My table didn't have anyone drop to 0 until the boss in the playtest where he just rolled 3 crits in 1 round at which point we suddenly remembered hero points where a thing while only having a bard for healing. If people remember this thing called tactics and caution then you aren't gonna get mobbed by 6 skeletons.
Suppose I am using a set of master quality lockpicks (720sp) and I critically fail my check to pick a lock. So let's look at the equipment section and the skills section.
Replacement picks are necessary when your tools break as a result of a critical failure on a Thievery check.
Ok, looking up the cost of replacement picks I see 6sp though you could argue that they should be replacements picks of the same quality.
Critical Failure You either undo one success you have already gained, or, if you have no successes, you break your tools. The tools can be used while broken, but are treated as poor quality tools. Repairing them requires replacing the tools (costing 6 sp, or 50 sp for expert-quality thieves’ tools).
Here they explicitly mention quality, but going by RAW, since my master quality lockpicks are not expert-quality, they should only cost 6sp to place which seems weird.
That being said, paying 720sp just because you rolled a 1 feels pretty bad.
If you make all prep casters as the arcanist, then I think you should adopt the power point system from 3.5 psionics or dreamscarred's PF1 psionics. This allows the prep casters the level of spontaneity that honestly feels very good to play as I personally thoroughly enjoyed playing the arcanist as long as a few things are kept in check while keeping the sorcerer and possibly other full spontaneous casters distinct. Honestly when they previewed the wizard, I thought that this is what they were going to do.
I am personally opposed to Dex to damage being in the game at all, because their +/- 10 critical system does a much better job of representing how a character would hit more accurately and do more damage from it than a relatively lazy gamist mechanic like switching the damage dealing attribute. I would almost rather see the rogue's finesse strike add either a static +2 to damage, or a scaling + 1 to damage that goes up ever other or every third level, but caps at your Dex Modifier.
But the STR based character is just as accurate as the Dex character.
I actually like adding tags like Press and what not to spells and abilities. It's something I would've liked in 1st edition. For example, consider the following as a potential metamagic feat to homebrew for 1st edition: Immediate Spell, this spell may be cast an immediate action and uses a slot X levels higher. There is no good value for X because you can't allow most offensive spells to be immediate action while it would be okay for many defensive spells to be an immediate action. 1st edition didn't have the means to designate what spells would be suitable and which would not. In 2nd edition, I could easily imagine such an option existing by tagging the list of spells.
Tagging spells properly can guide new players toward the intended function of the spell and thus help them pick while also allowing for tools like the srd to help experienced players find exactly what they're looking for. If you think about it, we already had this in 1st edition to a limited extent with spell descriptors, feat categories, and trait types. If the tags themselves do not have any rules baggage and are named properly can actually reduce the knowledge burden of players.
Actually Orcs are stronger than like everything else. In the ARG, they have more strength than every race except the Trox and Ogre who have the same stat array as Orc which are considered monstrous races.
I think people are missing the elephant in the room when it comes to homogenizing progressions. (Hint: It starts with "4" and ends with "e".)
That wasn't the problem with 4e. To quote my GM, "4th did something far worse than nerfing the wizard, they made it boring."
I do think casters should get the full 11 feats. So to make it up for martials, we should turn them all into Tome of Battle / Path of War classes.
I'll take them through like level 3. After that my 1d6 isn't gonna matter the 15% of the time that it hits.
First off, thanks for the great post. Now I'll take my stab at how I'd fix each of your concerns if I were designing it.
and it is a problem as the monsters appear as doing more cool things than the players.
Ok admission time. I haven't had a session nor am I looking at the bestiary because I'm going to be a player not GM in the playtest campaign but this has me tremendously worried.
- Resonnance is immersion breaking and gamey like I have never seen before.
Because it's unnecesary bookkeeping that gets in the way of the players doing cool things with the stuff they got, doubly so for the alchemist. What needs to be done is to make sure that as many items as possible are "verb" items. Then if their monsters are stat'ed up properly, PC's don't need +numbers items to survive or something like the automatic bonus progression (which was a big win in my book). The final touch is to take a hard look at the economy of items.
In PF1, everyone actually reading this knows about the CLW problem. Looking at the XP table for monsters and, if you're good at math, the player XP table, the game predicts that a guy that is 2 levels higher is twice as strong as you. This generates an exponential power curve. The problem is that items were priced at spell level * caster level which is quadratic. In order for the pricing to not be utterly laughable, there was a region where items were actually a bit over priced relative to their effect. Now the other side was the items that should be underpriced were simply expensive enough anyways to be rare. I could get into why damage scaling in PF1 is roughly cubic in level and that explains why the other cure spells were weak in terms of action economy but that's a post for another day.
- Healing is a huge problem, and the players feels like sick and crazy blooded people chasing cooler monsters than they are.
I am actually OK with fairly high lethality monsters due to my preference for story based games over dungeon crawls. In strongly story driven campaigns, it is difficult to shoehorn in the typical 4 encounters a day to make the players drain their resources on a regular basis. Thus fewer, but deadlier, encounters actually fit better for those kinds of campaigns. But what about all the people who just want to get drunk and fight some monsters, whom market research seems to show is a larger segment than these boards would like to admit? Well you can simply throw many lower level monsters at them.
- Skills are still too weak, and still not able to emulate magic in the medium levels.
In order to do that, they need to be less constrained by the physical at mid to upper levels. In 3.0, you could squeeze through a wall of force with a high enough check (like DC 75 or something). Here they have the foundations to do that with the proficiency system. Legendary in acrobatics? Yes you can roll to get through that wall of force. Legendary in medicine? Yes you can roll to resurrect someone recently dead. Paizo got too cautious. Rule of cool might be the way to go here.
- The three actions economy feels like a scam when you are a spellcaster, and casting two spells in the same round is still very rare and difficult to do.
Action economy for casters has moved to concentration spells since concentrating is a single action. Look at spells like Flaming Sphere instead of Lightning Bolt. I think this is a design choice that might turn out fair.
- Our Barbarian and Figther felt like they were doing less cool things that they can do in Pathfinder, with Rage Powers and Archetypes like Mutagenic Mauler and the like.
Because they objectively have fewer things to do each round. The fighter can no longer charge and power attack. They pushed too many core mechanics into class feats (I'm looking at you Counterspell and Attack of Opportunity). First they need to return a number of those core mechanics, and then increase the number of class feats each class gets so they have more customizability.
- Reading and navigating the book felt like a chore from an organization standpoint.
I felt some of that too, but might be related to only having the PDF personally.
- Goblins as a playable Core Race got eyes rolling all over the place. As Paladin LG only. Yes, this is not trolling.
Should've been something like Catfolk or full Orc.
- They are still way too many complicated or specific rules in the skill sections. About the time for a Diplomacy check, or the malus/bonuses for a Stealth check, or for gathering informations. Damn, thse things should be for the DM to decided, based on the situation. And the Skill Feats felt like they allowed the players to do things that they should not need a feat to be able to do.
GM's need guidelines and those are skills that are fundamentally complicated. Without extensive guidelines, it gets harder to adjudicate stealth. Not everyone has years of experience GM'ing. They might just need to approach stealth the same way they do AoO. Go and read the attack of opportunity section. It is very detailed and well written with examples. Stealth needs the same sort of thing and likely diplomacy.
- Ancestries Feats are unbalanced, weak, and you feel like you are discovering your origins and things you should be able to do from the get go as you level up.
They're essentially the same as any of the race-gated feats from PF1 but they've chosen poorly on the details. Here I feel it is more of a flaw in execution rather than in concept. Look at the Drow feats from PF1, those were a good execution of what I believe they're trying to do with ancestry feats.
- Attacks of Opportunity are a core part of D20, and removing them from the core combat make errors way more affordable. You should not be able to cast when an angry Barbarian with a giant two handed sword is in close combat with you like it is Chistmas.
Concur, my proscription is the same as above. Return the old core mechanics to being core mechanics. If you want fighters to be better at AoO then give them feats to improve it in ways other classes can't.
- Wealth by levels, items by levels, and level/class locked abilities often felt like a MMO game.
Item levels merely impose a limit on crafting and serves as a guideline for availability. It is an independent requirement to craft the item outside of the required spells. Without that, a very wealthy level 5 guy could make a bracers of armor +6 without respect to the fact that his magic just isn't good enough despite actually having the spell necessary. The structure of the treasure by level is very good for newer GM's who aren't really sure how much loot to give to keep the party up to the expected gear thresholds. Though I'm afraid players will throw this table at the GM and ask why don't we have X?
Thanks for finding that.
1) They fell flat on their face. A guideline to this would be if characters and most content were convertible and presently you cannot convert because the rules are too drastically different.
2) Depends on whether you're building a one-trick pony or not. Quite frankly it is harder to build a fighter who can competently shoot a bow and swing a sword. That being said, one-tricks are very easy, just pick every bow feat since there's only one bow feat at a time to pick.
3) Flow of play: yes. Expanded choices? No. Look at a level 1 universalist wizard from PF1 to PF2. In PF1, the wizard got a familiar, hand of the apprentice, scribe scroll and could counterspell. Now they pick one. That's fewer options not more.
4) Probably so.
5) They could've just done the automatic bonus progression and otherwise left it the same but sadly the +stat items are even more important because it's one of the few sources of unconditional bonuses.
6) Seems like it.
7) I don't they truly achieved this. They got a better Skinner box, but actually rewarding levels? Jury's still out.
If this is to be true, even a STR-based Fighter must have a baseline chance of success of AT LEAST 40 % or so, otherwise he is in the same spot he was in PF1: Don't bother playing
Well let's run some numbers. Let's assume two fighters have stat arrays of approximately 18/14/14/10/12/10 and both are level 1 wearing half-plate with no shield. That gives an AC of 18 (10 + 0 prof + 5 armor + 2 dex + 1 level) while having a +6 (+4 str + 1 prof + 1 level) to hit. 40% chance to hit. If the wizard plays honest and isn't also wearing half-plate, then they have a 13 AC giving a 70% chance to hit. If they optimize and don that half-plate then it's 16 AC for only a 55% chance to hit. Here's the thing: those numbers aren't going to meaningfully change as you go up in level.
That's because you're thinking about it poorly.
Mod = Stat + prof + biggest condition and biggest condition that helps - biggest condition and biggest circumstance that hurts + items.
So since Stat, prof, and items are originating from your character and don't change frequently, those should be immediately written on your sheet. Everything else is a matter of the current events in the game which shouldn't be too much most of the time. The equation just looks more bloated than it is in practice which is usually character stats + event bonus - event penalty.
“If your enemy is far more powerful than you or a task beyond your abilities, you might roll a natural 20 and still get a result lower than the DC. In this case, you succeed instead of critically succeed or fail. If you lack the proficiency for a task in the first place, or it’s impossible, you might still fail on a natural 20.” -still on page 292
Escaping from bonds is untrained so everyone always has proficiency and the fact that it does have a DC that some people can reach means it's not impossible but merely very hard.
That being said. How does a party take an on level prisoner? Assuming said stat generation (no dice), lowest stat is an 8 and highest possible is a 24. Let's assume that the creature is wearing full plate and is untrained in acrobatics while the binder is legendary. Even in this most extreme scenario for on level characters, there's only a +19 difference which makes the grapple still in range of success without nat 20 rules. So once again, they escape in 40 seconds.
Both me and my GM do read forums, look at builds, and even enjoy theorycrafting crazy things. However we pull our punches in game mostly because he's been a GM for about as long as I've been alive and knows how to deal with anything short of Pun Pun. We regularly talked about magic item rules and their many problems as well as the expectation of WBL. Then I played in a level 12 one-shot using the automatic bonus progress from the unchained book for the first time and it was the most liberating experience in a while since my core numbers were taken care of and still had plenty of money for actually interesting items. As a result, I found a bunch of items that I had repeatedly overlooked because they didn't have the cost effectiveness of core stats but became worthwhile once they were no longer overshadowed.
While I don't bring out full 100 damage per hit munchkin builds, I do pick the good options and feats for my character's central theme. That alone is enough to wipe the floor with any of the adventure paths. For example, a level 6 fighter who took Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Many Shot with a +1 composite longbow and +1 mithral chain would overperform what the AP's are expecting.
I'll be honest, I don't think your implied suggestion doesn't solve the problem since the party will just pressure the wizard or cleric to take some crafting feats to open up the magic shop and it is really hard to answer "Why can't I craft this item exactly as it is in the book?"
The core problem is the internet age. Imagine you're someone a bit inexperienced but understands basic rules and you want to try out a druid but don't have a good handle on the class. So you search "Pathfinder Druid Guide" and the first hit will tell you enough make an optimized character relative to the AP's. This is a problem that crops up in different ways across many different genres of games. Do you design the game around people who are not good at it or people who are? RPG's have hit a point where they need to start designing around people who are not complete newbies. There needs to be AP's that are hard and require a degree of optimization to survive the encounters. For the new players, they can still make the casual AP's; but experienced players will want more.
Recall knowledge has that clause because of how it works.
Recall knowledge wrote:
After a success, further uses of Recall Knowledge can yield more information, but you should increase the difficulty each time. Once a character has attempted an extreme-difficulty check or failed a check, further attempts are fruitless.
Recall knowledge has a mechanic where the difficulty scales with each successive attempt in order to stop players from repeatedly attempting the action until they succeed because it doesn't make sense. It makes sense for a person to repeatedly attempt to climb a wall, pick a lock, or search for food even if they fail. But it does not make sense for a person to repeatedly try to remember something. Either they know it or they do not. It makes sense for someone to repeatedly try to escape bonds.
Now escaping from being tied up by a level 20 rogue is possible. If it were impossible, then it would not matter how good you are at escaping bonds. A level 20 fighter can escape from a level 20 rogue tying them up if they roll well. The difference between a level 20 fighter and a level 1 fighter is that a level 20 fighter is better at it, but being good at something does not change a task from impossible to possible. Therefore, since it is possible for a level 20 fighter to escape and the 19 levels merely are a reflection of skill, the task is merely extremely difficult.
Edit: Also I don't need to invoke a level 20 man vs a level 1 man. A level 5 party wants to capture a level 5 bad guy. The bad guy can always escape in 40 seconds or less depending on precise stats.
Got a quote on that because I'm not seeing anything stopping the character from trying in the section you cited? As long as they can try, they can get a nat 20 and succeed. Since escaping from bindings is an untrained skill use anyone can do it.
I made a thread regarding a very important case which is tying people up. The possibility of success even if only on nat 20 means that a level 1 character can escape from being tied up by a level 20 rogue in 40 seconds.
Now in a few spots in the book like p. 8, 178, 292 it states that a natural 20 is always a success. Last time around skill checks did not automatically pass or fail on natural 20 or 1 for reasons like trying to jump to the moon and walking up a mild incline. However, I have found no such exceptions except the impossible clause on p. 292:
page 292 wrote:
Things such as escaping from manacles and being tied up are not impossible since there is an actual DC to do so, the creature just needs to get good. That's a problem since a level 1 character can get tied up by a level 20 rogue and escape in 40 seconds. That's why skill checks not being subject to natural 1 autofailure and natural 20 autosuccess must be reintroduced.
P. 292 says that if you roll 1 and such a roll would fail, then you critically fail. It also says that if you roll a 1 and such a roll would succeed, you merely fail and do not critically fail.
There's a bit of an inconsistency in the multiclass feats
Advanced Dogma wrote:
Gain one cleric feat. For the purposes of meeting its prerequisites, your cleric level is equal to your actual level
Advanced Manuever wrote:
Gain one fighter feat. For the purposes of meeting its prerequisites, your fighter level is equal to half your level.
Advanced Trickery wrote:
Gain one rogue feat. For the purposes of meeting its prerequisites, your rogue level is equal to half your level.
Advanced Arcana wrote:
Gain one wizard feat. For the purposes of meeting its prerequisites, your wizard level is equal to half your level.
Emphasis mine. So Barbarians can now cast Miracle? Looks like an oopsie.
Quick Study on the Arcanist available level 1 and was a full round action so you could reasonably swap in the middle of combat.
Me and my friends found a falcon punch build that and it is not a monk or brawler build. It goes 10 sorcerer / 10 arcane trickster.
Now thanks to your arguing you now have full casting and 10d6 sneak attack and +2 damage per die on fire evocation spells. So you cast greater invisibility and sneak up to someone. Then you pull your arm back very slowly and when it is pulled all the way back, you yell "Falcon Punch!" to cast a Blood Intensified (with 30 charisma of course), Empowered, Maximized, Fire Elemental Shocking Grasp for 17d6 + 134 fire damage to burn them to a crisp. However, in order to actually kill your target, they must go flying off the stage and you must salute while saying "Show ya moves".
whirlwind attack wrote:
When you use the Whirlwind Attack feat, you also forfeit any bonus or extra attacks granted by other feats, spells, or abilities
It is important to note that Whirlwind attack only forfeits extra attacks.
For purposes of this spell, an attack includes any spell targeting a foe or whose area or effect includes a foe. Exactly who is a foe depends on the invisible character's perceptions. Actions directed at unattended objects do not break the spell. Causing harm indirectly is not an attack. Thus, an invisible being can open doors, talk, eat, climb stairs, summon monsters and have them attack, cut the ropes holding a rope bridge while enemies are on the bridge, remotely trigger traps, open a portcullis to release attack dogs, and so forth. If the subject attacks directly, however, it immediately becomes visible along with all its gear. Spells such as bless that specifically affect allies but not foes are not attacks for this purpose, even when they include foes in their area.
Here we have precedent to say that in general spells are not attacks.
The big argument comes from here:
spell combat wrote:
This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast.
So let's look at two-weapon fighting:
two-weapon fighting wrote:
If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. You suffer a –6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a –10 penalty to the attack with your off hand when you fight this way.
Technically speaking, you can just wield two weapons and fight normally to get neither the extra attack nor the penalty.
So going back to whirlwind attack, whirlwind attack technically doesn't forbid you from two-weapon fighting; using whirlwind attack merely forfeits your bonus attacks that you elected to take when you elected to use two-weapon weapon fighting. This leaves you only receiving a penalty from having two-weapon fighting modifying your full-round attack. Suppose you have some class ability that allows you to move up to your base speed whenever you take a full-round attack. Whirlwind attack would not forbid you from taking that movement since that movement is not a bonus attack. Since I have demonstrated that two-weapon fighting can be (poorly) combined with whirlwind attack, spell combat is a class ability that allows the character to take a particular additional action when taking a full-round attack. As from invisibility, there is a class of spells that do not count as attacks that extends fairly broadly. Now it is a little blurry whether casting a touch spell counts as an attack since you can just hold the charge and not make the actual touch attack, but it is obvious that a touch attack is an attack. Therefore additional touch attacks granted by spells would be clearly be forfeited by whirlwind attack.
My ruling: I would allow any spell that would not break invisibility to be used with whirlwind attack and spell combat.
It depends on what kind of point buy you're looking at, how much offense you're willing to sacrifice, and how long you expect to be playing at low, mid, and high levels. With a high point buy, you can go monk 1 / magus (kensai) 19 to get triple stat to AC. If you go that route, you'll get triple stat to AC which can pay off greatly with levels and money. This keeps a lot of the offensive aspects of the magus intact at the cost of one level dip while still having great defensive capabilities. This kind of build will go finesse naturally and then when you get an agile weapon you'll be a threat again. For a lower level game and an overall simpler build there's the Skirnir achetype where you basically get to use a shield and have your magus stuff work with it. Then you get access to those nice feats like missile shield and shield specialization.
The best way to keep a party alive in combat is prevent the damage from occurring in the first place. At low level, there are plenty of highly effective ways to prevent enemies from dealing damage. Just from the wiz list, there's create pit to target reflex saves, glitterdust to target will, and stinking cloud to target fort saves. All of those ignore SR too. There's even two sides to this equation; I just showed the debuff end but there's also the party buff end. Wiz have resist energy, protection from energy and stoneskin. Clerics have shield of faith and magic vestments. Druids have barkskin. Those are just the spells that can be applied to other people when you add personal only spells you get to add goodies like mirror image.
As an anecdote, I had an arcanist get to level 12 with extend spell and spell tinkerer casting communal resist energy on the party. Sure that effectively ate all of my level 4 slots but I knew ahead of time that there'd be mostly casters in the tower. Those 5 slots saved hundreds of hit points that any kind of healing would have been unable to match.
There is a pretty basic mismatch between healing and damage. Just compare standard damage spells to the cure spells of the same level.
I've been on both sides of the caster-martial coin and I found casters much more enjoyable to play due to the variety of options. Unless you're playing from Path of War or porting Bo9S (swordians as I call them), your options on a round by round basis as a martial are essentially limited to full attack, charge, combat maneuver, a couple of feats, or tumble around. Even the swordians don't have a meaningful resource management system, none-the-less regular martials. Over the course of a day, the caster's resources gradually deplete in a way such that their strength in each successive encounter is less. Martials don't have anything comparable, the closest is the Qinggong monk and even then I houserule that get they get 1 free pick from the list at every level starting at level 4.
Oread Monk 1 / Synthesist 11
Eidolon: Using a Serpentine base form. Taking Improved Natural Armor evolution 3 times as per errata. Taking the Improved Natural Armor feat 5 times. Take Improved Ability Score (Dex) evolution 3 times assuming same errata as Improved natural armor. Stat up Dex twice. Rest of evolution points don't matter.
Edit: upon friends suggestion I have a bit more optimization that might allow me to break 100 AC.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Except that doesn't work vs +40 because they'll automatically pass it anyways.
Honestly, there is nothing terribly wrong with making up a few DC's as long as the thing in question is supposed to be difficult and there is some foundation for it in the rules. Disable Device is a particularly grievous example. Suppose you get that +40 to your check, now what happens? By standard rules, there are no more traps. As a result, that +40 bonus is useless. By making up an inflated DC, your bonus can actually do something.
Trying looking at the CHA scaling on the Warlord.
Path of War has a lot of problems though. The Warlord simply has too many +numbers to be remotely fair. Scarlet Throne can 1-shot the Tarrasque by level 13 or so. Silver Crane makes the party 100% immune to HP attrition. If you allow Path of War, prepare to give the character roughly a +2-4 level adjustment.
The thing is that I don't find anything inherently devilish about the spell. It could have just been called "plant healing" or "troll healing" and had the exact same effect except it isn't evil. So I personally dissociate the spell from its planar origins much like how Acid Arrow was called Melf's Acid Arrow in 3.5e.
They are not monk feats. I don't see why a monk should be allowed to use it four times as much as a Brawler (or any other class for that matter). Sure it would help the monk, but why make feats exclusively better for a monk?
Well the brawler in particular counts as a monk for purposes such as these (martial training).
If it had the special monk language it would also draw from the uses of Stunning Fist per day.
The uses would not cannibalize on each other, they're entirely separate pools of abilities.