the target (as per usual, but it's worth mentioning anyway).

Critical confirmations also don't exist anymore. You must unlearn what you have learned.

Someone else can explain the Mess that is Exploration/Social Tactics. And it is a capital-m Mess.


It takes an action to change a 1-handed grip to a 2-handed grip, or vise versa. Don't ask me why this is.

Related: You can no longer draw a weapon as part of a move action.

Related: It takes two actions to use a potion; one to draw it, and one to drink it.

Related: You can't retrieve items from a backpack you're wearing without taking it off with another action first.

You can only perform one free action per "trigger".

You can't delay, then trigger your delay in the middle of someone else's turn. (Previously it was only stipulated that a delay can't interrupt someone else's action.)

Experience points are now 1000 xp per level now. The amount of xp a monster is worth is based on its level compared to yours.

Now I feel like an idiot for never noticing the peculiarities of the wording, thanks. It could be made a little more explicit.

Though I really still would prefer it having a lower hardness but be usable anytime instead of having an artificial restriction that's obviously only there for balance reasons. It stands to reason that a shield made of force in the space of a few words might be less durable than the fighter's adamantine sturdy shield.

I also had only a few silver left after building a druid. And I ended up still wanting more too because I couldn't afford a healer's kit and companion barding at the same time. Or companion barding and anything for that matter. Maybe 1st-level barding just needs to be cheaper. Companions are fragile as paper in this edition (rest in peace Tomi the raptor).

Back on the topic of class kits, basically whenever I build a new character I just buy whatever their corresponding class kit is as a starting point. Or at least that's what I do in PF1 and other systems. The main thing I like about kits isn't even the money, it's that it makes building a character so much faster and simpler it's not even funny. I feel like for most given PF2 characters, picking out gear is half of character creation.

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Elleth wrote:
Given that optimising and roleplaying don't exactly conflict, and that I enjoy being able to have control over what my character is actually good at, I like this. A lot.

They conflict when I want to have Draconic as a level 1 language but the class I'm playing is perfectly happy with a 10 in INT and really wants that 18/16/14 in the primary/secondary/tertiary stats (call it STR DEX CON in any combination for a martial). This isn't really aimed at you and more aimed at the system expecting nothing less than fully optimized characters.

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In my group's playtest game we had a cleric nat 20 on his third iterative while making a desperation swing. It turned a miss into a hit (at least if we understood it correctly, which we're not sure of), but didn't have a meaningful affect on the encounter outcome, which was still a dead cleric and a dead animal companion, basically bringing the adventure to a screeching halt.

Back on topic, a simpler way to word it would be to just say that nat 20's increase your success degree by one and nat 1's decrease your success degree by one in most cases? It would work the same as it is now in 99% of cases?

Malkyn wrote:
I'm kind of surprised it hasn't come up, but what about non-rogues getting dex to damage?

I've been thoroughly convinced by the "Dex One True Stat" argument. (I'm already increasingly afraid of INT becoming irrelevant for non-wizards, but that's off topic.) But this seems like the perfect thing to test. What if during one of these weekly updates there was a change to give Fighter/Ranger a dex-to-damage feat, and then 2 weeks later change it back, with it explicitly noted that it was an experimental change and you didn't have to use it in your games? I feel like not having an "Experimental" branch in the update sheets is a missed opportunity. But on the other hand they have every reason not to since multiple versions of the same game would dilute their playtest feedback. It's tough to say.

My interpretation is that ranged spell touches now use (dex) + (spell prof), with melee touches using (dex or str) + (spell prof). But who knows, maybe I'm wrong too.

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+++++ ^This. I'd love a background with Multilingual so I don't have to sacrifice character stats to start with my extra fluff languages, but there isn't one. In the end only having a preselected set of backgrounds is a straitjacket. At least include a sidebar for home games. :)

Captain Morgan wrote:
On Intimidation: I haven't formed a strong opinion yet on all the stuff Wowie brought up, though I do kind of agree Barbarians shouldn't need a feat to use it. HOWEVER, I will point out Demoralize is waaaay stronger this edition. It plays so much better with the new action economy than the old one, and a critical success makes them flee without any feat or archetype investment. Like most mind affecting stuff, it does need some limitations on who it works on to prevent it from dominating.

Huh, point taken. I suppose I'll have to play a barb myself and see how well it works out. At minimum, Demoralize should be natively part of the Rage actions, that part just seems silly.

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Since you guys seemed amenable to fixing Stealth, any chances Intimidation could get a second look?

Intimidating Glare should not be a feat. It should be a part of the core skill. I get you want languages to be more important but Intimidating Glare being a feat stifles roleplaying. I don't have to speak Goblin in order to scare a few of them witless.

Intimidating Prowess should only require Trained intimidation instead of Expert. It's impossible to actually get at level 2 because you can't get Expert skills until level 3.

Barbarian-specific: Raging Intimidation shouldn't exist either. Demoralize should just gain the rage trait by default, as part of the Rage rules the same way Seek does. As a replacement feat, Raging Intimidation v2 could let Intimidate key off of STR (str-1 because Intimidating prowess exists? or maybe just let it be the "Finesse Striker" of barbarian? Or simple solution I guess: forbid it from comboing with Prowess. idk, try all 3?) while raging, and give Scare To Death for free when its requirements are met. Class feats should do more than give you a couple discounted skill feats.

Frightened should affect attack bonuses to half the amount rounded up (fear 1 or 2 = -1 atk). Otherwise it's only useful if you have a spellcaster in the party, which isn't always a given.

I'm annoyed at intimidate for the same reason everyone else was annoyed at stealth: It seems unnecessarily restricted and unrealistic. The best character for intimidate actually seems to be a sorcerer (high cha+immediately follow up with a SoS spell)... And I'm not even a barbarian main, I'm more of a wizard guy myself. I feel bad for my muscle buddies. :3


On the topic of character creation, there should be an example of how a fully bulked out character works in the equipment section. People are misinterpreting how backpacks and light bulk work (I'm not one of them but I can see how it happens). The ideal example character would be almost encumbered.

Adventurer's kits for each class should be in core too, instead of having to wait for "ultimate equipment 2". It makes creating a character so much easier and so much faster it's not even funny. It'd also help PF2 be more newbie-friendly, which seems like a major design goal.


Re: Weapon traits. Weapon traits are one of the best things about PF2. But yes, Bastard Swords being slashing-only crushes my immersion (or does it slash it?). The volley trait bothers me as well, I'm in the "remove Volley and give shortbows Agile to keep them competitive" camp, but then I realize that Shurikens are the "Agile ranged weapon". Maybe just shorten Volley to something reasonable, like 30-35 feet so archers can at least sit on the same battlemat? I feel like we can find a balance between "realism", "balance" and "fun". :)

I think that the design intent is that the heaviest armors are designed only to be viable if they're "masterworked" for a reduced ACP.

Whether they're successful with that intent is another matter entirely however... :|

I don't think containers increase your carry capacity, merely give you the ability to use it. If a backpack has 4 bulk cap, that means it can fit 4 bulk worth of items in it, not that it increases your carry by 4 bulk. It's analogous to the PF1 language of "this backpack can hold 2 cubic feet of items".

As such, bulk budgets are actually fairly tight for non-STR characters. Some adventurers may even consider getting a horse or a pack animal (p189).

Necroing this. Made two characters so far and sighed both times as I calculated their kit out manually. I'm sure we can handle an extra page for kits, considering that premade kits massively speed up character creation, along with lessening confusion for newcomers. Just because it wasn't core in PF1, doesn't mean it can't be core in PF2! If we don't get class-specific kits, we should at least get a listing for a "basic" kit covering the things literally every character will buy:

Adventurer's kit, barebones (5sp 5cp, 6L):
Backpack (1sp, 0 bulk [4 bulk carry])
Belt Pouch (4cp, 0 bulk [4 L carry])
Bedroll (1cp, L bulk)
Ordinary Clothing (1sp, 0 bulk)
Flint and Steel (5cp, 0 bulk)
Rations, 4 days (2sp, 4L bulk)
Waterskin (5 cp, L bulk)

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pauljathome wrote:
Before I get there, an aside. Bears seem to be the clear favourite for animal companion of choice. Out of 4 characters with animal companions, ALL have take bear. This implies that it may be slightly overpowered.

My knee-jerk reaction is that the companions aren't too balanced either. For my level 1 playtest character I made a druid, and sorely wished I could take the Dromeosaur fluff with the Cat stats. Bear, Cat, and Horse seem to be the real winners.

But, in general animal companions are just shafted anyway; the least that could happen is they could all be equally shafted instead of some of them getting super-shafted.


Badger Rage seems like a good way to kill your badger since companions have chronically low AC, and this makes it even lower while not even granting rage HP.

Dromeosaur's work-together benefit is entirely replaced with a feat once you hit level 10, and could really use a different work-together. Darting attack would be better if it were a step+strike/strike+step, but as is, it pales in comparison to Cat Pounce's stride+strike.

Snake's work-together benefit is incredibly specific, and could be modified to be more generic-ally useful. Additionally, constrict only really "works" on large (savage) companions since it doesn't work on equal-size.

Wolf's work-together is a little undercooked compared to work-togethers that add damage or cause stronger conditions than hampered. They eye the bird and bear work-togethers jealously. It'd also be cool if they saw the Mount trait. Wolf Trip is decent at least.

I'd like to see the Monk weapon "group" expanded a little bit, especially since it seems like they have no way to get crit specializations on them from their class anyway. Things that aren't monk weapons but it makes sense to have them be monk weapons include:

Gauntlets, spiked gauntlets (a punch is a punch, right?)
Sickles, staffs (kama and bo-staff are monk, but not their basic variants?)
Daggers (sai and dagger are related enough. why not?)
Blowgun (why not, because ninjas. nobody gonna use em anyway)

Not all of those need to make it in, but at least sickles and staves please, it doesn't make sense that I can be good at using a long stick but not a short stick. :)

Additionally, it wouldn't be amiss to give them trained in simple weapons to start with. Otherwise a monk starts with no ranged options unless they burn a feat.

Same assassment here. The start of your turn is when you refresh your action allotment (p304). "At the start of your turn, gain one additional action to use" is a valid interpretation.

On-topic, build looks fun. Weapon properties are one thing they did (mostly) right imo. I'm looking forward to trying to get the most out of Fatal for the kicks. Gonna aim lower tho. When do people ever play level 20?

My assessment as well. I feel like the design intent was to stop druids, summoners, necromancers, et al. from having an overwhelming action economy advantage over normal characters (druids have 4 actions total, only one above normal), but instead it just comes off as being illogical and highly restrictive, especially when ACs are so weak without being able to use gear.

My interpretation of shields lines up with yours too, but I digress. We're way past the original topic, and I've said my piece, so I'll pipe down.

I like the Robin's profiles, though I've only just heard of them now. Under them, I'd consider myself primarily a Method Actor and Power Gamer, with the secondary traits of Specialist and Storyteller. Now, Actor/Storyteller and Power Gamer might seem mutually exclusive, but I view mechanical effectiveness as an extension of one's narrative power. So whatever my character is supposed to be narratively strongest at, I'll also endeavor to make them mechanically strong in the same areas. Both halves make the whole, but whenever they're in conflict, Method Actor edges Power Gamer out. And so it goes.

Another theory I like to use to categorize things is the Gamist-Narrativist-Simulationist theory. In this theory, every gamer has some level of all three. Gamists play to win, narrativists play for the story, and simulationists - a little harder to define - play for verisimilitude and consistency. PF1 focused heavily on simulation. Even if it was complex at times, it was always internally consistent and always made sense. PF2 skews heavily toward gamism, but rips out large chunks of narrative and simulation in the process. My primary two aspects are narrative and simulation, so the way PF2 is aiming has dismayed me accordingly.

Ultimately, buckets can't define the specifics of a person, but they're good for making quick generalizations.

Playtest wrote:
They have the minion trait, so they gain 2 actions during your turn if you use the Command an Animal action to command them; this is in place of the usual effects of Command an Animal." emphasis mine

I think the intended way to read it, is that "Command Animal Companion" overwrites the normal text for "Command Animal". It's essentially a completely different action that goes by the exact same name, and therefore the modified "Command Companion" doesn't include the clause about Handle Animal in it either. Talk about confusing. They could have just used the same singular sentence of text from "commanding familiars" (p287) and it wouldn't have been confusing at all.

I will agree that this book is laid out horribly, and large chunks are definitely ambiguous. I still haven't figured out how to calculate shield damage yet, and there's several valid interpretations of the shield damage rules. Someone else here posited that they used an internal SRD for their internal playtests and never actually used the PDFs, and I think they're right.

Gaterie wrote:

Two action. Handle animal and command animal.

The handle animal DC is unknown. Does anyone still care about animal companion at this point ? Just chose another class.

Animal Companions are Minions, and skip the Handle an Animal step.

That said, they still get shafted. Hard. :(

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A creature with the Minion trait can only take 2 actions a turn, can't use reactions, and only acts when commanded. (p416 for full ver)
Animal Companions, Familiars, Summoned Creatures, and Controlled Undead are all minions.

Really, Animal Companions are just shafted. When you turn a major class feature into a feat, it's only allowed to be as strong as a feat...

I'd rather have a separate nature class whose primary class features go into having an AC that's a proper AC. We could call it the Hunter or something.

Warmagon wrote:
They are kind of replaceable, so it's not the worst thing, but having an maxed out companion is a pretty significant feat investment and eats an action to use.

My animal companion isn't some forgettable attack animal, they're one half of a whole. The rules seem to emphasize *otherwise*, however. To be clear, this isn't a rip aimed at you, it's a rip aimed at the rules, and one of the things I hope sees some TLC in the final release.

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Whenever I read the playtest document, PF2's design *screams* this. Dozens of decisions were made that champion game balance as more important than anything else, even more important than roleplaying or world-simulation. And that... Disappoints me. I was expecting an edition of the game that would be much more balanced while still respecting roleplaying and verisimilitude, but instead, PF2 reads more like "PF2: we balanced it like a videogame edition". This gets reinforced by things like chevrons for actions and color-coded item/spell rarities. I don't crack open a PF book because I want to play a videogame.

PF2 is balanced to a tee, but sucks the fun out of everything and artificially constrains players from playing who they want to play. Which also feels like I've been cheated a little, since the blogs were all championing "freedom of choice! play what you want but without ten years of cruft attached! raahh!". One of the most basic examples is the artificial parceling out of martial feats. Rogues can't double slice.. why? Barbarians can't power attack... why? Because Fighter hoovered up half the martial feats and refuses to share them. Animal companions are lobotomized, literally unable to think for themselves. Many things that shouldn't be actions, are actions (recall knowledge, change grip, etc). Staring someone down apparently takes a feat instead of being intrinsic to Intimidate. Some time-honored spells are overnerfed (mending, guidance) or have vanished altogether (where's Reincarnate?). All of Stealth makes no sense. Signature skills artificially pigeonhole your character and make it literally impossible to avoid your class stereotype. The list goes on and on and on.

The worst part is, I really admire PF2's underlying design. It's simple and elegant, but it gets muddied by unnecessary balance-first decisions. The 3 action system is elegant. +Level to everything feels like overkill but I could get behind +1/2 or +1/4 level to everything; it sells the high-fantasy feel and emphasizes that you're above and beyond normal humans. ABCD character generation is great and means I finally don't have to help anyone build their characters, which is mandatory in PF1. I never liked rolling for health either, and I'm glad to see it go. The way metamagic is handled is innovative, along with the way many spells can be customized on-the-fly by changing their components. Resonance is a brilliant concept for item handling, albeit one that doesn't treat the Alchemist (or bags of holding) kindly. Spell Points aren't bad either (even if the name bugs me). Anathemas lend a fun dimension to characters that used to be alignment-restricted. Monster entries are as flavorful as ever. The way weapons are handled is great, barring a few verisimilitude-breaking oddities like the bastard sword. There's a lot to like here, really there is, but it just gets outweighed.

PF2 to me seems a lot like a padded cell. No matter how hard I throw myself at it, it won't break, but it also doesn't allow any room for self-expression, creativity, or realism. Ultimately, I (and my group) value roleplaying just a little bit more than overstrict game balance. Balance doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be "close enough". I've never played PF "to win" - however, if the PF2 playtest book is anything to go by, my group and I have been having badwrongfun this entire time. I was expecting something akin to PF1.5, but instead I got something closer to 4.5e or 5.5e (and I *like* 5e in addition to PF, it's decent but simple). I'll still hold out hope that the developers mean it when they say they're going to listen to feedback; yet I'm also fully aware that I'm just one voice out of many, and I'm not going to agree with all of the changes PF2 makes. But in the end, if the final version of PF2 ends up just a little friendlier toward roleplaying, I'll consider that a win.

(I'll get off my soapbox now... sorry... didn't intend to write a wall of text but all my pent up feelings about PF2 just kinda spilled out there, ya know?)

Sucks for druids then. Sturdy Shields stop progressing at Expert Heavy Wooden (8 hardness, level 5 item), and the Ironwood spell seems to have also gone missing-in-action. Darkwood shields aren't any better either, and are actually slightly worse. A Legendary Wooden Shield tops out at 9 hardness, but by the time you can craft one it's irrelevant compared to the Sturdy options.

What is the range of the Scent ability of animal companions? It's unlisted, but by peeking at the bestiary (and the Gnome's heritage feat) we can conclude that the normal Scent range is 30 feet (probably).

What is the weight of an unconscious character? It's also unlisted, but under the petrified condition we can infer that Medium characters are 8 bulk and Small characters are 4 bulk (though this still leaves me unsure).

What other obscure knowledge is there you've managed to find? (At what point does a Horse become encumbered?)

Cool cool, I like it! Can't say thanks enough times. :) Re: the headers - An even better and more efficient solution than I would have ever thought of, thanks!

Haha no problem. It's not so much testing as it is "for the first character I'm making, I'm making the one I see the most issues with" = a half-elf druid. Last 2 issues I think: the font for the Action and Reaction sections (and their traits) is a bit large and it gets cut off at the top. Also, is my (T)AC not adding the flat 10 from "innate" stats?

Finally, QoL stuff that you don't really need to do: It'd be nice if the action boxes for spells let you put in letters so you could list "V S" or "V M"; or just "V" for Shield cantrip for example. Also would be nice if you could change the key spellcasting and spell point pool abilities independently; multiclassing can change it if you say, play a monk with a wizard multiclass (int based spells, wis *or* int based pool). Muscle wizard is on my "to play" list for later.

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