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Based on the flavor of Thunderstrike and it using basic Reflex instead of an attack roll, I was under the impression it was a replacement for Sudden Bolt until reading this thread.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
gesalt wrote:
roquepo wrote:

Oh, absolutely. Casters are not going anywhere.

If anything, I think they are closer to fill the Summoner or Inventor niche. From the looks of it, quite better than those two.

Summoner is getting nerfed too with those changes to monster abilities.
what changes?
Monster abilities like Grab no longer succeed automatically, they just give you a MAPless athletics check.
So the God Maneuver Trip will no longer work so easily against big boss evil guys. That is a plus.

I mean, only on eidolons, if I'm understanding the change correctly. I don't think anything's been said about the wolf's Knockdown or the fighter's Knockdown or Greater Knockdown, much less the base Trip maneuver.

Obscuring Mist does what you want, although it's 3 actions and a spell. Horn of Fog lets you cast it for 2 actions but you need a free hand. I'm not aware of anything else offhand, if it absolutely must be ranged, although smokestick has a cousin in the smoke fan gadget that does the same thing in a larger radius at roughly the same level.

The use of a smokestick or smoke fan in your own square is less of an issue if you grab a feat that lets you ignore that concealment, like Blind Fight or Fire Lung or one of several ancestry feats.

If anything, it seems likely to me that Deadly Strikes is a soft-errata version of Golden Body. Introduced in APG as common like the other AoA capstones, and does something similar (but inferior).

SuperBidi wrote:

I've followed the whole discussion, and I can see that the confusion is real even among experienced players.

Still, I don't think there's any simple solution to solve this conundrum. 3-action system is clearly an important name for Paizo, and I understand they don't want to use words like action points that are quite common in video games.
Maybe every action should have cost a single action. Instead of having Power Attack costing 2 actions, they could have used the same wordings than Metamagic and consider that Power Attack is a "metastrike" action, increasing the next strike damage by a few damage dice. Similarly Double Slice could be an action that follows a Strike from your main weapon and that makes a Strike with your secondary weapon at no MAP.

Just my 2 cents.

That'd be interesting to see and I think it could work, but I'd guess it's way too late to implement something like that by now, especially since the Remaster needs to be compatible with existing materials. Spellcasting would probably need a pretty deep rework under that system, for example.

I'm honestly not even sure they're going to do anything about this issue in the Remaster as-is, since it feels like the type of thing they would've mentioned already in previous streams.

Feragore wrote:

I'll concede that point. But I can ask again, what does an activity do? Is there any significance whatsoever to demarkating 'single actions' and 'activities'? All the same rules apply if you find-replace activity for action. And once you do that, you have a term that is just as overloaded as the word 'level', which is specifically being partially addressed in the remaster with 'spell ranks', and level is always accompanied by a noun like counteract or character. 'Action' has no nouns and has to be inferred by context alone.

The fact that activities don't even know what they are with the "usually" wording just makes it even less clear.

I could've sworn there was some significance between activity and non-activity in a couple places, but I can't recall any off the top of my head and I wouldn't know how to search for them on Nethys. Even if there are, they're definitely few and far enough between that I don't think it'd be difficult to just change how those work and remove the activity designation.

I suspect it exists partly (or, at this point, mainly, since there doesn't seem to be much else use for it) because calling prolonged encounter and downtime actions like Earn Income "actions" felt weird linguistically, but that's something I think people can get over.

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Yep, and what actions are and aren't activities isn't well-defined, and I'd like that to change. But lines like

Feragore wrote:
[Flurry of Blows] is an action, not an activity, yet it has subordinate actions. But you still can't use Strike-based actions or riders with it or before 'If your last action was a Strike' effects. Manifest Eidolon is a 3-action 'action' as well to cover the other description of activity.


Ascalaphus wrote:

[An activity] "usually costs multiple actions" (but there are also things labeled an action that cost multiple actions)

[An activity] "usually has subordinate actions" (but not always, and so do some things labeled as actions)

seem to be confused about rules lines that refer to activities as "actions" as if that makes them no longer activities.

Again, it's natural for these examples to exist once you take into account that any "activity" is also an "action," rather than it being an either/or classification. I've had more time now to double-check the relevant sections.

CRB p461: Actions wrote:
You affect the world around you primarily by using actions, which produce effects. Actions are most closely measured and restricted during the encounter mode of play, but even when it isn’t important for you to keep strict track of actions, they remain the way in which you interact with the game world. There are four types of actions: single actions, activities, reactions, and free actions.

The rest of the section is somewhat cagey about exactly what an "activity" is - anything that's 2 or more actions to perform must be one, and the subordinate actions sidebar and activities section indicates (but does not explicitly state, which is something I'd like to see made clearer) that anything with subordinate actions is an activity. Whether something that's a "single action" can also be an "activity" isn't very clear, although given that a free action and a reaction can both be an activity at the same time, it seems likely IMO that "single action" can refer to a one-action activity.

But this confusion over whether something is an "activity" or an "action" I don't think is one that's an issue with the rules as written so much as the terminology just being unintuitive/confusing - an activity IS an action.

"Action" and "activity" are not a dichotomy. "Action" can refer to ANYTHING you can do, an umbrella term for single actions, activities, free actions, reactions, and anything else I may be missing. A "single action" is closer to what you're referring to with "action," I think, which is anything that costs 1 action and (I believe) isn't also an activity.

I do agree that the terminology is confusing and would ideally change in Remaster, to be clear. Activity doesn't seem to be defined as anything other than "costs multiple actions" and/or "has subordinate actions" (and/or "is defined as an activity").

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I don't think there's any need for one to "trump" the other, though, as per Gortle's first post here. The wording for cantrips cast with spellhearts says "you can use your own spell attack roll or spell DC if it's higher," necessitating the question, "higher than what?" Hard to imagine that's anything other than the spell DC/attack roll mentioned individually in each spellheart.

As far as I'm aware, all spellhearts give a static attack roll and/or save DC if any of their spells require them, so it would be strange if the intent there was for the general rule to never come into play.

Sorry, I should've specified I was speaking in terms of the flavor-mechanics relationship. It was specified in an earlier version of my post but I guess I cut it out rewording some things and forgot to add it back in.

It seems counterintuitive to me, if the rune's flavor is meant to dissuade enemies from using lethal attacks, for the effect to leave them roughly the same off regardless of whether they switch or not.

As it is, yeah, it makes no difference from the perspective of someone just looking at it as a flavor-agnostic debuff.

Stressed_2.0 wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:

First, if you can talk to them, I would advise you try talking the person who thinks Swashbuckler is neat out of choosing that Class, it is extremely RNG dependent and also essentially requires the group to always run near optimum tactical coordination for them to be able to pull off Precise Strikes even once per combat... it is something of an "advanced" Martial Class that, for newbies, is essentially a giant trap unless they're all really on board with tactical coordination to ensure they can shine. I suggest a Fighter, Rogue, or Ranger instead.

As for YOUR Class, I second the suggestion to take Bard. Literally, any time someone asks "What should I play?" and they list what the other players are if they don't already have a Bard then Bard is almost certainly going to be the best choice 99 out of 100 times, it is easy to learn, fun to play, and arguably the best all-around Spellcaster in the system despite it being in the Core Rulebook.

Also, one thing to keep in mind during all this, if you don't have a Divine or Primal Spellcaster, even if you do choose Bard, you'll want to be sure SOMEBODY is well trained in Medicine and maybe even looks into grabbing the Battle Medicine Skill Feat for supplemental in and out of Combat healing, otherwise you may end up feeling a bit harried after two, or even one encounter and feel pressured to rest for the day which is not such a great first impression of things, esp at early levels.

Huh I hadn't heard of it being RNG-heavy, but that makes sense now that I think of it since it's all based on skill checks...that's definitely something to keep in mind

I was kinda thinking that, but I do want to play some sort of martial class with support capabilities if possible. Is there a way to make a decently serviceable melee Bard? Anything I build will likely run with the Battle Medicine feat just because it seems so useful lol

I was considering Cleric, but the spell preparation system kinda messes with my head...needing to prepare...

There's warrior muse, which is... probably lackluster for what you're envisioning. Aside from playing a support martial like champion, there's war priest cleric (dropping Wis a little bit to focus on buffs over debuffs while prioritizing Str for weapons and Cha for font is the usual recommendation). Warrior muse bard is also getting a buff/light rework in PF 2e Remaster, which unfortunately won't be out for another 4 or so months, and I'd assume your game is starting earlier than that.

Setting aside the action economy and static DC, it seems like the Pacifying rune mainly works if the target has both lethal and nonlethal attacks (which is rare IME), or if you're also investing resources in Tripping them, no?

By default the -2 penalty is the same you'd take for making a nonlethal attack with a lethal weapon, although the shift from untyped (Pacifying) to circumstance (nonlethal) means the latter won't stack with prone or similar effects. So you have to impose one of those for the target to see a net benefit in switching to nonlethal.

Martialmasters wrote:

baseline substitution for wizards?

i cringe at rogues doing sneak attacks with a d12 maul

When was it said that either of these things was happening?

ETA: Ah, I think you meant that baseline sub was a request, not a change. Strike that, then, although I don't think anyone was asking for sneak attack with mauls so much as rogue proficiency with martial weapons (irrespective of changes to sneak attack). And I doubt Paizo is planning on making sneak attack weapon-agnostic, either.

Rysky wrote:
Minmax cheese and let Dwarf character auto-gain Hero Points for having "clan dagger" written on their character sheet?

Most of the mechanics I've seen in other systems that give out meta-currency for roleplaying restrictions only do so when it comes up in-game and runs counter to your goals. I don't know the specifics of the systems other people mentioned in here but I'd imagine they're similar; it feels kinda cynical to assume that they're asking for ways to tease out advantages for free.

Tactical Drongo wrote:

Let me state a note in that thought:

Every weapon should have 3 profiles
One for people trained in simple weapons, one for Martial, one for advanced

Everyone can Pick up a sword and Swing it, it requires expertise to make use of all of it's Potential and many other weapons are both that different

See the humble peasent militia vs the Martial Artist with a spear

So everyone can Pick up every weapon and higher proficiency unlocks more traits and maybe increases damage

I might homebrew that in detail

The difference between simple and martial is generally 1 die size (exactly 1 die size, in some cases, looking at the difference between mace and warhammer, or dagger and kukri/lion scythe), although the two-handed simple weapons seem to be priced at 1 die size and a minor trait lower than martial weapon equivalents (longspear to guisarme, or thundermace to greatclub).

So it might just be as simple as letting simple weapon proficiency work with martial weapons, but at -1 die size. 1d4 weapons are left in an awkward spot, though. Not sure converting them to 1d2 is a good solution, for various reasons.

And then for martial weapon proficiency, you can use a simple weapon as a martial weapon by treating it as +1 die size. Which is what features meant to compensate for simple weapons' budget do anyways, so that seems like an indicator that's the right move (although obviously those features shouldn't stack with this homebrew option).

Not sure about advanced weapons, though. That's not quite a full die size, usually closer to a minor trait (bastard sword to dwarven war axe). Homebrew for that might be a bespoke trait for each weapon.

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Delphince wrote:
Sorry that you asked a legitimate question about reasoning and got the usual slew of "because the rules say so" from folks that have lost their curiosity about why rules are in place.

I dunno, seems like Waterslethe, NemoNoName, and Blackmill were all giving answers that were about the balance consideration (and, I'd note, 3 years ago).

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An additional factor at play is backmatter player options in APs being marked with rarity tags by default, while also more prone to being too strong due to having less time to bake.

So it's not just options like teleportation that are orthogonal to adventure design but (in theory) balanced against the level they're given, but options like Pin to the Spot that are just straight-up stronger than they should be.

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Is there a particular reason the necropost is almost word-for-word Qaianna's post earlier in the thread, aside from seemingly having been run through a thesaurus? Seems like bot behavior to me.

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Kobold Catgirl wrote:
Finesse weapons also have a big advantage over ranged weapons I just remembered: You don't risk AoOs in melee. Even for ranged specialists, it's always good to have a backup finesse weapon on hand.

I think if you want to switch-hit like that it's probably better to use thrown weapons; having a backup finesse weapon with something like a bow means if you're in melee range you'll provoke AoO anyways just by switching weapons, and the rune costs are non-negligible. But thrown weapons have their own issues relative to bows.

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My best guess for Giant's Stature giving Clumsy 1 is that it's to prevent characters that are multiclassing into barbarian to get the feat's benefits without taking on Clumsy 1, since they could simply not take Instinct Ability.

I'd imagine "most finesse builds" is probably supposed to mean something like finesse on classes that are nominally Str or Dex but have no precision damage or the like to compensate for Dex builds' weaknesses, rather than ones that are encouraged or forced into finesse and given the tools to compensate - i.e., champion or fighter, vs rogue or swashbuckler.

I certainly hope that's the case, at least.

More generally, I'm curious what the class spread on this tier list looks like. I can't imagine tier 1 OR tier 5 are particularly common for entire classes to occupy. I'm also curious how closely it'll end up hewing to existing, less rigidly-defined perceptions of class tiers. Fighter doesn't cover many roles (and its build can affect which it's best at) but the ones it does cover, it covers well, whereas I can think of gishier casters that have broader coverage but aren't as suited to any one role.

ETA: Oh, to actually contribute to the questions, tier 3 sounds about right for summoner from what I'm guessing the intended class spread here is. I also have only seen it at low levels, so this probably isn't too useful, though. That said, of the things the player did with it, all were done a bit below any other class, but it got a wider array of things it could do in exchange - not a damage powerhouse but still a martial combatant, neither particularly tanky nor particularly squishy, no full spellcasting but good enough to contribute much of the time. The player wasn't too deep into optimizing, though.

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The flavor? Yeah, for sure. But the mechanics? Other than the damage type (which may change with alignment's removal), I can see it being reflavored as a sort of flagellant/martyr relatively easily.

As-written, I believe it's a net loss. However, ABP wasn't written thoroughly enough to cover all cases (page space comes to mind as a big factor), and I'd recommend allowing the attack potency bonus to apply to Trip attempts made with trip weapons (and so on for other maneuvers). It's a variant rule, so you're already in houserule territory.

Off the top of my head, you'll also have to readjust mutagens and some other alchemical items (if any show up in your game), as those are balanced against item bonus progression to be a +1 relative to current item bonuses.

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WatersLethe wrote:
This is a more difficult problem than your group has realized, since scaling DCs with no other changes would mean you can buy an infinite number of still-potent low level items at higher levels, breaking the game.

As opposed to the current status quo of course, where there are no items that remain just as potent at higher levels, especially not ones that people recommend spamming once you have the money at higher levels.

CaptainRelyk wrote:
Oh. But nothing for a “catch all” sentient weapons archetype or subclass or class? It has to be a specific item? Also I don’t think either of the two artifact archetypes are a sentient weapon

There's also the soulforger archetype, which is focused on a magic weapon (and/or armor) specifically bonded to you. You can pick from a variety of activated effects that apply to it. Sentience isn't baked into the flavor, but it's not difficult to reflavor/rework the way soul paths into pursuing a goal the weapon has and taking on consequences for ignoring it too much.

CaptainRelyk wrote:
They aren’t the only “oddballs”. Rune knight… psi warrior… echo knight

It's been a hot minute since I kept up with 5e options, so I stand corrected. Looking at a list online, looks like I also missed the banneret, which is another combat style, so it seems about half and half.

CaptainRelyk wrote:

And even then, stuff like samurai lets you add wisdom to persuasion checks

Or champion that gives half proficiency in all strength/dex/con checks

Samurai and champion have out-of-combat features, yes. As does every subclass. Not sure what the point here is. The subclasses I mentioned are still focused around combat styles rather than more niche/grab-bag mystical concepts.

CaptainRelyk wrote:

Here are fighter subclass ideas

maybe a drunken brawler fighter where unarmored defense is increased aswell as bonuses to improvised weapons and unarmed natural weapons

Or a fighter subclass where you wield a sentient weapon and stick with that same weapon and never change weapons, and that weapon grows more powerful as you gain levels. Like Excalibur or something like that.

Fighter subclasses wouldn’t have to be based around certain weapons. You can come up with lots of cool subclasses with a class like fighter.

Others are pointing out these should be archetypes and I don't disagree. This has been explained by other people already, but between class feats and archetypes, a lot of the niche 5e subclasses have get eaten away. 5e puts concepts like rune knight into fighter because there's no place to put concepts like that other than in subclasses (or feats, and it's too specific and occupies too much budget for feats), so it finds the class most compatible with its flavor and makes it a subclass for that class. 2e has other avenues for expressing concepts. That's why people are asking for themes specific to fighter that subclasses can be built around.

As a side note, while we're comparing with 5e, it's worth noting that 5e fighter subclasses take until level 3 to come online, which is a level later than when you get an archetype. When you were playing 5e, were you avoiding all classes other than cleric, sorcerer, and warlock? It's hard for me to square that with the idea that waiting until level 2 for an archetype is so unsatisfying that you'd only play fighter with dual class.

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gesalt wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
What does "subclass" mean?
The different preset ability sets within classes. Like Thief for rogues or Paladin for champion or Precision for ranger. Things that add flavor and/or mechanics within the class but are (mostly) mutually exclusive to each other.

Worth noting that "subclass" is more of a 5e term. Pathfinder 2e calls them "class paths," if memory serves, and gives them a wider variety of mechanical expression and budget than 5e does. 5e subclasses comprise sets of 4-5 specific features staggered throughout the level 1-20 range, whereas 2e class paths range in focus and implementation from rogue to summoner to thaumaturge.

CaptainRelyk wrote:
For me at least, I wish fighter had subclasses so it could have some theme or stuff outside of “hit good”. Maybe I haven’t seen all the feats, but based off what I’ve seen there isn’t really anything I can use to fit into a “theme” like I can other classes. It’s just swinging a weapon or blocking, nothing that allows for flavor.

The point kinda is that there's no theme outside of "hit good." The fighter is the fighter, the guy whose main thing is using weapons and armor without specific gimmicks.

That said, I'd also recommend looking at the feats a bit more. The fighter's feats let the various weapon loadouts play more differently from each other than they would on other classes.

Most of the 5e fighter's subclasses riff on this same theme, to my memory. Champion is the brutally simple warrior, battlemaster focuses more on techniques, samurai is about bursts of high-accuracy attacks, cavalier draws aggro in fights. Arcane archer and eldritch knight are oddballs, but the latter serves as kind of a multiclass deterrent. The 2e fighter doesn't replicate these 1:1 but the way its feats create playstyles for loadouts is pretty similar - dual-wielding is multiple high-accuracy lower-damage attacks, reach is battlefield control, free-hand inflicts conditions, you even have the Intimidating Strike line for something a little more oddball that's not particular to any loadout.

Sure there are archetypes but you don’t get those till level 2. Given how I want my character to be flavorful, the only way I’d start out as fighter is if I am able to dual class, cause then I can use that other class to establish character flavor and theme

This doesn't really bother me either, personally. Many of the themes I like to go for when making characters require specific feats to really work/pop in combat, which can require waiting several levels. Things like Fane's Fourberie or summoner's Steed Form come to mind, or maybe I want a specific familiar and have to wait until I have the prerequisite abilities to get it. Maybe I'm looking at one of many potential builds based around an archetype, the wait for which is not exclusive to fighter or monk. As mentioned upthread, maybe I have a thaumaturge concept that requires two implements and I have to wait for 5th level.

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I'd like it to be made clearer whether spontaneous casters can use higher-level slots to cast non-signature lower-level spells at the level they've learned them at, e.g. if you have no 2nd-level slots left and wish to cast Invisibility (2nd-level) at a higher slot, but without any of the effects of heightening, as if it were cast with a 2nd-level slot.

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Kyle_TheBuilder wrote:
AestheticDialectic wrote:
Kyle_TheBuilder wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Opening up basic proficiencies is not a game breaker on any class. You had to deal with feat taxes for flavor purposes.
I would say for "balance" purposes. Now you will see every Rogue running around with Bladed Scarf for reach + finesse + flail crit spec + trip on it.
You have to admit though, that this is a very rogue-ish weapon

Totally not. It's way more Swashbuckler weapon or DEX Fighter, or even monk for me. I just think Rogue will jump above the balance curve, especially Thief now with Bladed Scarf, debilitations and Sneak Attack on top of reach, trip and flail spec. Before Rogues had to chose Ruffian to be able to get reach 2 handed spear, but that came at cost of not getting Thief, not getting any other traits on reach weapon, which was imo balanced considering Sneak Attack damage + their feats like Dread Striker, Gang Up, Mobility, Opportunate Backstab etc.

Now there will be no reason to not take Thief for maximum damage with Bladed Scarf. Add Mauler dedication on top for Knockdown (which now you can make on reach with Bladed Scarf and it's two handed so it ignores need of free hand and Trip to use weapon reach) and Improved Knockdown for Thief.

In my opinion this is too much on already A-tier class that can dish out so much damage.

The exact ratio varies a bit, but the rogue's damage is under what actual striker martials get; being locked to d6 weapons (with a few exceptions) and having a harder time getting modifier to damage means that most of Sneak Attack gets eaten up bringing them to the level of 2h Str-based martials before the damage bump from Rage or fighter proficiency or the like. Going thief or ruffian for full mod to damage helps, but they're still usually a bit below the likes of barbarian outside of level bands such as 5-6 when rogue gets its second die but barbarian hasn't gotten its rage damage bump yet.

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Squiggit wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm honestly less concerned about "what weapons a monk can flurry with" than "what weapons someone with the monk archetype can flurry with once they gain FoB at 10th level."

Barbarians can already flurry with a 0-handed d12 reach (non)weapon.

Does any other published weapon or class feature come close to that, even if Monastic Weaponry was open to everything?

Not rhetorical, genuinely curious what the worst case scenarios here would be and how it compares to stuff you can just already do.

I think the main difference (other than d10 reach, as you mentioned) is whether these builds get locked into unarmored defense and funneling points into Dex? As in, if you made the change and let FoB work with every weapon, you'd see the likes of dragon/giant instinct and fighter start using their chosen weapons with FoB, and not just animal instinct, which is a bit below the ceiling for striker damage.

But those builds already could take a monk stance instead of Monastic Weaponry, which leads back to the comparisons between what niches the stances can cover and what niches weapons can cover. However, most stances require the user to be unarmored, which is the biggest tradeoff for a build like that (the action cost for barbarian feels non-negligible, but this would also come online a level before Mighty Rage).

That said, by level 10 it's not as hard an ask to have 18+ Dex, especially for classes that don't need to build Int or Cha. (And that's just looking at what happens for all classes and not monk alone, when removing FoB from the MCA is an option that should be on the table.)

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Unicore wrote:
Produce flame is a deceptive spell. It’s obvious niche is melee against a higher level solo enemy that you really want to stick with persistent damage. The big problem with that niche is that it is a bad idea to be a caster stuck in melee with a higher level solo enemy. So the niche kinda cancels itself out. The crit riders are good though for a magus. So it still definitely has a place in the game.

The niche shrinks when you look at Gouging Claw's ability to do the same amount of persistent damage on crit, but with a higher die for the normal damage. At that point it's mainly about damage types, which isn't nothing, but it's not a lot, either.

YuriP wrote:

Basic Paragon Training is redundant with Dedication. IMO dedication has to be restricted a lvl 1 feat or will become only a repeated tax feat.

Advanced Paragon Training with half-level feat feels too much to a non-mc archetype. MC archetypes usually have such restriction because they are more flexible and can be inderectly obtained (via heritage, ancestry feats or other class feats). IMO the normal feat lvl-2 from non-MC archetypes are better here.

The point of the dedication and basic/advanced feats is to mimic the way multiclass dedications work, since it's intended to effectively let characters take their own MCA. If anything, the dedication is a bonus above the typical MCA structure, where you get barebones class features and a couple of non-scaling proficiencies.

No other disagreements, though. Skill Mastery should probably require rogue/investigator skill scaling. Barbarians especially seem frightening with Class Paragon Mastery, as the final bump to damage requires greater weapon specialization rather than a class level, so at level 15 you have 2x bonus rage damage.

I think it's just simpler to let existing MCAs be taken by members of that class.

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The Raven Black wrote:

My guess : so that they would be competitive compared to other weapons for non-Monk classes.

If you put an additional trait (like Monk) on a weapon, it has to be balanced and ends up a bit weaker than the same weapon without the additional trait.

Worth noting this isn't really true for traits that don't have a mechanical effect on the weapon's use in combat. Ones other than monk, that is.

Ancestral traits don't seem to make weapons weaker than non-ancestral counterparts, for example. Same for weapons that are uncommon, generally. Monk weapons, for some reason, often end up slightly weaker than non-monk weapons, which is strange when compared with the budgets for monk's unarmed stances (as Drongo said).

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Ven wrote:
keftiu wrote:

Starting to think OP never wanted to be convinced here, folks.

I will echo others and say that Pathbuilder is a lovely free resource that's well worth tinkering with.

Okay but, is it not fair to critique that one shouldn't *need* 3rd party tools to be able to play?

I'm sorry you feel I was disingenuous about wanting to be convinced, I'm enjoying the conversation and feedback.

It really does seem like it would be really fun to play, its just everything that happens away from the table that's holding me back.

Personally, as someone who also likes much simpler systems with much smaller systems, yeah, you're right, it would be a massive pain to keep track of all of a character's features on paper and have to erase and rewrite several dozen different numbers on it every time I leveled up. If someone absolutely can't use electronic tools while playing the game, then yeah, I'd be less likely to recommend it to them.

But I play on Foundry and the automation there makes it run pretty smoothly (although IME picking options when leveling up is easier if you do it on Pathbuilder first before moving over to the VTT's sheets). And it sounds like access to Pathbuilder isn't a barrier for you either. So it sounds like it's a question of whether it and other largely aesthetic issues override the draw of the action system and the tighter balance for you.

Nobody here can force you to play it, but at some point I think you need to just try it and see whether you prefer it, ideally using the tools people are suggesting that are aimed at making the experience smoother.

breithauptclan wrote:

I think the mechanics of Power Attack are fine.

I don't think the mechanics are misleading. No one reads 'one additional weapon damage die with no static bonuses' and thinks that this is going to do more damage than two regular Strike actions. Unless their character either doesn't have much static bonus damage or is very likely to miss with a second attack.

egindar wrote:
or by changing the flavor.

I think that is the only argument against the current version of Power Attack that I can actually get behind.

The first sentence doesn't really describe the feat very well. There is nothing in the mechanics that represents being unsteady as a result of the action.

To me it's not as clear as it sounds. Whether 1d12 with no MAP is worth as much as 1d12+4 with -5 MAP is hard to say without deeper numbers; it's easier to make that judgment when it's 1d12 vs 2d12+4, but you may be in the habit of using it a certain way by then.

SuperBidi wrote:

Does Power Attack do what it states? Yes. It definitely adds power (damage) to an attack: the description is a proper one.
Does Power Attack follow PF2 design? Yes. It's not supposed to replace Strike, it's supposed to be an alternate ability.
Does the description of an ability need to be an explanation on when the ability is strong tactically? No. Also, that would be impossible as use cases come and go with new material.

So in my opinion, there's nothing wrong with Power Attack.
I could say that Double Slice is more of a problematic ability than Power Attack, as it breaks PF2 design.

I don't know if you are a former PF1/D&D3 player. If it's the case, then I think your issue may come from what Power Attack was, something that is in direct contradiction with PF2 design. Maybe then the solution is just to rename the feat "Stronk Attack".

Obviously not every use case can be covered by the flavor text, especially at launch. I'm speaking more of intended use case at print than the full depth of what something can do.

I have barely any experience with 1e/3.x, for what it's worth. As I've said before this is something that seems to trip people up regardless of experience with edition, speaking anecdotally of course.

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SuperBidi wrote:

Power Attack is also really strong for Finesse builds. They rarely have much strength and as such doubling the damage dice is a definite power improvement.

Also, it makes Power Attack's description appropriate, as Strength-based martials are already putting all their strength in their attacks when Dexterity-based martials are attacking in a very different way normally.

breithauptclan wrote:

Overcoming resistances is only one use case for the feat.

IMO, the primary benefit of the feat is to put all of your eggs into one basket. A Power Attack does more damage than a single normal Strike. And yes, very likely less damage than two successful Strikes.

But there are a lot of times where you can get a temporary buff to one attack. Guidance, Feint, Aid, Hero Point, ...

These are both good points and present an interesting challenge to me. If the intended niche for Power Attack includes these use cases and not just resistance reduction, changing the mechanics to make that clearer is less feasible. So you'd need the flavor text to change instead, and need it to be concise in communicating that. I'm picturing something like "You unleash a particularly powerful attack that focuses all your efforts into one Strike, [clause]," where the clause goes into a little more detail on uses.

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Gortle wrote:

This is just conjecture built on an irrational premise.

Get your facts straight. Then we can talk.

I'd recommend rereading my initial post in this thread. The premise is in-line with what I've been arguing from the beginning, and I think you didn't read what I was saying carefully enough.

If you don't think that the game should make it clearer to players what features are intended for, that's fine, but that's a different point of disagreement than whether Power Attack makes it clear what it's intended to be used for.

Easl wrote:
egindar wrote:
Not great vs higher-level enemies, actually. Say you're at 5th level....
Since at least two people have pointed out that PA is a tool probably intended to help get through resistances, you should add resistance to your example. I think the parity point for your +16 attack vs 25 AC example is Resistance 5 (the parity point will change, depending on attack and AC). As in: that's where both options are roughly equal in terms of average DPR. For lower resistances two strikes yields better average DPR. For higher resistance, PA does.

Sure. I did the math without resistance because Temperans was saying PA was great for bosses, which I took to be a separate use case from resistance. I've said it's good at cutting through resistance.

For +16 against 25 AC, PA does 12.95, and two Strikes does 13.2. So about the same, yeah. As gesalt was saying it's not quite enough for there to merely be resistances; they have to be high for PA to become worth it (before one-Strike buffs or Furious Focus come in). I've seen it put to good use against Animated Armor, for example, which has Hardness 9 at level 2 (and was also encountered before Striking runes were in play).

Easl wrote:

All of which again brings up the 'how you look at the role of feats' question. Are you viewing feats as "If I only pick one, and do it over and over again, which one should I pick"? Or are you viewing feats as "If I pick as if they are tools in my toolbox, to use in different situations, does this feat/tool cover a situation I think is going to be important?"? If the former, PA is likely not for you. If the latter, it could be. And the frustrating part for game designers is that when they ask players what they want, players often say "the toolbox." More options. More special tricks they can pull out just when they are needed. But when players actually GET an option delivered in a rules update, they immediately do an use-over-and-over analysis and complain if the feat is not optimal for always-use-it-over-and-over application.

IOW do you see rules providing situational abilities as cool options that expand the game, or do you see them as feat taxes and trap feats which drain slots?

I'm fine with the toolbox approach, although there are tolerances for how situational a special trick should be. Sudden Charge is a good example, where it's not useful in absolutely every scenario, but its use case comes up often enough. Power Attack being used for high resistances is obviously a little more niche than that, but still fine with me.

My main issue is that it's not obvious to players that that's what it's for. Other feats like Double Slice are intended as simple damage boosters to enable builds, and PA doesn't do much in the way of suggesting it's not the same as them. I'd prefer if it were less misleading to casual readers, which is something that can be accomplished either by changing the mechanics or by changing the flavor.

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Gortle wrote:

and you would be wrong to do that. You have really just made my point rather well. There is nothing in your reasoning to base that outcome on. Yet you persist with it. You are reading something in which isn't there, and then complaining it is not right!

This is Pathfinder 2. Please leave your preconceptions from other games at the door.

If you're going to be condescending and avoid actually engaging with what I'm saying, more power to you and I'm happy to talk to other people about this instead, but I'd prefer to have an actual conversation.

In your eyes, to a new player not willing/able to look too deeply into the math, what exactly signals to them that Double Slice is meant to be a direct damage boost and that Power Attack is not? What exactly signals to a new player that Power Attack is meant for overcoming particularly high resistances?

Temperans wrote:

I meant great as in you don't want to risk the second attack missing, and so you use this. Also I personally though it was obvious that it was for getting around resistances given how its 1 large attack vs 2 relatively smaller attacks.

Granted this is coming from someone that saw no issue with Vital Strike when everyone dismissed it because "more attacks is better". So in my case I never expected it to deal more damage.

Given my stance on other things stand, if Power Attack got a damage bonus I would 100% would like a damage bonus on other 2 action single strike abilities. As I said Power Attack makes a good guidelines and its weird its not actually used that way.

We may have different definitions of "great." IMO it's preferable to be making two attacks for consistent damage; the odds of both hitting are lower, but the odds of doing no damage at all are also lower, which is nice against bosses that are harder to hit.

1e's Vital Strike prepping you for how 2e's Power Attack works is interesting, sounds like the opposite of what Gortle's talking about with preconceptions from other games, where that context for 1e was important for setting expectations. Speaking personally, I didn't play much 1e and was expecting 2e Power Attack to have a similar niche as 1e Power Attack; the player I had hadn't played 1e at all, and I'm not sure about any of the others I've seen online with incorrect assumptions about how it works.

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Temperans wrote:

Power attack they 100% got right.

It is not mandatory.
It does not have any action taxes.
It does not just deal strike damage.
It has unlimited uses.
It does not take up your entire turn.

If anything the issue is that Power Attack is such a perfect point of comparison as to what other abilities should do that its weird its not used that way.

* P.S. Yeah two strikes will do more damage, you are making more attacks. The point is that Power Attack is making 1 attack at maximum hit chance, which is great vs higher level enemies. I still don't know why they didn't keep the Vital Strike name, that would have made it more clear.

Not great vs higher-level enemies, actually. Say you're at 5th level.

You're wielding a d12 weapon (best case for Power Attack), you have Striking runes, and you have +16 to hit. Your damage with Power Attack is 3d12+4 (23.5), and your damage without it is 2d12+4 (17). A level 7 enemy with high AC (about typical for melee bruisers) has 25 AC, and a level 8 enemy has high AC of 27.

Against the level 7 enemy, Power Attack hits on 9-18 and crits on 19-20 (0.7x damage on hit), dealing 16.45 damage on average. Your first Strike has the same accuracy as Power Attack, and your second hits on 14-19 and crits on 20 (0.4x). Together they deal 18.7 on average.

Against the level 8 enemy, Power Attack hits on 11-19 and crits on 20 (0.55x), dealing 12.925 average damage. The second Strike in a two-Strike routine hits on 16-19 and crits on 20 (0.3x), resulting in the two-Strike routine dealing 14.45 average damage.

Once you get Striking runes, Power Attack needs either Furious Focus (meaning a three-action routine) and/or "on your next attack" buffs to outcompete vanilla Strikes. Or, of course, a target with damage resistances.

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Gortle wrote:
There is another class that does that.

I take it you mean thaumaturge? There are enough differences between use cases there that I don't think there's an issue of niche protection, any more than Power Attack already invalidates it by being useful against resistances to begin with.

Gortle wrote:

It is impossible to protect the reader from themselves. There is no point in being confusing, but beyond that it is futile.

There is nothing in Power Attack to imply it is stronger than Striking twice.

I disagree. The lead/flavor sentence says "You unleash a particularly powerful attack that clobbers your foe but leaves you a bit unsteady." And without crunching the numbers yourself, the effect of it is one big attack with more damage than a normal attack. It's easy to assume based on that and the flavor that that one big attack is intended to be more valuable for those two actions than Striking twice would be, in the same way that one would assume that similar damage boosters bring you above baseline. In the same way that Double Slice is obviously better than Striking twice with a dual-wield build.

I'm speaking anecdotally here of course, but that's an assumption I made initially about the intent before doing the math and speaking to others, that's an assumption Kyle made, that's an assumption I've seen others online make, and that's an assumption I've had new players in my group make. It's not obvious that it lowers your damage without doing MAP-based calculations for average damage.

More to the point, even if it doesn't mislead you, make you believe that its intent is to be better than baseline, it still doesn't proactively lead you to the overcoming-resistance use case - that's something you have to put together yourself based on a deeper understanding of mechanics or come to the forums to have explained to you.

I was thinking you might be able to Ready a Strike after using a finisher, but "Choose a single action or free action you can use" makes me think that you wouldn't be able to use Ready with Strike in that context, since at that moment you can't use a Strike.

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Aid + True Strike on Power Attack can be nasty. I agree that with two-handed (non-reach) fighters there's not a whole lot that feels particularly unique, though, and that Power Attack is pretty marginal/niche unlike Double Slice. The issue is, as Castilliano said, a d12 two-hander is pretty close in damage to what dual-wielders get with Double Slice, if memory serves. Buffing Power Attack may place two-hander fighters outside intended bounds of the game, whereas Double Slice serves to make dual-wielding viable for fighters.

For me, the main issue is that Power Attack feels unintuitive. PF 2e has a lot of features and mechanics in it that, intentionally or not, fall in line with Monte Cook's initial definition of ivory tower mechanics - the intended/optimal use case for the mechanics are not immediately clear, and experienced players are rewarded for knowing how they work with other mechanics and what those use cases are.

To be fair, any game with as many moving parts as PF 2e is going to fall into this to some degree, but there are numerous and not-insignificant pain points for new players that the community has to step in and explain to them (and does a pretty good at doing so, I think). And these ivory tower features seem like they should have been avoidable.

I think Power Attack, if its intended use case is indeed to cut through resistances, would be better served as simply doing that - treating the target's resistances as 5-6 lower (scaling the same as it currently does) - instead of implying to the casual reader that it's stronger than Striking twice.

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Unjamming a misfire doesn't interact with the reload action compressors, though, so loading and firing is two actions plus you get to move or Demoralize or Hide, and missing with Risky Reload is two actions, end of sentence.

Ah, but an everburning torch is said to be a torch in its description, and torches have "Hands 1" usage, so we're back to the original question.

The gliminal ruling isn't the only example of voluntary failure now - Life Shot allows willing targets of an attack roll to make themselves flat-footed to that attack. I think I prefer the degree of success bump to the flat-footed rule, personally.

You could probably reconcile the two methods with some diegetic explanation and draw boundaries for when one should be used over the other, but at the table (if it actually comes up) I think I'll probably just use the gliminal rule for all cases other than life shot, and leave life shot unchanged.

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But they DID do kineticist eventually, and I believe there was more than one 3pp gunslinger/firearms release before the gunslinger actually came out. There are probably more examples I'm missing. It'd be in poor taste to lift mechanics wholesale, but they haven't done that and as stated already these ARE classes that Paizo did first in 1e.

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I think Squiggit's point was that one-handed weapons aren't really "lower-damage" for the thaumaturge. A barbarian wielding a d12 weapon is doing the same damage (before Rage) that a thaumaturge is doing with a d8 weapon (before Exploit Vulnerability). For thaumaturge, the difference between a whip and a longsword isn't the difference between a d4 weapon and a d8 weapon so much as a d8 weapon and a d12 weapon. Add to that that Exploit Vulnerability is a damage buff and your base weapon die matters even less, compared to the likes of a fighter or flurry ranger.

By default, it costs an extra action after the Strike resolves, but succeeds without requiring a check. So an enemy might Strike once (miss), Strike a second time (hit), and then use its third action on Knockdown (target of the 2nd Strike is knocked prone without a check).

There are Improved versions of these abilities, e.g. Improved Knockdown and Improved Grab, where the ability is a free action rather than a single action.

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