Mordant Spire Elf

Zolanoteph's page

Organized Play Member. 390 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.


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I think the myrmidarch magus looks like an interesting option.

They get ranged spellstrike but their spell combat only works in melee. They have extra combat feats by virtue of being magi and get weapon training.

It's not hard to pick up point blank shot, precise shot and focused shot, makes for a hell of a powerful single spellstrike ahot.


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I would like to chime in here to counter those who say combat maneuvers aren't viable.

If you play high level games primarilly against creatures from the monster manual that's true, but who the hell wants to do that?!

High levels don't really work, avoid em.

Humanoid NPCs are cool enemies, if the GM is designing a campaign around driders and centipedes and dragons and magical horses as the main combat encounters they've already lost me.


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I really feel passionately about this subject: Players should not directly control their animals.

Watch game of thrones. Look how hard it is for Jon Snow to control Ghost the Dire Wolf. The guy is rolling handle animal checks all the time and teaching his animal"tricks" like stay, attack, etc. There's a Certain realism to this approach that makes things a little more complex and tactical: Teaching tricks and handling checks is a sort of minigame that makes one animal trainer different from another. The player controlled method practically makes handle animal a useless skill and dumbs down the game IMHO.


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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:


But I'll miss all of you.

Even me?


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blahpers wrote:
Yeesh, I feel kinda bad for any Paizo employees reading this thread/checking that poll.

Eh, it's probably a tough spot to be in right now. If this was just an edition I didn't like I would feel bad too. But for me it's more than that. It's about the perpetual locking of threads on the 2E messageboard. It's about the sensitivity training manual in the playtest document. In my opinion Paizo has taken on an eerily authoritarian aspect.


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I'll never switch and I voted accordingly.

Pathfinder was a game for 3.5 lovers. This is a radical change that was implemented without polling or meaningful input from the community. Yes, I realize there's a playtest and they're reading feedback, but that feedback pertains to your responses Paizo's ideas, which is grossly different from asking us "what should 2E be like?" in a more open ended way.


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BryonD wrote:
Brondy wrote:
Pathfinder 2e has the great need to take big steps back if it wants to be functional. Currently nobody I know wants to play with it. The problems of the game are not the contents but the system at the base, the comparison with the previous edition is essential.

Yep

The playtest seems to be hampered by the sunk cost fallacy

Agreed


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Rysky wrote:
LordTrevaine wrote:
I am more of an online stalker, and rarely actually comment,
... you might want to use the term "lurker" then.
LordTrevaine wrote:
I am also getting the point about character disparity, especially at high levels. OMG! I am so fed up with this. I run a high level game (17 levels, 7 mythic, lots of campaign relevant magic kit), and at no time does this occur.
There's probably a reason for that.
LordTrevaine wrote:
The final comments by Diago, on my naughty "if I was cynical..." are so ironic, because he then admits exactly what I was trying to suggest, that Paizo is foremost a business with timelines! Unfortunately, I think you got hung up on me being subversive and missed my point.
You hamstringed whatever your own point was supposed to be by insinuating sinister motivations for all of this.
LordTrevaine wrote:
As to Diego's post...I find the comparison to Brexit even more so: P2 is happening whether you like it or not! Also interesting is the move of thread, I understand the reasoning. People working on tweaking the mechanics of the game don't want to be distracted by me wanting to discuss the bigger picture of the direction and overall design of the game. People working on how to get Resonance to work don't want to hear that people think it is a bad idea in the first place.
You weren't doing any of that though. You're comparing it to Brexit and ascribing malicious intent to the developers.
LordTrevaine wrote:
I get it.
Not really.
LordTrevaine wrote:
I then would also understand the fact that 'second edition is happening, whatever', attitude. This way round you have let us see into all the design decisions but don't really want us to challenge any of them.
... have you not read any of the playtest forums?
LordTrevaine wrote:
This feels a bit insulting. I feel as though decisions are already made, and participating in the playtest is not about shaping the game, but about fiddling with details.
Again, have you not ready...

I agree with the OP.

His post and your reaction to it also gets at the heart of a key philosophical disagreement I've seen play out over and over on these messageboards. In effect he's saying "We have very little influence over the development of the game" and you're saying "There's a playtest and an active discussion: Of course we have a say in how this game turns out!"

While we'll be allowed to talk about how to tweak the fine details of the system that was designed behind closed doors we won't be able to effect the overall concept. BaB gone, +level to everything, narrow gaps between experts and novices, reduced number of bonus types, standardized/balanced damage output, no reverse compatibility with 1E, resonance, siloing of options behind class feats... These were designed from the top and a majority of these are here to stay. If you see promise in the 2E chasis your voice matters because you'll have some say in what happens and exactly how these sweeping changes are implemented. If you have concerns with the system that are more than skin deep it's a different story.

Regarding the locked threads issue... I think it's getting really out of hand. What's happening is that you have a lot of vague rules of conduct that are being enforced selectively at the discretion of the moderators. For example we're not supposed to engage in "edition warring", which basically boils down to comparing and contrasting editions in a way someone decides they don't like. You can't even talk about a new edition without some comparing and contrasting so If you're a mod you're going to see "edition warring" everywhere among people who vehemently disagree with you. There's also the cases of threads getting derailed from the original subject and switching gears or getting mired in discussion of some bland technical detail. This routinely happens in threads of all kinds but doesn't seem to be a problem unless the thread happens to be negative towards 2nd edition. It's not that the moderators are conspiring against the nay sayers, it's just a basic cognitive bias and it's part of human nature. So the nature of forum rules and a not fully intentional censorship of vocal doubters will probably lead to a bit of an echo chamber phenomenon and a confirmation bias.

Rather than seeing Lird Trevaine and others like him as contemptuous trolls I think it's important to recognize that they care enough about Pathfinder 1st Edition to be angry about second edition and they're still offering reasonable and valid points. He's posting his disapproval here, not on the D&D or Dark Souls or vampire: The Masquerade boards which shows that he's invested a lot in this game emotionally, and I'll bet financially as well.

I think for Pathfinder 2E it's probably too late for a radical change of direction as well, but there's a contingent of 1E loyalists that's holding out until the bitter end and voicing their grievances. It's so easy to write them off as haters or edition warriors or 3.5 fanboys or butt-hurt crybabies, but I think they're some of the most sincere fans Paizo has.


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Kalindlara wrote:

Regarding the idea that "characters (primarily archers) are more viable in PF2 because of less feat taxes"... couldn't PF2 have just fixed that and similar feat-tax issues without throwing the rest of the system out in the process? It seems rather myopic to hold that one example up as proof that PF2 is a superior system.

I dunno. Just me?

Also, this.


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Ssalarn wrote:
Zolanoteph wrote:


It's true that point blank shot/rapid shot/precise shot are often near mandatory (except arguably for rangers/slayers who can bypass PBS), but for me that doesn't mean it's all doom and gloom, or that every Archer is the same.

First, there are exceptions. There are feats like (what's it called again?) which lets you take a single shot as a standard action and add your intelligence modifier to the damage, which is an interesting alternative to rapid shot, especially if you have an interesting feat or class ability that eats your move action (quick channel, combat advice, hunter's bond with allies, etc). Similarly, shot on the run precludes you from standing still and using rapid shot.

If however you accept the premise that PBS/RS/PC are In fact requirements for any archer, the feat tax will be completed by level 5 at WORST, sooner for humans or anyone with access to more feats. And then there's the fact that a fighter, magus, ranger, slayer, warpriest, cleric, monk and paladin all have really different class based avenues for customization.

Focused Shot, the feat that lets you add your Intelligence to damage when firing your bow as a standard action, actually has Point-Blank Shot and Precise Shot as prerequisites. So it's not really an alternate path, it's just an alternate step in the chain once you're two feats in. And YMMV, but I'd consider not having the basic loadout to actually start being an archer until 5th level kind of terrible; that's a quarter of the way to max level and halfway through the levels that most people actually get to play through. For a lot of groups it can take an entire year to hit 5th level, so if you're trying to be a non fighter or ranger archer that's a year of not having basic competence in what you want to do. Compared to e.g a playtest sorcerer who can cast true strike and make two attacks with a bow at 1st level without spending any feats, that seems pretty good. Magical Striker further supplements the build with bonus accuracy...

I agree with you more than you may suspect. I do think there is a degree of build uniformity with the prevalence of feats like rapid shot and power attack, and I do think that feat taxes are a bit obnoxious. I just don't think it's a *huge* deal.

In a perfect world I think rapid shot should've been a feat without prereqs, and more optimal easilly accessible options should've been made to represent a different and more methodical style of archery so that not every Archer had to be another rapid shot clone.

But I still don't see the taxes being all that horrible. I'm playing a level one elven Archer archaeplogist Bard, and running around with nothing but point blank shot its still pretty fun. And while I see how great things like rapid shot and power attack are, I refuse to accept the premise that they're "mandatory" as stated earlier. Maybe they are for winning the DPR olympics, but there are some really cool things you can do with the right feats and class features that prohibit you from full attacking.

I do agree that if you're a class/race with zero bonus feats having to wait until level five to use a ubiquitous archery feat chain is irritating. But there are always alternative paths that are decent, like the elven wizard with weapon focus (longbow) and arcane strike by level 3. Or the archer who doesn't want to stack too many minuses to hit and takes deadly aim instead of rapid shot (from level one). Or the guy who only secondarily uses a bow and takes opening volley, using ranged attacks to soften the enemy up for a charge.

The problems you see in the system are real, but there are fun solutions.


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Nettah wrote:
Zolanoteph said wrote:

It's true that point blank shot/rapid shot/precise shot are often near mandatory (except arguably for rangers/slayers who can bypass PBS), but for me that doesn't mean it's all doom and gloom, or that every Archer is the same.

First, there are exceptions. There are feats like (what's it called again?) which lets you take a single shot as a standard action and add your intelligence modifier to the damage, which is an interesting alternative to rapid shot, especially if you have an interesting feat or class ability that eats your move action (quick channel, combat advice, hunter's bond with allies, etc). Similarly, shot on the run precludes you from standing still and using rapid shot.

If however you accept the premise that PBS/RS/PC are In fact requirements for any archer, the feat tax will be completed by level 5 at WORST, sooner for humans or anyone with access to more feats. And then there's the fact that a fighter, magus, ranger, slayer, warpriest, cleric, monk and paladin all have really different class based avenues for customization.

Well it's hard to compare the playtest documents level of customization with CRB and APG when the playtest document is not even completed. Paizo have stated several times that there will be more class feats for certain classes and generally more content in the final version, alluding that paladins would get some archery support in those.

I think even with the amount of support currently in the playtest that you can build quite different archers, and I don't mind that not every class feat for every class is build toward a singular strategy for the class. Say currently a paladin archer might also be a bit more of a caster with various domain powers (he has the free hand for casting), the fighter excels at multishots or on various specialized shots, rangers are all about the number of attacks, sorc/wizards are all about getting that one strong attack with magical striker/ true strike and a rogue might use certain tactics to get the...

Not gonna lie, you lost me at "class feat". The existence of class feats as replacements for generally accessible combat feats is one of my deep foundational problems with 2E.

I don't know what's worse, the streamlining and siloing of options or the assurances that one day, after the official release or with some splat book, X class will finally be given permission to use Y righting atyle. I don't want special permission to access basic fighting styles.

I mean it's probably clear from what I've said that I have a libertarian approach to gaming. But beyond that, I think there's a general appeal to discovering a feat/class ability interactions that the designers may not have intended.

Everything I read about 2E makes character building sound scripted: At level 3 you can choose A,B,C or D. For me it's just too damn sterile and formulaic.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
ErichAD wrote:
oholoko wrote:
ErichAD wrote:


I consider that slightly preferable to some 2handers getting nothing and some archers getting nothing.

Well PF1 characters weren't functional in combat without feats. Right now you can play an sorcerer archer level 1 with just being an elf and a ancestry feat, you will be no ranger, fighter or rogue. But you will do a lot better without the silly rules that 2e does away with...

So you start with nothing "and that's a good thing"? Silly indeed. You make a guy and you pick up a bow, that's not an archer that's equipment.

Whereas in PF1 you got the illusion of gaining abilities that are baked into the core of the Playtest. PF1 had a lot of taxes that made you think you were getting good at something when really you were just leaping the hurdles to do that thing with any kind of effectiveness. The playtest removes most of those hurdles and allows you to start out with the tools you need instead of forcing you to buy them as you go. A sorcerer archer may not have archery feats but they have the widest array of spell choices available to any class for assembling spells that can support and enhance their archery, as well as having a reasonable chance of actually hitting things. When feats like Magical Striker come online they even get a cool ranged-Spellstrike style option that they can use to be a sorcerer and archer simultaneously and effectively. That's an option that didn't exist in PF1 without a large number of splatbooks and very narrow build choices. A cleric of Erastil with a longbow can grab spells that buff their accuracy, improve their positioning, and otherwise increase their effectiveness without spending any class feats on archery-specific abilities, and you don't need an archetype just to make sure you can effectively shoot stuff before 5th level.

If you want to be a master archer in the playtest, yes, there are certain classes that have significant advantages, like fighter and

...

It's true that point blank shot/rapid shot/precise shot are often near mandatory (except arguably for rangers/slayers who can bypass PBS), but for me that doesn't mean it's all doom and gloom, or that every Archer is the same.

First, there are exceptions. There are feats like (what's it called again?) which lets you take a single shot as a standard action and add your intelligence modifier to the damage, which is an interesting alternative to rapid shot, especially if you have an interesting feat or class ability that eats your move action (quick channel, combat advice, hunter's bond with allies, etc). Similarly, shot on the run precludes you from standing still and using rapid shot.

If however you accept the premise that PBS/RS/PC are In fact requirements for any archer, the feat tax will be completed by level 5 at WORST, sooner for humans or anyone with access to more feats. And then there's the fact that a fighter, magus, ranger, slayer, warpriest, cleric, monk and paladin all have really different class based avenues for customization.


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I'm not sure if there's an exact technical definition for "edition war", but somehow I feel like it's this vague tabboo that only gets brought up as a prejorative when it suits a poster's agenda. This is not a knock on any individual person, or a knock on either side (Pro or anti 2E).

I mean I've yet to see anyone here who says "I like X edition, you like Y and are therefore stupid". And intelligent comparisons between editions are somewhat inevitable, if not vital to a discussion about, you know, a new edition.


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The scariest thing to see in the sewer is a human, because you've got to be a pretty desperate human being to wind up down there.

Givem some rat companions for flanking and flavor, plus the filthy weapons feat. Go skirmishy or go home. Attrition and ambush all the way.


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pogie wrote:

I don’t understand this mentality of “it’s your loss” if you don’t participate in the playtest. It’s Paizo’s job to design a game that appeals to people. If they design a rule set that people hate so much they do not have motivation to continue giving feedback, that’s on Paizo not the player who has lost interest.

I think Paizo’s main motivation for 2E was not to build a better game, but to try and clawback players from 5E. In so doing I think they have severely underestimated the brand value that D&D has and have gone a long way to alienating their core playerbase. The more I read about 2E the more I want to just bring in changes from Unchained into 1e or just go play 5e.

Absolutely this.


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Cyouni wrote:
Slyme wrote:

I could spend hours discussing all the things I don't like about PF2E...versus the couple things I think they got right.

Lets just break it down to roughly 90% negative, 10% positive.

At this point, there is no salvaging PF2 for me. Someone call me when Paizo starts work on PF3E, or when another company does what Paizo did when D&D took this huge of a misstep.

Every person who avoids participating just makes it more sure that their group won't get anything they want.

They've said that they're willing to rip out even the proficiency system - the core system of the game - all the way to its roots if enough people have a problem with it, so this just makes it more certain that your group isn't represented.

Effectively, your loss.

An experienced and opinionated GM/player knows what they're looking for. There comes a point where the developers' alpha/beta test release is so far off the mark that it's not even a realistic idea to try to reform it in a direction that would please you. And this isn't necessarily a negative statement because it's more apples and oranges.

There are at the very least three absolute core values for me in RPGs, hills I'm willing to die on, that run contrary to the direction of 2E:

1) generally available feats, especially for combat. For me persobally a ranger, fighter and rogue must all be able to take Dodge, mobility and shot on the run. The ranger will have one more class related feat, nature related abilities and an animal, the fighter will have extra class feats, the rogue will have talents and sneak. The intersection of class abilities and general feat selection will give them all unique synergies and flavor but not totally determine their role or choicec of fighting styles and general feats. For me this is how a class system must work.

2) I'm not into the Big Dumb Heroes design philosophy espoused in an older blog post, whereby martials should be able to do absurdly superhuman things. To be fair I'm not sure if Paizo is sticking with this one, and I don't think it's an objectively bad idea, just not my type of game.

3) Life should be hard and unfair. No more small damage dice? A floating plus two to any stat in character creation so your halfling can be hella strong? Game balance as a core design value? Fixing the caster/martial disparity? This seems less simulationist and more (is gameist a word?). To be blunt I feel coddled. Now a more tabletop boardgamey player might like this because it makes things run smoother.

I'll say it one more time, these aren't the right views or the wrong views but they're mine and they're unshakable. So when you say it's my loss for trying to get involved with the playtest I think you fail to recognize massive chasm between the game as is and what myself and others on this board are looking for.


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Take as many horse corpses as you can, keep them in a bag of holding. Flick the bag and throw horses at people, or make a barricade of dead horses and shoot from behind it.


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If someone tried to play a kitsune in my group they'd be looking for a new group.


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Christopk-K wrote:
So no easier solution?

Yeah, stop tripping people you bully.


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Zecrin wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
The prospect of a new edition is inevitably going to bring back the conflict between the "I hate the way my Fighter/Rogue was made to look obsolete by a Wizard/Druid/Magus" crowd and the "I like playing an awesome caster who can do anything" crowd.
Is just me or seems like both issues could have been solved by giving martials more toys? High level martials would play like mythological heroes and casters would still be awesome.
Yes, but that brings out another group: "This isn't realistic! I wanted Tolkienesque fantasy, not this anime nonsense!"

I agree. But, Tolkienesque principals being applied to rpgs breeds a very different game than either D&D or Pathfinder.

Throughout the whole series, Frodo, who was a great hero, had tactics that consisted of "run away."

Aragorn, a fantastic example of a "martial" character, would likely loose to Gandalf, Sarumon, and Sauron, all of whom are casters. His in-combat abilities consisted of swing a sword or move in and then swing a sword. Gandalf on the other hand, could summon eagles, create fire, create a barrier of light, deflect arrows, magically disarm someone, call lightning, and even come back from the dead.

Unless martials are given some sort of option besides "use weapon" they will be unable to ever compete with a caster. If you believe that fighters should be mundane that's fine, however you can't then also expect that because fighter is mundane every other class has to be balanced against the fighter. That makes for a game that is baseline low fantasy, as supposed to one that starts as high fantasy and then can easily be toned down by a canny GM.

I think most of the low fantasy guys like myself agree that the fantasy can't be super,super low.

Okay, so the fighter surviving a direct hit with a fireball spell or shrugging off multiple axe wounds and an arrow that critically hit him is a hair zainy, because mundaine characters have to be a wee bit over the top compared to real life. Otherwise this game would be unplayable mechanically. No one wants to have their character get shot once, spend three months recovering and retire the character as a peadant farmer with a limp. I'm the first guy to laugh at the idea of perfect "realism" in this kind of game.

But a moderate degree of realism is very important to me. If a guy is teleporting or flying ot leaping over buildings he'd better be a caster.


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Zecrin wrote:

I do wish that instead of supporting severe casters nerfs, we could see significant buffs to martial classes. I think that maneuvers like those seen in path of war and tomb of battle offer melee characters significantly more battlefield options than the baseline PF1 or 3.5 combat feat systems.

I also feel as if, in high fantasy settings, fighter shouldn't have to equal mundane. If for example, a fighter wants to teleport 60 ft. into the air to slam a flying enemy into the ground with a hammer the size of a grand piano, more power to them.

Even if you don't like the idea of a super magical fighter, you can refluff many existing spells as fighter abilities. For example, fireball becomes hail of dragonfire arrows. Haste becomes rally allies. Time stop becomes battlefield acceleration.

I'm not saying we should give martials all a casters toys, just something to bring them past: 5ft. step, full attack over and over again.

I understand that their are people out their who enjoy playing mundane characters. But its unreasonable to expect other characters to be balanced (mechanically) around such an obvious limitation in a fantasy setting.

Finally, Casters are not perfect in either 3.5 or PF1. However, I find their main issue to be certain specific spells that consistently cause problems at a table when in the hands of power-gamers. Power gamers will always find a way to break the game, especially when it is a game that offers lots of player choice (I still remember a player with a tier 0 paladin build that made my 3.5 game especially unpleasant). In the end, its just up to the DM to tell a player no.

You love the idea of magically powerful martials, I hate it. This is one of the several irreconcilable differences I have with Pathfinder 2E, at least from what I read in one of the 2E blog posts. Maybe you can chalk it up to my distaste for "high fantasy settings".

I feel like 1E struck a reasonable balance: If you want to do absurd things and altar the fabric of reality you're going to have to be a caster. You'll be frail and have to struggle to survive but by level 5/6/7 the payoff will be awesome.

Otherwise you'll have to be ba "regular guy" by comparison (aka the equivalent of a US army ranger or elite UFC fighter), and eventually a bit beyond that if you survive to level 5.

Bilbo Bagins, Sam, Frodo, Aragorn, Jon Snow, Gregor Clegane- THESE strike me as strong fantasy characters. When I read about their incredible feats of bravery, cunning, strength or perseverence I couldn't help but think "woah, look how powerful this guy is!" It's totally different from when I glance at a Superman comic and think to myself "look how powerful the writers decided to say this guy is."

I'm all for a class like the monk or magus which is inherently magical anf can do slightly zainier things at the cost of raw power, but generally speaking I've always opposed any attempt to turn martials into anything other than really strong, fairly realistic people.


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Davick wrote:

Reading through character creation, I really enjoyed how the authors made sure to talk about gender norms, sexual orientation, and nontraditional heroes. However, I was then immediately saddened to see that the same open modern perspective was completely lacking in the short blurb on faith that followed. One could reasonably interpret that non-religious characters are against the rules. Then, turning to page 288 does imply that you can be non-religious but that such characters are the lowest of the low.

This is a rather disheartening approach, especially in light of Paizo's progressive thinking in other areas, and even Sutter's own Pathfinder Tales novels on the subject. I know it seems like a little thing, and it is, but so is mentioning sexual orientation, yet it did a lot to make me feel included.

I'm just asking that maybe you guys consider adding a bit about being faithless or mention that it's ok for faith to not be a big deal to a character.

As an atheist myself I just don't get where you're coming from.

You're not standing up against the KKK in the American south 60 years ago. You're dealing with a friendly company that's trying to make a game for you to enjoy. A company that bends over backwards to please pretty much every group of people. A company that will use the word "inclusive" fifty times in a five paragraph forum or blog post.

You may have positive feedback about 2nd edition and you may have negative feedback. But please, let's not waste their time combing through every sentence they write looking for something that may be considered remotely offensive. Maybe together we can try to defy the steriotype of the sensitive millennial.

If anyone here honestly thinks Paizo is anti-secular, anti LGBTQ, racist or anything like that, I think they should just say it. Otherwise I feel like we should leave well enough alone. Even if this edition is a smashing success, the company has to read through thousands of suggestions and bits of substantive feedback. I think pushing our perceived microagressions on them will only divert valuable attention away from the actual task of game design.


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Palidian wrote:

I keep seeing a lot of posts, from both players and actual, real-life Paizo staff, that people need to play the game before providing any feedback.

To quote Paizo CTO Vic Wertz,

Vic Wertz wrote:
Tell us about your actual game play. Theory is all well and good, but everybody’s got theories, and we’ve probably heard most of them already. Tell us how things are actually working in play, not how you think things will work.

But we should all keep in mind that the playtest is a game; and if someone is not excited enough to play the game then that is a valid complaint.

We can all argue about whether someone's issues were real or perceived, and we can tell people that the problems they had go away in actual gameplay, but if a person chooses not to play a game because it seems to complex, boring, confusing, bland, tedious, or time-consuming, then that is a valid criticism against that game.

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what we argue about on the forums. What matters is how many people buy the rulebook at a bookstore and take it home; and if someone picks up the book and it looks boring, they're not going to reserve judgement until they've played a couple sessions. They're going to put it down, and just go with 5e.

I agree with the OP entirely.

If Paizo only listens to people who played the playtest their results will be hugely biased. I'm starting another game in a week or two and with all our adult responsibilities my BFF and I see no point in wasting precious free time on a game we see as fundamentally flawed.


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Oh well...

The more i think about it the more I realize the old guard 3.5 types like myself may be a dying breed and a niche market. If the finished product is like the playtest I still wish Paizo and the fans the best of luck.


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I think I should share the initial post I wrote. It's quite lengthy, so i apologize for that. I initially deleted it but it's as thoughtful as I've ever been on these forums and feel I must share.

I read some discussion on the messageboard where people were talking about the possibility of scrapping 2E in its' current form and starting from scratch if the changes aren't well recieved. Was this just wishful thinking on the part of those posters?

First and foremost, given the critical nature of this post I would like to be as respectful as possible. Despite my negative opinions of 2nd edition I do think there are a few *very* good ideas involved and I will heap praise on those salvageable ideas towards the end of the post.

I was reading a thread yesterday where some people were debating weather or not it's too late at this point to scrap the proposed 2nd edition changes almost entirely and go back to the drawing board. I'd argue that if this is at all possible it would be a great idea. Again, this post may come off as negative to some but I'm speaking from a place of sincerity and love of paizo.

First I'll explain why second edition is a point of no return for me:

-Some of the first blog posts I read reflected a radical change in tone. More specifically I'm referring to the high fantasy vs low fantasy attitude that flavors a game. On one end you have a hardcore medieval survival torture session where combat and advrnturing is non magical, you have to roll for heat exhaustion and hunger. Of course everyone is human and the mood is almost realistic. On the other end you have a world where magic is like electricity, there are fantastical magic elevators everywhere, your best friend is likely a goblin bard.

On this spectrum I think most peope would agree that D&D 3.5 was near the middle of this spectrum, dialed down slightly towards the gritty side. Level one was damn hard, and while magic did exist it was pretty tame early in the game. Martial characters felt almost realistic in a sense, usually not able to do anything too far from reality. A little later in the game magic could do truly fantastic things, but generally the tone was really not extreme in either direction. Pathfinder comes around and I think the grit vs. whimsy level is now dead center. We have gnomes who are charismatic magical fairy spawn, smart charming half orcs and other subtle changes that made the game feel a hair more like a comic book. There are hero points (optional rule admittedly) which give the protagonists extra help in avoiding danger. Subtly Pathfinder felt more cartoonish or comic booky than 3.5, although the changes were subtle. The game didn't go overboard on either direction.

Fast forward to the previews of second edition and this formerly moderate tone feels like World of Warcraft or Marvel. You have blog posts from developers explaining that they're going to make a game where martial characters can leap tens of feet into the air and smack down dragons and swim across entire oceans, you have a vermin race entering core with +2 charisma (gotta love me!!). These two moves represented such a radical shift in the mood of pathfinder that I felt irreconcilably alienated with the current design direction. This used to be a game system that was so flexible that you could play it as Game of Thrones or you could play Harry Potter/warcraft. However 2nd edition feels HEAVILLY biased towards the latter. This isn't just a matter of one rule here or one race there, but an issue of general design philosophy.

Secondly, there are the mechanics:

-Feats locked behind classee and the death of general combat feats. Why? If I want to make a wizard with power attack, i want that freedom. Even if it's the freedom to fail. The ways general combat feats interact with different classes is an enormous part of what makes this game great. Anything else feels like World of Warcraft.

-The attack of opportunity locked behind the fighter. I feel like there was no reason to alter such a fundamental part of the game, the battlefield is a dangerous place and people who aren't careful get attacked for moving or doing something risky.

-There was no need to fundamentally alter the skill system. It's one part of the game that seems to actually work for the most part.

-Removal of class specific spell list had a mediocratizing effect on the game, making classes feel similar.

Now for the positives. Even though second edition as it is has already lost me, there are some ideas Paizo has expressed which would be fun to see return if Paizo went back to the drawing board and redid this attempt to make a 2nd edition.

-Alchemist as core: This class has become a legend. It's the spirit of Paizo chucking bombs at the establishment, love it.

-Resonance: Execution aside, this wins me over on principle. Magic feels more real if it's limited or comes at a price. And finally a mechanical reward for all those people who kept their charisma higher than ten.

-Archetypes as core, and multiclass archetypes. Brilliant.

-Sorcerer getting to pick his spell list, further differentiating him from the wizard.

To conclude, I feel like this new direction is a big mistake but there are salvageable elements. I really thought Pathfinder unchained would be the template for any new edition, a further tweaked 3.85 edition. If there it's still possible to change course at this point i feel like that would be amazing.


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I read some discussion on the messageboard where people were talking about the possibility of scrapping 2E in its' current form and starting from scratch if the changes aren't well recieved. Was this just wishful thinking on the part of those posters?


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Unless this is a total flavor character at the expense of any combat ability I wouldn't do it.

The truth is that other classes do this way better.

Druid- For the nature theme and ability to cast in forms that shouldn't be able to cast

Alchemist-for mutagens and discoveries making your forms stupid powerful in melee. An awesome bruiser.

Magus: access to humanoid forms that can still cast combined with the action economy of spell combat makes for a tremendously versatile humanoid caster/combatant

I actually tried making a melee focused transformer wizard in a level 5 battle arena with my brother. The experimental build ran into huge problems:

-My HP sucked

-My AC sucked

-My BaB sucked

-I had to spend valuable turns casting my transformation spells. If I dared waste another turn casting a buff I was already close to death.

I got so sick of the ALTER SELF-BULL'S STRENGTH- DIE formula that I eventually decided to open a combat by casting fireball, a spell I was in no way geared towards (good strength meant lower int and a modest DC). Guess what? Fireball wrecked face. Despite the transmutation school STR increase and all these feats (arcane strike, weapon focus, toughness and something else) I just couldn't turn a squishy caster into a bruiser.

TL;DR

A character I designed as a transformation wizard melee beatstick did incredibly poorly. He was more competent chucking evocation spells than he was fighting in melee, despite hefty feat investment and melee friendly class features. DON'T DO IT.

EDIT: if transformation is a secondary feature, go for it. Some of the forms buff your constitution or AC and are therefore good buffs if you cast them before combat. Transforming into a spider Man help you not get bit in a room full of spiders. Just don't expect melee competence.


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I fully support your decision to try and continue 3.5/3.75. what kind of ideas have you had?


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Dave Justus wrote:

I like the shocking grasp attacks, being able to nova is fun.

But what I really loved about my Magus was the mobility. Bladed Dash, Dimension Door (with dimensional agility) and similar spells let me be wherever I wanted to be and fill attack.

Yeah, when you reach level 4 bladed dash becomes an option. Because you can use it with spell combat and the spell contains an attack, you effectively have two attacks and the movement doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. It's an insane spell.


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Shocking grasp and crit fishing are extremely formulaic approaches to the Magus. Purely on principle I can't recommend going this route, it's just painfully overdone and strikes me as the way internet people use the class.

If you want to do something effective but actually interesting there are a surprising amount of options. I'm a bit of a broken record with this strategy but you can get magical lineage, a trait which allows you to lower metamagic spell level adjustments by one, take it for magic missile and constantly use toppling spell up make your missiles trip people. Combined with spell recall, you can absolutely spam this. It's a strategy that works well for INT focused magi.

Taking the maneuver Mastery Magus arcana is another strategy is talk about here a lot. If you focus on a maneuver that uses a weapon, you can combine this arcana with your arcane pool and be brutally effective with maneuvers.

Eldritch Archer changes the class up a lot and is quite effective.

You can also go hexcrafter. Boosting INT for high DCs or using buffing hexes with no saves are both good options.

Also remember that a Magus has access to excellent transformation spells, but has better BaB and melee/magic synergy than a wizard. This is one of the coolest transformer classes in the game, especially for humanoid forms that can still utilize casting and spell combat.

Variant multiclassing to wizard or barbarian is also an interesting thought. With the former you have to make vital tactical decisions about when to rage and when to cast and effectively have two very different modes of play. With the latter you can teleport around, smash things and cast in the same round.

Read through feats, Archetypes, arcana and hexes (if you go hexcrafter). You can spend a lifetime playing this class without resorting to crit fishing BS.

EDIT:

Another good niche for the Magus is having a high number of attacks. Certain spells allow for an attack roll and therefore give you another attack with spell combat (the infamous shocking grasp, bladed dash, etc). You also have access to transformation spells that confer natural attacks. Remember that natural attacks can't be used with spell combat without the proper arcana (forgot what it's called) but if you do get that arcana you can do the following

-all iterative attacks
-claw, Gore, bite, whatever natural attacks you have
-additional attack associated with the spell

Magi can attack many times per turn.


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More general question: what's the consensus on the power level/effectiveness of mailers?


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Dark Midian wrote:

Don't we already have a magus guide that's basically the guideline for magus guides?

Kurald Galain's Magus Guide

I get a little nervous around orthodoxy and faith in established experts. As someone with a somewhat different opinion of all things Magus I'd like to think there's room for a million different opinions.

That said, I had some problems with my brief glance through this guide. For one, the strength based Magus seems to be undervalued, which is a bit unfortunate. True, having lower AC, initiative and reflex saves and needing to survive until level 7 for medium armor on a melee character with 8 sided hit die seems suicidal and reckless but at the same time if you survive that climb the view from the mountaintop is glorious.

The real mechanical advantage of the STR Magus (aside from the aesthetic advantage not being the same dancing scimitar wielding clown as every other Magus) is the fact that you save yourself from taking dervish dance and weapon finesse, affording yourself two extra feats which is critical because you're basically a magical fighter with far fewer feats. This allows you to specialize in things like tripping (the Magus is one of the best classes in the game for this) which already involve feat taxes and ongoing investment.

Not to mention, if you actually care about carrying capacity it's good to have a strength score. It often happens that these clever and "optimized" builds would literally struggle to walk with loot.


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I played a chained summoner once and it was totally over the top for a fifth level character. I was casting haste from level four and the dragon mount I was riding really wrecked face (he was still medium sized, but still).

Many of my turns consisted on casting create pit from the top of my dragon and either charging a different target or bull rushing enemies into the pit if they passed their save. Bear in mind that I wasn't deliberately powergaming, it was just stupid powerful.


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Nice!!!


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The SRD says a mauler can transform into a larger version of itself and back three times a day. There's nothing written that talks about the duration of this effect. I'm confused.


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Slim Jim wrote:
Quote:
He says he thinks we need more healing capabilities (particularly at low, "pre-CLW-wand" levels) and wants to be able to do some of that. He'd also like to be able to have a presence in combat, and to have some social skills. ... His own favourite class is the cleric, but he's been struggling with hitting all three of his requirements (particularly getting good skills) at once.
Try multiclassing cleric and rogue in a finesse build -- it works surprisingly well as long as your frame of mind isn't stuck in needing nine levels of casting. He'll have skill points for days, and no weak spots in his saving throws.

Are you sure this actually works?! Sounds interesting but totally bizarre.

Also I feel like the sanctified Slayer (with or without rogue vmc) is such a good mix of Divine caster and sneaky character that it would Obsolete any sort of cleric rogue multiclass. Maybe I'm wrong.


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DeathlessOne wrote:
Zolanoteph wrote:
I've never gone past 8th and I'd like to, but there's a point where based off everything I read (rules and comments) the game stops working. I look at these players with level 15+ characters and think "why?!"

Whenever I read post like this, a small part of me grows a little bit sad. You folk are missing out on such a rich and splendid aspect of the gameplay when you are limited to such 'low' levels. I am not sure what causes so many games to fold around the level 11-12 mark, but it happens way too often to other people for me to just dismiss it casually. It might have to do with HOW people are playing the game, I don't know.

I've taken several of my games to level 20 and two games in particular went as high as level 25 with 5 mythic levels. High levels are FUN, especially when you grow from the early levels and know exactly what your abilities do and combat becomes streamlined. Our most recent game (Iron Gods) got all the way up to level 18 before we finished the campaign (I was the GM). We had a Druid, Slayer, Arcanist, and Kineticist (with a random NPC the players hired for different reasons at different times). The players are were simply devastating to things they came across, and the occasional tough guy made them slow down and focus, ending up becoming a very memorable encounter. I could throw so many things at them and they had a response to most of it. It was a rush.

I should've been more specific. It's not just the issues of number management and clunkiness of the game that would potentially bother me (I'm sure this is surmountable for a competent player) but the change in tone. After a certain point, the flavor of the game falls apart for me.

When you have spells that are altering reality in ways that make haste and slow look like pulling rabbits from a hat, you're not fighting bandits or enemy knights anymore. You become like Neo or Superman and it's hard to keep that gritty feeling. The idea of all powerful Marvel style heroes fighting moon beasts and Godzilla level monsters and casting spells that destroy entire cities doesn't appeal to me, but something akin to Game of Thrones with a few extra fireballs does.

To each his own (but I'm right and you're wrong )


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If you're not into archaeologist I have to reinforce whoever suggested herald Caller or Cardinal.

Healing, combat competence and skilliness are all possible with the same character. Also by level 7 he could have quick channel and battle cry for the following turn:

Move action: Heal people with channel
Swift action: Battle cry to buff allies
Standard action: whack a guy over the head, shoot an arrow or cast a spell


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born_of_fire wrote:
I prefer the studied target over the judgements for simplicity's sake and because most of my play is done at lower levels. The highest level I've played an inquisitor at is 12th, for reference.

I've never gone past 8th and I'd like to, but there's a point where based off everything I read (rules and comments) the game stops working. I look at these players with level 15+ characters and think "why?!"


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I really like this archetype. I haven't played one but it looks good on paper. That being said, you should plan around it because I think that generically speaking the judgements are stronger, more versatile and less situational than studied target and a sneak attack that maxes or at 6d6.

I plan on making one. The first step is to variant multiclass rogue, then I'm taking accomplished sneak attacker at level 5. This way sneak attack maxes out at 11d6 plus studied target and greater bane for a potential 15d6+whatever.


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Understood :(


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So I'm about to DM a game again, but it's a small group (myself and two players). I'm suddenly stricken with the urge to join the party. I know from experience that the DMPC is a bad idea, but that got me wondering: what if we all play characters but two of us take turns DMing?

Yes, this means half the time I'll have a DMPC, but the other half of the time he'll just be a PC. And with some thought and effort we can come up with rules or plot reasons to prevent a DMPC from doing things like spotting traps the DM knows about or generally solving encounters designed for the party.

So what do you think? Is alternating DMs and a character for everyone a good idea?


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shalandar wrote:

I really like the Gloomblade (arch for fighters). Lose armor training (no big deal) and heavy armor prof (again not a big deal) for a blade you can create out of shadows that auto increases in +s and abilities. Weapon training changes to do things with your nifty shadow weapon.

Out of all the feats and arches, that is clearly my favorite.

Sweet. Sounds like it has a Magus feel, but without the complexity that spellcasting entails.


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Random question: Does this INT based bard swap out bardic performance? It's a long shot but I was looking for another non performance bard.


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There was one feat mentioned in the blog preview that looked so cool mechanically and so zainy/out there/fascinating in terms of flavor that my friend and I couldn't stop laughing (In a good way).

It's the one that gives you a slam attack but requires five ranks in knowledge (planes).

"The way he slammed me was so bizarre and powerful, I could tell he had learned to fight from beings on another world".

I'm confused, I'm horrified, I'm wetting myself with laughter, and at the same time it's the coolest thing I've ever heard. This is the Paizo I'm going to miss when 2nd edition comes around and I stay behind.


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Meirril wrote:

Spells with semantic components normally require a free hand. So the part saying they don't need one is important.

Honestly nobody really pays attention to that. I let clerics using a mace and shield cast spells all the time. It only becomes an issue when the cleric gets paralyzed or some other circumstance prevents them from wiggling their fingers.

I actually enforce the free hand requirement for casting. I think it's logical in game terms.

I also find that it kind of balances things. The idea of a full caster turtling up behind a shield, nearly as tough as a fighter and casting spells of tremendous power really bothers me.


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It looks like you really do want it all.

I think Eldritch Archer Magus is a good compromise. Doesn't actually get 4+int skill tanks per level but int is high so he's effectively skilly.

Like an Inquisitor he makes a pretty killy Archer. Not quite as good with shooting alone but can cast spells and shoot on the same turn.

Full caster he is not but you can't have it all.


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Okay maybe my campaigns are a little "realistic" and gritty, but why would a kid be balanced with an adult?


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Meirril wrote:

If you start an action that requires you to have a hand free, it has to be free for the entire action. So if you do a full round action you need a free hand for the entire action.

i.e. the Magus' full round attack + free spell won't work with a 2 handed weapon. Just forget about it.

I'm a little leery of power attack. You're already taking a -2 to hit from the Magus' special action and you're 3/4 BAB. But power attack does synergize with Frostbite/Rime spell, and its only 1 feat.

Consider picking up weapon focus, the extra +1 to hit helps shore up your class ability. Also at low level you'll be a bit dependent on cantrips, so investigate them. Daze is amazing for 2 levels, then kind of useless. Acid Splash has the most longevity for combat.

When will people realize the glory of trip + power attack? Prone oponents are at -4 vs melee attacks, not to mention that you're not taking spell combat penalties on attacks of opportunity when they try to get up.


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Eldritch scoundrel rogue grants wizard spells up to level 6

Sylvan trickster rogue gives you some witch hexes

I wish so, so badly that I could have it both ways.

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