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**** Pathfinder Society GM. 741 posts (812 including aliases). 18 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 27 Organized Play characters.


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Shadow Lodge

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You can break anything with the chairbreaker feat as long as you can pick up and you do it over someone's head.

Shadow Lodge

It wasn't a chase, but it did remind me a lot of the chase mechanics that they had in that one pfs2 scenario. It was basically a series of skill challenges to navigate through the hostile territory. Each stage gave a couple of skill options to roll and one person could try to blaze a trail and give everyone else bonuses on their rolls.

The problem with turning a chase scene into a bunch of skill rolls is you can easily loose the action in rolling dice, roll, more dice, OK, roll some more, and one more time, we're done. That is super boring. So as the GM, it falls on you to keep giving exciting narrative in between each of the rolls to make it cool, which is a lot of work on the GM to hold everyone's interest.

A simple way to do it would be to have the chasers roll athletics vs the guy running's athletics DC. Give them a circumstance bonus to the roll for being faster.

Shadow Lodge

I don't have any problem with class changes. "Class" is an artificial rules construct that doesn't exist in world. Different people have different abilities, learn different things. The alteration and removal of class features from the game doesn't bother me at all, because these just exist for making it a playable game.

Create water isn't used to make the deserts green, goodberries aren't used to feed entire villages, and it is physically possible for someone to fall off a ladder and die. Many of the rules exist for gameplay reasons and are ignored by the world narrative. I have no problem with these things changing because they were never treated as the way things are in setting. Now there might be people who built their homebrew settings around some of these game mechanics, who do feel upset by these changes and that is understandable. (Though anything magical is easy enough to just say these people know a ritual of making lots of water, done)

Things that cause more issue are those in universe changes where suddenly the setting is different without explanation. Dwarves being able to use magic from 2nd to 3rd ed for example. No no, it was always like that. That is a retcon. The one paizo did that does bug me a bit is goblins. Though they have made some attempts to explain why they aren't regarded as kill on sight monsters anymore, it's just such a huge flip from what they used to be and so obviously a marketing decision, not a setting decision.

Shadow Lodge

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In the D&D setting of forgotten realms, every new edition came with a major world shattering event, like the spellplague from 3e to 4e, which was used to explain why the rules changed in setting.

For my homebrew setting it doesn't really fit in to pathfinder rules exactly, but it's the system I use to play games with, so I make it fit as best I can. Going from one imperfect system to another, shrug, it's just the mechanics to be able to play a game with. I'll still have to tweak it to fit the aesthetics of my world.

For Golarion though, it does bug me a bit. I mean, that's their setting, and now they're changing it. Since they didn't explain the changes in world, it's like a comic book retcon, and those never quite sit well with fans.

Shadow Lodge

Here's how I think it works raw:

Monster hits a person with an attack with grab. It can choose to 1, try to pick the person up with just that one appendage at -20, or 2, wrap all their appendages around them and grapple normally. If it chooses option 2, it can only pick up one person regardless of how many successful grab hits it has on different people. If it wants to pick up multiple people, it has to choose option 1. It could potentially hold up to one person in each of its appendages that has the grab ability. (So if it gets 5 attacks, but only 2 have grab, it can only hold 2 people).
If it chooses option 1, then subsequent rounds it still needs to take a standard action to maintain (at the -20), but it doesn't count as grappled, so it can make opportunity attacks (using any of its attacks not currently holding someone), and potentially pick more people up that way. It could also decide to stop taking the -20, shifting one of the people it is grappling from one appendage into a normal grapple and dropping any other people it might be holding.
If it chooses option 2, then on subsequent rounds it needs to use a standard action to maintain the grapple like normal. It can choose to try to shift the person from a full grapple to just held in one appendage by taking the -20 (and a standard action).

However, I've always run it where the monster can get its other attacks while holding someone at -20. I don't know if that's just cause what made sense to me, or if there used to be wording to that effect in 3.5. At any rate, the way I do it is if a monster is holding someone in one appendage, they can maintain that grapple as part of a full attack. They can only do a basic grapple (damage), not pin or swallow whole, or other maneuvers this way. Also when held in one hand, I count their cmd as 20 lower for the person to escape from. That's what makes sense and seems fair to me.

Shadow Lodge

Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Are the times that the raw CHA bonus more important than having skills? I am not familiar with the AP so I have no way to judge. Also does every character in the party need a high CHA? If only one or two characters are going to be adding the stat bonus it may be better to go with an INT based character for skills.

Don’t forget that the party is also going to need some knowledge skills as well. A CHA based caster will not be able to fill this role well at all. Not only do they not have a good INT bonus they have almost no skills. If they are going for any social skills they are not going to have the points to put into knowledges, spell craft and other needed skills.

If the situations where you add your CHA bonus are short term Eagle’s Splendor may be able to boost them. If the character has a moderately good (12-14) CHA and Eagle’s Splendor can be added he gets the best of both worlds. The INT based caster is probably going to have a head band to boost his INT so Eagle’s Splendor would be worth picking up.

There is some mechanics in the rebellion management rules that do use raw ability modifiers, but it's all different ones, not just cha (so having a balanced group is good). I played a ranger with an 8 cha and never felt like I couldn't contribute. There is a lot of social encounters, but as has become the norm for paizo's adventures, they all have options for use x,y, or z, skill to influence the person, not just diplomacy. Not that having a diplomatic character in the group won't be a huge boon, but you don't want a group of all face characters either.

Shadow Lodge

I would say the bloodline ability affects the spells named regardless of what level they are cast at. I don't think there's a difference between making it a signature spell and learning it at a different level. Oddly, that does make it so if don't choose fire as your element, you can't deal fire damage until you're 7th level as there aren't any other level 0-3 fire spells.

Shadow Lodge

BellyBeard wrote:
Darksyde wrote:
doesn't this phantom bonus work to the players advantage more often than not? From what I've read so far in the book and seen on some live streams the PC's roll more vs enemy DC's than the other way around.
That's kind of the point being made, is that some types of characters (spellcasters mostly) will have actions which make the enemies roll to defend, whereas most others will roll to attack. So there is an asymmetry which affects some characters more than others, and is kind of invisible.

Yes, this. It works to certain characters' advantage the majority of the time, and to other characters it works against them the majority of the time. If it was balanced to work for/against all characters equally then it wouldn't be as much of an issue.

"ofMars wrote:
Rolling a separate attack vs each target in a fireball is just absurd, you're creating a single discrete effect, an explosion, and everyone is going to have a chance to avoid it. The choice you make with the fireball is where you put it, your agency ends there, and it's up to those caught in the blast to take cover somehow.

Is it not absurd to force the GM to roll 10 times for each goblin caught in said fireball? How about you are creating a single discrete effect where you magically force your will onto one or more creatures? It's easy to describe magic to work as an attack. It would be just as easy to have the enemy roll to defend against a sword swing. I mean, they would hit you unless you do something to prevent it so shouldn't the defender be rolling to avoid getting hurt? Gameplay wise, someone has to roll the dice. I find players enjoy rolling their own dice a lot more than watching the GM roll dice for them.

Shadow Lodge

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It would make more sense to have said wizard roll to hit separately for each creature caught in the fireball. Now it works the same, just changing who does the rolling (and thus who gets the +1).

rant:
the whole targeting different saves argument for spellcasters doesn't work for me. If what you want to do is charm a guard to let you pass, you are casting a spell vs will. There is no choice in which save you target. You could cast a different spell vs a different save, but it's not going to do what you want. Your decisions on what spell to cast for a given situation are based on the situation and the effect of the spell, not on which of their saves is best to target (which is also meta knowledge that you the PC probably doesn't know, nor should you be expected to have to know in order to play a wizard).

Shadow Lodge

BellyBeard wrote:

One of the primary differences is that if you used DC = modifier + 11, you would have to gain an extra +2 bonus before your critical chances go up. On the other hand, your critical failure chances go up with a -1 penalty.

Conversely, with the DC = modifier + 10 system, you critical success chances go up immediately, and you need a -2 penalty before critical failure chances go up.

So the system rewards bonuses more than penalties, thanks to the critical ranges, if your modifier is close to even odds. If that's a characteristic you want or not is debatable, but I think it's something to consider in the discussion.

This makes a lot of sense and is a solid reason. Now I just want to unify the rules so the active player always rolls and I'll be good with the 10+ DCs.

Shadow Lodge

There are some attacks that are rolled to hit, while others are rolled to defend against. Sometimes you roll perception, while other times someone else rolls against your perception DC. It is completely arbitrary who rolls the die and who sets the DC.

Shadow Lodge

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Being grappled is only a minor inconvenience instead of completely shutting down spellcasters.

Shadow Lodge

Randomly giving people -1 to hit because it's a tiny bit easier seems like a terrible decision.

Shadow Lodge

But I am getting sucked in to my example, I wasn't intending this to be an argument about spellcasting, but rather about the setting of DCs in general. "Being easy" is a terrible argument imo, adding 11 should not be difficult for anyone.

Shadow Lodge

WatersLethe wrote:
gnoams wrote:
A look through the bestiary shows that saves are not any lower than AC either.

Wait, what?

Aasimar Redeemer: AC23(25 with shield) vs RefDC 18

Boar: AC 18 vs RefDC 15

Chimera: AC27 vs WillDC 24

Elananx: AC 24 vs FortDC 22

Ice Linnorm: AC 41 vs WillDC 37 (38 vs magic)

Rat Swarm: AC 14 vs FortDC 12

Web Lurker: AC 19 vs WillDC 18

Young White Dragon: AC23 vs WillDC 21

Zombie Shambler: AC 12 vs RefDC 10

Seems like the worst save is consistently a couple points behind AC.

Now if you don't memorize the bestiary, have spells for every type of save, and always know the worst one to target, you are generally on par with AC. If you guess the wrong one, then it's higher than AC.

Let's say you are casting a reflex spell, here's the first few low level creatures in the bestiary:
Animated broom ac16, ref+6
Bloodseeker ac16, ref+8
Duergar sharpshooter ac17, ref+7
Eagle ac 16, ref+6
Flash beetle ac13, ref+8
Giant centipede ac15, ref+6

Shadow Lodge

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In Pf2, when you make opposed checks it is generally one person rolls, the other sets a DC, which is 10+their roll bonus. So the person rolling is getting a free +1. This seems a very strange decision to me, like the person who made it thinks rolling 10+ on a d20 is a 50% chance. Due to this decision, spellcasters effectively have a -1 to hit baked in to any of their spells that target saves. A look through the bestiary shows that saves are not any lower than AC either.
I can't think of any reason for this. I could understand say if they wanted advantage to always go to the aggressor, but it's not universal. Sometimes you roll to hit vs defense, other times you roll to defend against attack. If two people have a +7, it should be 50-50 who wins should it not? But its 55% in favor of the one rolling the dice.

Shadow Lodge

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Go for it, casters are gimped in Pf2 and con adds a smaller percent of HP than it did in Pf1 and is no longer tied to the death mechanic. Giving them those extra HP wouldn't be game breaking at all. Cha adds to a lot of skills, con adds HP, fort, and that's it. The class would be receiving a loss in utility for a boost in survivability. Try writing an archetype for it.

Shadow Lodge

As far as the sourcebook wording goes in Pf2, I think it's well done. It is written to support different playstyles. So if the GM wants to have everything available, it supports that, if they want to cherry pick, it supports that, if they want to allow certain books and not others, it supports that. Having that wording in the crb lets players know upfront that not everything will necessarily be available to them immediately so they won't be expecting to get to use something and feeling upset when it is taken away.

As for the srd or aon sites, both of them are pretty good at listing the sourcebooks at the bottom. It would be really nice if they could implement a feature where you could check which books you wanted displayed though.

Shadow Lodge

FWIW I've seen a few pfs wizards with that boon and they've all gone with the interpretation that it works with everything and you still get school powers and can take archetypes. I have yet to encounter any GM that had any issue with this reading of the rules.

However, there is an extremely restrictive interpretation: the Thassilonian schools are alternate schools, as in you don't get any necromancy school powers, you didn't choose necromancy, you chose gluttony and the school power of gluttony is +1 spell per level. Now again, it's not an archetype, however you would be specializing in the school of gluttony, not necromancy, so you wouldn't be eligible for hallowed necromancer. Also any archetype that trades out schools would trade out everything Thassilonian gives you, making it an irrelevant choice.

Shadow Lodge

Yup, as I mentioned, there are a handful of low level spells that remain good, but most do not. Which adds another level of hunting and time to high level spell preparation in order to wade through the trash to find the gems.

PF1 had this too in a way, however there was more universality to it. In pf1 you knew that low level spells that allowed saves wouldn't work so you could just ignore them. Low level buffs got better with level, so you took all the buffs available. Now it varies per spell if it will be usable or not at higher levels, adding more time to the decision making.

Shadow Lodge

In the world of pathfinder, it is impossible for a person to die from falling off the roof of a single story building. Your average human could leap off a 20 foot bride onto stone and only suffer minor injuries which they would recover from in a week or two. Real world physics have never applied.

Walking on water is a separate ability that has nothing to do with movement speed, you can get it from various sources.

Shadow Lodge

The rules for multiple archetypes does not apply here, Thassilonian magic is a "variant magic system," not an archetype. There is definitely some contention on how it is supposed to function, so talk to your GM is the best answer.

Shadow Lodge

People will also judge the value of money based upon the person spending it. A nobleman offering a 5GP bribe vs a peasant offering the same bribe will be treated differently. One is offering a pittance, while the other is offering a month's wages. The perceived wealth of the individuals involved can be a large factor.

Shadow Lodge

Yeah, it definitely feels like to get the most out of spellcasting you need to have read through your options and spend a lot of time comparing them. Like as a 5th level slot you could prepare a heightened animal form, or a heightened dinosaur form, or elemental form. Those are all three spells that have the same purpose, but the numbers you get from each are different. It's even worse with damage dealing spells as most of them heighten to any level, so the higher level you are the more options you have for damage attack spell.

I think that's how you need to look at it. Decide how many spells you want to allocate for different categories. Say utility, damage, debuff, healing, or whatever. I think no matter which end of the list you start on, cantrips or your highest available, you're still going to do a lot of jumping around and flipping back and forth to figure it out.

Interestingly now while cantrips scale and are semi useful throughout, other spells don't. Low level spells become trash as you level up (originally it looked like they buffed low level spells to continue to be viable, but looking deeper they actually nerfed them to be worse than pf1), the difference is now many of them can be prepared as higher level spells and still be good. Low level damage spells will remain a piddly amount of damage and eventually be worse than cantrips, while low level incapacitation spells will no longer affect the enemies you fight. Low level buffs will give poor bonuses unless you heighten them to higher levels. However, there's a few low level spells that retain their effectiveness, so you will spend more time hunting for those as well.

Shadow Lodge

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This is a new game, Pf1 tactics don't apply like they used to. In Pf2, standing in the back doesn't matter as much. PCs and monsters can mostly just walk past each other with impunity. Spells in Pf2 are also mostly in the 30ft or less range so you have to be within striking distance to do stuff. Martials are also way more dangerous than spellcasters and should be higher priority targets for intelligent enemies. How do you teach GMs to take tactical advantage of the new system's mobility instead of just blindly attacking whatever happens to be in the front?

Shadow Lodge

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The first tabletop miniatures wargame I played was Warzone: Mutant Chronicles (from back in the 90s), in which each of your guys got 3 actions a turn (except some heroes or big monsters might get more). So when I first heard about the Pf2 mechanic I was oh, like Warzone, but apparently nobody else remembers that game. I think I had a point but... oh well.

Shadow Lodge

Another comparison: Wealth by level charts. In the CRB for Pf2 it says your entire party of 4 players should find/earn 175GP worth of treasure by the time they hit level 2.

For Pf1, those same 4 players are supposed to receive 4,000GP.

So for that ratio, your 5GP would be equivalent to 114.

Shadow Lodge

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Malk_Content wrote:
I think gnomes you are just failing to adjust encounters. Pf1 was easy mode so you could hit above cr all the time. Perhaps shifting the level for enemies down by one will help get back that feel.

My Pf2 experience thus far is from paizo published scenarios only. I think if I were to run my own thing, I'd be using much easier enemies for first level, and drop all the DCs by 4 or so. And perhaps it is just their authors who fail to understand the new system and given experience they will bring things down to be easier. Time will tell.

Shadow Lodge

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In PF1 I would come up with a character concept, then it would take a fair amount of time to figure out the combination of abilities to make the rules support this concept. So I want to play a bumbling halfling that succeeds on dumb luck. Through a combination of classes, feats, and items I make a character with exceptionally high defenses that gives his teammates bonus defenses and redirects enemy attacks. It's fun, different, extremely effective, and took several hours of research to make function. Now I couldn't make that character in PF2, but I couldn't make that character with just the CRB in pf1 either. So lets do something simpler and just make a spear wielding warrior.
In PF1, you need to plan out all those right feat chains and maybe you multiclass a bit to combine some abilities from multiple classes and if you put in that time then you make the most amazing spear wielder ever. If you don't then you miss miss miss and do piddly damage and the game mechanics aren't supporting your concept of awesome spear fighter. In PF2 it just works out of the box, you don't need to invest all that time to make your character good. Not that you can't spend time to optimize, but the reward for that time is a 5-10% increase in effectiveness, rather than the 200-300% increase you got in pf1. So it supports being casual in that you don't feel punished for being a casual player, unlike pf1.

Lanathar wrote:
gnoams wrote:
Everyone just sucks equally somewhere in the middle.
This is a rather “glass half empty” view of things...

Not the way I see it.

In Pathfinder 1, you are John Wick slaughtering your way through hordes of hapless foes. Only the badest enemies hold the slightest challenge for you and even then it is a foregone conclusion. You are the best, they aren't.

In Pathfinder 2, you are John McClane. You get the ever living @#%! beaten out of you over and over, but you die hard, you keep going, you get up each time they knock you down, and you persevere in spite of overwhelming odds.

Coming from the super heroes of PF1, it feels like your characters really suck in PF2. That's not necessarily a bad thing, the game mechanics just make for the telling of a different sort of story. At least, thus is my experience with the system so far.

Shadow Lodge

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
I dont think anyone is saying huge swings arent possible. I personally am interested in how its happening though. Goblins (a level-2 creature) deal 1d6 damage. 4 of them is a moderate fight. Unless you are having them all go on the same initiative (which is against the PF2e guidelines) and dogpiling on one person, it seems unlikely your going to get the yoyo effect that you would see in PF1e. So I'm curious how people are experiencing it so I can better understand how the system behaves.

So the scenarios I played. One encounter had some zombie shamblers, creature -1 that hit with +7 for 1d6+3 or 1d8+3 if you're grabbed, and a skeletal horse creature 2 that hits with +9 for 1d8+5.

Another encounter had 2 zombies, a skeletal champion (creature 2, with +10 for 1d8+4), and a negative channeling cleric.

And another encounter had some creature 3 golem thing with +12 to hit for 1d10+6.

So... yeah. I never saw any 1d6 damage things, every enemy did more than that. These weren't homebrew either, they're the published PFS scenarios. My character was mauled in every fight, there was only one combat (out of 4) where no PCs dropped.

Shadow Lodge

Well, I thought there was some language saying you had to be in your species' height/weight range, but I don't actually see it now that I'm looking. It does say you must be at least a young adult for age, but that's the only restriction I find in the organized play guide.

However, you would still be "small" sized because the rules say gnomes are small. You would run into some people who would cough and sputter at your fantasy being different than theirs, while others wouldn't care at all. That is always how organized play goes.

Alternatively you could make a human and take the adopted ancestry feat for a human raised by gnomes and roleplay them as thinking they are just a freakishly tall gnome.

Shadow Lodge

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I would call PF2 a casual game in that you can make whatever character and the rules force you to create something viable (unlike PF1 where it is possible to make a wizard that can't cast his spells for example). The randomness is so prevalent due to the tight math that you can't be awesome, nor can you be terrible. Everyone just sucks equally somewhere in the middle. For PF1 you could spend hours combing through rules to come up with good combinations, but in PF2 that fun/pain isn't there. This makes PF2 a game to jump in and play without requiring as much preparation time, which lends it to be more casual friendly.

You think PF1 is complex? You haven't played Hero system. Just because there are simpler games or more complicated games out there, does not preclude these games from also being considered simple or complicated. Simple/casual does not mean bad. There are many players and situations for which these are better. Complex is better for when you have a group of people with the time and interest to put in to it (I'll continue running pf1 for my home game), otherwise it is worse. For one offs, PFS, and kids, I would definitely say casual is better (I'll be playing pf2 for organized play and other public games at the game store).

Shadow Lodge

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The dice is king in this system. With the math so tight, everything is a random roll, so the more people you have rolling the more likely/quicker you succeed. To me, the fact that all our limited anecdotal experience varies so much is just further illustration of this.

As for huge hp swings, I definitely saw this, but it's hard to tell if that is the system or just first level woes. PF1 definitely had plenty of getting one shot at first level too. Getting dropped and healed back into the fight repeatedly was just part of low levels, but quickly went away as your characters got more experienced. It remains to be seen whether that will hold true for higher levels of pf2 or if we'll go down just as quickly.

Shadow Lodge

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I just had the chance to play the first few pfs scenarios. Since magic looked so awful, I decided to try a primal sorceress and see how it played out. Surely I was missing something and it would be better in play.

Turns out, spellcasting wasn't as bad as it looked on paper, it was worse in actual play. The scenario writers really like to use undead, constructs, and vermin. Pretty much everything was immune to mind affecting (I personally didn't have any will save spells, but we had an occult sorceror in one game who felt completely useless because everything was immune to his magic). Spell damage is universally worse than hitting things with stick damage and compounded by several enemies having energy resistances, while none of them had physical resistances. Enemy reflex saves were also mostly equal to or higher than their ACs so I hit less often. I had one amazing round where I aoe'd two enemies and they both rolled nat 1s for saves taking double damage. Then the rogue got 2 normal hits and did more damage then my crits.

My AC was as good as I could get it to be, which is ~2 less than the martial characters, and my hp less too. I was one shot several times and killed instantly by a crit (but hey, you get hero points for get out of death free).

Everyone got hit and took lots of damage, coupled with the frequency of undead encounters made 3 action heal almost always the best way to spend my turn.

Skill challenges were all set up to allow for a number of different skills to be rolled, but DCs were ridiculously high. With full tables we succeeded most of the time because there was enough dice being rolled that someone rolled high, but with small tables we failed most checks. It didn't seem like it mattered what skills you had, because you probably had one that you could roll. It all felt very random, like our party succeeded due to dumb luck not skill.

It may sound like a lot of complaints, but I still had a lot of fun playing the game. I will be playing the character as an inept naive girl, bumbling through and succeeding due to pluck. This is not a game where you get to be a powerful hero, everyone gets beat down hard, and fails frequently, but somehow together you blunder through to success!

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Ideally, I'll end up getting to play some of both 1e and 2e. 2e is a different game, it is also fun, but by no means a better game. It is a sidegrade to the previous edition, being equally as flawed and full of bad decisions, but also equally full of good decisions and fun options. Whichever one you like more will be entirely subjective.

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Midnightoker wrote:
gnoams wrote:

Putting the thief back into the rogue as part of the base class assumption really bothered me. I want to be able to play a rogue without "you're a criminal" as a class feature. Some archetypes for rogue to remove that would be welcome.

Vexing dodger was my favorite Pf1 archetype, because climbing on people as a fighting style for small characters is awesome.

Well, to be fair, the Class is literally called Rogue, which is sort of by definition a criminal.

There are also three other options besides Thief to choose from (and that’s just the paths available in the first book). Presumably others would come.

"As you started on the path of the rogue, you began to develop your own style to pursue your illicit activities." The three choices are described as pick pocket, con artist, and bandit.

The rogue class could potentially be used to play a skilled character that is not a criminal, but currently you would have to ignore class features that are contrary to that concept.

Shadow Lodge

Putting the thief back into the rogue as part of the base class assumption really bothered me. I want to be able to play a rogue without "you're a criminal" as a class feature. Some archetypes for rogue to remove that would be welcome.

Vexing dodger was my favorite Pf1 archetype, because climbing on people as a fighting style for small characters is awesome.

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I always end up making my own character sheets for a new system because I seem to have different opinions on what is important to include and how they should be laid out. I've seen lots of custom sheets popping up, so I thought I'd share mine as well. Maybe get some ideas for improvement, and maybe someone else will find them useful.

IMO, a good character sheet needs to be easy to parse and compact (single page front and back, none of these 4-6 page abominations). It needs a space to draw a picture (this is an important step in character creation for me, and must be of decent size on the front, not some tiny square crammed in the back where nobody sees it). Lastly, it needs plenty of blank lines. I prefer empty space to something like a block for shield stats so that I can write what is important for this particular character instead of having an unusable wasted section.

Gnoam's PF2 character sheet

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I assume that is a mistake and shuriken are supposed to function.

One of my first ideas for Pf2 was finally I can make a sword and shield monk without weird shenanigans and the unfettered shield feat.

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When 4e came out, they explained the sudden change in magic in forgotten realms with the spellplague. They talked about the old magic of the previous system which no longer worked due to the catastrophe and all the old magic items which ceased to function.

The entire 2e system is a hard retcon. It's pulling away from d&d rules and doubling down on making golorion unique. "Bull's strength" existed only as a holdover from that older system which they are now free from. It never existed in the world of golorion, it only existed as a rules mechanic in the 1e game. Paizo chose not to acknowledge the changeover in world, so by their cannon it never happened, there was no fundamental change in their world setting, it was always like this.

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Starting with a 16 as your highest stat makes your ability modifiers flat out higher at levels 5-9, and 15-19. Your main stat will only be lower at levels 1-4, 10-14, and 20.

Realizations like this are one reason why I crunch the numbers. I know there is going to be some wonkiness to the system and I want to be aware where it lies.

I recall a 1e game with a new player whose enjoyment suddenly tanked when he realized the numbers on his character sheet did not support the concept in his head. His character was not good at the things he wanted it to be good at, and that ruined the game for him. Some of us think spending an hour crunching numbers to make sure our character will perform as desired is a worthwhile investment to a game we plan on spending numerous hours playing.

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I use paper if I'm playing in the real, and a text document if I'm playing online.

Shadow Lodge

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Interesting that a lot of people find Pf2 character creation to be elegant. I find it quite the opposite. The terrible organization of the book requires you to hunt back and forth in a long string of looking up options that refer you to other parts of the book where those rules are only partially defined and refer you to yet another term that you have to look up. There's so many terms that I often don't realize some word is actually a defined game term and scratch my head for a while trying to figure out how something works. But I digress, some of that will get better with time and learning the system. The poor book layout will remain an obstacle though.
I find the stat boost method of ability score generation to be extremely clunky. I have to reverse engineer how to end with the stats I want and am forced into particular ancestries and backgrounds because of the stats available to them. Pf1 had the same problem with racial ability modifiers, but it was so much more straightforward. You just picked your stats, added the modifiers and done. None of this flipping back and forth to compare what stats you could get at different levels to combine into the array you're looking for.
I can build Pf1 characters quickly and easily, I regularly build high level npcs for my games and can whip one out in 15mins, but then I've been doing it for 10 years, not to mention 3.5 before that, and I don't really know the Pf2 rules yet, so it's hardly a good comparison.

Shadow Lodge

The PCs of Pf1 are super heroes, smashing their way through enemies and overcoming impossible obstacles with ease. The PCs of Pf2 are everyday people, struggling against enemies and barely managing to overcome obstacles by the skin of their teeth. I'm pretty sure this is an intentional shift of paradigm. Paizo designed it this way on purpose. You are supposed to fail way more in Pf2.

Shadow Lodge

For skill feats, the Pf1 prerequisites would be x number of ranks in the skill. It should just be a matter of looking at when expert, master, etc kick in for Pf2 and assigning them to a similar level. For any of the scaling ones that say when you reach master, just change it to when you have 8 ranks in the skill, or whatever level you deem appropriate.

Shadow Lodge

Crimson throne was one of their best APs, but also one of their early ones. With your powerful group, combat will be very easy (if run as written).

Thematically speaking, the story delves into the Harrow a lot. Playing the harrower prestige class or one of the Harrow themed archetypes would be a good fit (for witch, take a look at cartomancer). The shoanti people also play a big role in the story and could make for some fun RP.

Desna is a good choice of deity for this campaign.

Shadow Lodge

the ability says "You attempt to cure one poison or disease afflicting
you; attempt to counteract the affliction."
So what is the attempt, is there some roll, what is it, how does this function, am I missing something obvious?

Shadow Lodge

Because this is a game and enjoying it trumps "realism." Your GM is trying not to be a total jerk and realizes that having everything get away is not fun for the players.

Shadow Lodge

Glancing through monsters, at level it looks like the best you can hope for is being hit 40% of the time. Most PCs are looking like getting hit 50~60% of the time at best. Players are going to take a lot more damage in this system.

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