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Vic Ferrari wrote:
arcaneArtisan wrote:

Ability scores are a relic to appease the established community who would riot if they were done away with because it's "Not D&D anymore."

Personally I'd love to see them just drop them. They're an archaic design anyway.

Not really, depends how they're implemented, 5th Ed is doing quite well, and that game is not archaic design.

Succeeding doesn't mean a design isn't archaic. 5th Edition made a *lot* of archaic and inelegant design choices for the sake of appeasing the older members of the community.

And Ability Scores are just as much of an archaic design to appease grognards in D&D 5th Edition as they are in PF 2nd edition. They could drop them from the system entirely and the only difference it would make would be that new players wouldn't be as confused when you ask them to make a Dexterity check.

Ability scores are a relic to appease the established community who would riot if they were done away with because it's "Not D&D anymore."

Personally I'd love to see them just drop them. They're an archaic design anyway. Honestly, I don't think they really need ability *modifiers* anymore, either--but at least those do *something*, even if they're less elegant than just giving the characters some extra skill/weapon/etc. proficiencies and maybe increasing the benefit from each rank within the TEML bonuses.

Draco18s wrote:
arcaneArtisan wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
arcaneArtisan wrote:
Personally, I find spamming Daze or Tanglefoot to be a better use of my cantrips than a crossbow.
Tanglefoot? The spell that doesn't in any way hinder melee types (the ones most likely to eat your face)?
No, Tanglefoot the spell that reduces the movement speed of any enemy whose positioning you want to control

The one with a range of 30 feet that slows people by a mere 10 feet of movement? A good portion of your melee types will be impressed with your inability to prevent them from getting to you (and that's at max range, at a target 10 feet away it does nothing).

Sure it might cost them an extra action, but a second attack is pretty crap anyway. Not as garbage as a third attack, but far enough from a sure thing that most people are like "well, it's not complete garbage, but I'll probably miss."

and gives them a 25% chance of failing any manipulate action they attempt.

Manipulate: a trait that melee actions don't have.

Considering that tanglefoot bags used to literally glue people to the ground, this is almost not even worth the effort.

10 feet of movement per movement action. If you move after casting the spell rather than before, you can easily be out of range--but you seem to be thinking only in terms of what your spell does for you personally when you should be thinking about how it affects the entire team. Making it so every teammate has an increased ability to outmaneuver the enemy is very useful for area denial, getting into flanking position (thus making ally attacks more likely to hit, more likely to crit and setting the rogue up for a sneak attack), creating chokepoints and things like that.

All of which are much bigger contributors to winning the combat with minimal expenditure of party resources than a few points of damage.

And no, melee attacks aren't manipulate actions (though the chance of foiling manipulate attempts is a minor part of the benefit compared to the reduced movement speed), but if you are setting up obstacles or utilizing the environment against the enemy (which you should, it's much more important in 2e than it was in 1e), you can put enemies into situations where they have to burn actions to manipulate things if they want to get those melee attacks in the first place.

Plus it means they're less likely to be able to Point Out a concealed ally to their allies, drop a weapon or item and switch to another, open a door, re-arm themselves after being disarmed, grab onto a ledge when pushed off a cliff, or utilize hazards in the environment against *you*.

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Arguing about what is and isn't a superhero is fairly tangential to the discussion. The question is to what degree the strength and resilience of characters are greater than that of real-life humans, not the degree to which they belong in a particular comic book universe. Is anyone who disputes the "superhero" label also disputing that even low-level Pathfinder 1e characters can take and dish out a lot more punishment than real life adventurers would be able to--especially real people at the beginning of their adventuring career?

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I think the best option would be to keep the Dispel Magic spell as is, but add a ritual that dispels magical effects and that can be used from a lower level, perhaps with a material component cost--then the spell version is Level 3 because it's a quick Dispel that doesn't cost anything except a spell slot to use.

Adventure designers could add a rider for certain effects that they want to be real obstacles to the heroes of requiring a specific rare component when dispeling with a ritual to increase the cost or to make it impossible without going on a quest for the component or something first.

Draco18s wrote:
arcaneArtisan wrote:
Personally, I find spamming Daze or Tanglefoot to be a better use of my cantrips than a crossbow.
Tanglefoot? The spell that doesn't in any way hinder melee types (the ones most likely to eat your face)?

No, Tanglefoot the spell that reduces the movement speed of any enemy whose positioning you want to control--whether melee type or not--who fail their check to escape (thus making it easier for you and your allies to out-maneuver them and potentially force them to use extra actions to move or to lose a turn of attack entirely) and gives them a 25% chance of failing any manipulate action they attempt.

Draco18s wrote:
Rules Artificer wrote:
At 1st level, the the crossbow might seem to have an advantage (spellcasters are trained in simple weapons and spell rolls, and the crossbow does 1d8 compared to the spell's 1d4, unless you've got Ray of Frost) but targeting touch AC when the spellcaster's accuracy is going to be shaky anyways seems to favor the cantrip.

If things are that close in power I'd still prefer a crossbow.

Whiiiich also has a range of 120 feet, which is 4 times greater than nearly all spells.

AND I can either load or fire the crossbow with my 3rd (otherwise) wasted action. I can't split a cantrip the same way.

Once you gain a few levels, your cantrips gain power and begin to deal far more damage than the crossbows, as they get more dice and add your spellcasting ability modifier to the damage. At mid-to-higher levels, the difference in proficiency between your spell rolls and crossbows makes the cantrips a no-brainer.

You can buy magically enhanced crossbows. They do the same or better damage due to the way runes work and scale compared to cantrips. A +1 weapon rune is 4th level treasure, meaning you'll have it at 5th level. At 5th level you also get 3rd level spells.

2d8+1 at DEX+1 vs. AC
1d8+INT at DEX+0 vs. TAC

How about a +2 weapon? 8th level treasure, you'll have it at 9th along with your 5th level spells.

3d8+2 at DEX+2 vs. AC
2d8+INT at DEX+0 vs. TAC

Still in favor of a crossbow.

Ok, ok, a +3 weapon. Maybe finally cantrips will catch up? This is pretty high level now, 13th! 7th level spells! Expert Spellcasting!

4d8+3 at DEX+3 vs. AC
3d8+INT at DEX+1 vs. TAC

I rest my case. +4 weapons come online along side 9th level spells (at 7th) along side Master spellcasting, +1 added to both sides of the equation.

BUT THEN +5 weapons show up with no comparable increase to the cantrip! Well, we get the +1 from Legendary spellcasting on the to-hit side, but damage stays the same (4d8).

If that's your preference, that's fine, but it's not objectively a better choice than cantrips--situationally, it can be, and it's not like a bad choice on your part or anything, but there is a lot of benefit to having free hands to interact with things like wands and staves (heck, there are a lot of situations where you might want to dual wield a 1H staff and a wand unless I've missed something that prevents it--near as I can tell you can use both to cast somatic gestures through so you're not hampering yourself by filling both hands). The Wand of the Spell Duelist, for example, grants a +1 bonus to hit and on spell DCs, so you want that, but staves also effectively lets you prepare more spells (and gives you a couple of free castings of them). You're not going to get either benefit from a crossbow.

And I feel like getting a one-action-attack to cast after a spell isn't THAT useful a thing--if your spell takes a ranged touch attack, you're probably not going to hit with your crossbow attack, so you give up the opportunity to reposition or to have Shield up in case of sudden unexpected attacks--it's not just the small AC boost, but also the ability to reduce the damage of one successful attack that you lose by not casting Shield.

What I'm getting at is that using crossbow instead of a cantrip for ranged attacks seems like a lateral move. Better in some situations, worse in others, and whichever you choose the difference is going to be reasonably subtle 90% of the time.

Another thing to note--keeping a magical crossbow up to date as an alternative to cantrips of your level once you're higher level means spending money or resources that could be spent on expanding your spellbook or getting scrolls or wands for situationally useful spells that generally aren't worth preparing, if you're a wizard, which better serves your party role. Or else burning a spell slot on Magic Weapon--and if you're doing that, you should be comparing the Crossbow to a spell of the same level as your casting of Magic Weapon, rather than a cantrip.

But DPS doesn't really seem to be a good choice for wizards anyway, other than as a backup option. Blasting wasn't the best choice for wizards in PF1, and it seems even worse in PF2. Personally, I find spamming Daze or Tanglefoot to be a better use of my cantrips than a crossbow.

Seems like a lot of people are just frustrated by missing--why not just argue for removing the accuracy roll from the equation entirely? If you attack, you only roll for damage, not to hit unless the enemy has some sort of special quality that makes them evasive. If the expectation was that the average character only hits a character with an average AC for their level 70% of the time, then their average damage is actually only 70% of what their average damage on a hit is, or to put it another way, the hp of a monster of average evasiveness for their level is 43% higher than it appears to be if you're not accounting for the hit probability.

So in terms of battle pacing, you would get the same effect if instead of rolling to hit, you automatically hit and just either reduce damage or increase targets' hit points. A fight would take the same number of turns to end and have almost identical levels of deadliness and/or swingyness.

So if the argument is that missing in battle is inherently so frustrating as to reduce overall satisfaction with the game, why not petition the design team to just increase hit points (and have armor and/or dex, and spell bonuses there-to increase hit points or grant temporary hp instead of increasing AC, which would be removed as a concept) and stop rolling to hit altogether? It would reduce player frustration over perceived incompetence and makes the progress one is making toward defeating an enemy with each turn more palpable, even though the only difference is psychological. It would probably speed up combat a little bit, too, since you wouldn't have to do any on-the-fly lookups/recollection of target ACs. Although it admittedly might increase character creation time for players and the complexity of creating monsters for GMs to do it that way, the emotional benefit to players might be worth it if the frustration of frequent misses is that big an issue.

ETA: It does occur to me on reflection that that could increase the already high psychological power of healing for players who feel like their HP needs to be topped off after every fight. More paranoid players might well burn through their daily healing resources a lot quicker if they accumulate damage faster, even if with higher max hp they're not closer to dying or being knocked unconscious than they would've been before. Given the grumbling I've already heard about the increased reliance on healer characters over consumables, I could see that worsening that particular issue, so it's worth keeping in mind.

PCScipio wrote:
arcaneArtisan wrote:
That's what sneaky scout-type characters are *for*.
If you don't have darkvision, you need light to see. Stealth is not really possible if you're carrying a lit lantern.

Which is why I mentioned that was only *one* option. It is an especially good option compared to, say, casting Light on a rock and throwing the rock into the room up ahead, but other options exist for people who set out with a mind to take precautions and solve the obstacles in front of them rather than run into a dungeon like they're expected to easily and safely murder everything that moves inside it.

PCScipio wrote:
Goblin warriors, firing from the darkness with their short bows, can wreak havoc with good rolls for their initial volley (especially if they focus-fire).

Why are the players charging into an unlit space that they know for a fact has been colonized by creatures with darkvision that like to fight dirty in such a way that allows them to fire at them from darkness? That's what sneaky scout-type characters are *for*.

I mean yes, I admit that's a deadly situation, and not particularly newbie-friendly, but it also sounds like the heroes were being pretty reckless in that situation. Your characters know they're weak enough that goblins can be an actual threat, so it's not like it's metagaming to move forward with caution when chasing down a fleeing horde of goblins. You wouldn't chase a panther into its lair in real life without keeping your back to the wall and preparing for to be attacked by something that wants to and is capable of killing you, would you?

Personally, in our group the goblin player suggested--and the other players agree--that she scout ahead before the character carrying the torch went to avoid being seen by any potential threats. Even when she wrongly assumed the goblins would respond to her attempts to parlay, the fact that the party was coming from positions that it was hard for the goblins to fire from made the whole thing a lot more survivable. And that's not the only option for reducing the danger level of that fight, it's just *one* option.

It sounds like maybe the difficulty level has indeed increased a bit, but nothing I've heard suggests the situations are unrealistically dangerous or dangerous to a degree that reduces the level of fun to be had in the game. It just sounds like some people are assuming they're as superhumanly tough as they were in First Edition and that's not the case any longer--and it means reckless tactics actually get you killed sometimes. Even then, I've seen very few descriptions of people suffering TPKs that they both blame on the system and that, when you hear the whole story of what happened in that battle, don't show the frustration to largely be sour grapes on the part of some people who made assumptions they shouldn't have (mostly seeming to be the sorts of assumptions you would make from playing the game like 1st edition, or like D&D 5th edition) and dislike that they faced major consequences for those bad assumptions.

Also short of TPKs, it's still pretty hard to kill PCs without the GM going out of their way to be cruel or going into a fight with a creature that characters would have already heard stories about to make them know how much danger they're in and know to be prepared for--like basilisks or medusas or something.