graeme mcdougall's page

Organized Play Member. 120 posts. 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

So I'm Gming my quite casual group through the excellent 'Ire of the storm' module. They are in the final dungeon, level 5, about to turn level 6. Then I'm planning to run 'Eulogy to Rossler's coffer' from the Tyrant's grasp.
Anyway, it's a party of 3 PCs: Half-Elf Druid, Aasimar Paladin & Grippli Inquisitor. Obviously, these are all Divine casters. So far, there haven't been any real problems with the complete lack of arcane spellcasting. This is our 1st time playing really, having graduated from the beginners box rules. As they move into the level 5-10 range & beyond - is lack of Arcane spellcasting going to be a probem - are there things I will need to do as a GM to compensate or 'patch' this lack ?
Or will it be OK, 'as is' ?

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So obviously they are enough for a CRPG (Classic RPG) which is party-based a la Pathfinder Kingmaker or Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous.

But I'm talking about computer RPGs where turn-based battle is the main focus, like Shining Force, Final Fantasy Tactics & Fire Emblem.

The reason I ask is that I recently completed Fire Emblem 3 Houses. It was a fun game & I enjoyed it. But all the way through I was thinking:

- The action system is basically this: You get 1 standard action & 1 move. But your turn ends as soon as you do the standard action. If you want to move, you have to do it first.

And it struck me how antiquated & limited this is compared to PF2's 3-action system. Or even PF1's system.

I think there's enough in the PF2 rules to make a great Tactical RPG & I hope it's obvious that in terms of lore, items etc Pathfindr as a brand easily has what it takes.

Of course, there might not be any money in tactical RPGs, but I was just thinking out loud.

I like most things about PF2 but for the beginner players I'll be running it for, the 'life path' style ability scores are too convoluted & back & forth. Nor do I want the randomness of rolling ability scores.
So I'm after a standard array that evens out to exactly what you'd expect from the default method. I'm going to exclude all the Boosts & flaws EXCEPT the ancestry ones. I'd like to allow players to play against type with Ancestries ie Gnome Fighter etc.
I'm going to give the same array to all players, then let them use the Boosts & Flaws from their ancestry.
What do you recommend ?

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There's been loads of feedback on this stuff already but it does seem to get lumped together, when really I think these are seperate issues.

1) Layout: This is just where things are located, how they're referenced & organised.
I agree with the majority; it's proper rough right now.
Location of powers, organisation of feats, lack of feat effect summary in the feat summary table.
I'm not really worried about this at all. It's a playtest document, with all the problems I expect. I'm confident Paizo know how to organise a rulebook come the final.

2) Graphic Design: I actually think this is a big step forward, even in it's rough state. It's finally incorporating some of the Beginner's Box presentation.
The way you go to a class & everything is there at a glance - you can see what's for level 1 & what's for later.
Much better than the 'giant wall of text' paradigm of PF1 CRB.
Action icons work really well in practice - I don't mean that these particular icons are especially great vs any of the other possible alternatives but that action icons generally work great.
Again, I have a lot of confidence in Paizo about this.

3) Tone/Language: This is my biggest worry for the book & in fact for the whole PF2 project.
A huge amount of people have remarked how dry, technical & clunky the book is right now.
The excess of traits & keywords is a huge problem. It's a manual that feels like it prioritises machine-readability so much that it actively obstructs human-readability.
The final version of this book will be the 1st & for many, only point of contact with the game for the next 10 years to come - it MUST be instantly inspiring & readable.
I kind of feel like after a decade of putting up with all the inherited jank of 3.5, the designers are trying to pin down & pre-empt all the possible future stesses on the chassis, at any cost.
Right now all the scaffold is showing on this game.
I just think that a good system (and I think this IS a good system, at it's core) WILL fail if it's presentation is so far off what is comfortable for the ordinary punter.

Layout - They'll sort it by final
Graphic Design - Good & will get better
Tone/ Language - Pretty worried

As far as I can tell, nowhere is it actually spelled out how to calculate spell DCs.
We are left to infer it from more general information scattered through the book.
I want to see if I have it right, for example for a wizard :

10 + Character Level + Int Modifier

I get this from :

- page 8 'Your Difficulty Class'
- page 136 'Arcane Spellcasting'
- Page 291 'Determine the difficulty Class'

What confuses me, is you normally add proficiency level as well.

The Wizard, on pg 135, in the sidebar has 'Spells' - Trained in Arcane Spell rolls and DCs & in attack rolls for Arcane spells.

So this is +0 for trained. But can the wizrd ever be more than trained in Arcane spell rolls & DCs ?

And if so, does he do it by adding ranks to the 'Arcana' skill ?

And if so, would the formula be ? :

10 + Character Level + Arcana Proficiency + Int Modifier

They could really do with explaining spell DC calculation at the beginning of the spells chapter, with a specific example.

So, my Hardcover Rulebook & Softcover Doomsday Dawn arrived today in the UK & I finally had the chance to sit down, have a skim & make a character.

For all the rough edges & niggles, I think the presentation, overall, is significantly easier to use & learn.

I'm basing this mainly off the Class Descriptions, Skill Descriptions & Weapons section.

In the PF1 CRB, which I have grown to like & navigate fairly comfortably over time, you are still mostly faced with dense walls of text with little formatting.
Very refreshing to turn to fighter & get some concise flavour texts, followed by a menu of choices, where I could tell at a glance what mattered now & what I could come back to at later levels.
The sidebars & summary tables were spot on.

The action formatting for skills is also much more user-freindly IMO & better for reference.

Overall, I like the new format, it brings some of that beginner box clarity that I hoped we would see more of in the Starfinder CRB. Overall, I liked Starfinder but I was disappointed in how it was much closer in presentation to PF1 with regards to big wall of text entries.

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Just watching Paizo's gencon video on Twitch - there's going to be a Starfinder Beginner box, following the same format as the Pathfinder one.
Very welcome.

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Pg 10 : The uncommon rarity indicates an element available
only to those who have been initiated into a special kind
of training, grow up in a certain culture, or come from a
particular part of the world. A character can’t take these
options by default.

You are trained with the dogslicer and horsechopper.
In addition, you gain access to all uncommon goblin weapons.
For the purpose of proficiencies, you treat martial goblin weapons
as simple weapons and exotic goblin weapons as martial

Pg 86 : Fighter Weapon proficiencies - Expert in all simple and martial weapons. Trained in all exotic weapons.

I'm building a Level 1 Goblin Dex Fighter.
Am I correct in thinking I need to take Weapon Familiarity (Goblin) in order to use a Dogslicer ?
As a fighter, I already have Expert prof with Melee martial weapons, which the Dogslicer is. Nor do I need the change in status for Martial Goblin Weapons to Simple, or Exotic Goblin to Martial.
Do I need Weapon Familiarity (Goblin) just to overcome the (Uncommon) trait, or is my fighter Expert Martial prof enough ?

PF1 gives away extra languages like candy (I realise it probably inherited this from one or more of the older editions).
I'd like to see extra languages be valued a little more highly, like knowing 5 languages is exceptional, not routine.

Drawing comparisons from real life is always a little sketchy but I've learned 1 extra language pretty thoroughly. It took a lot of work & it's been pretty amazingly useful (maybe not economically, but in almost every other sense).
I know a few (Continental) Eurpoeans who know 3 - their native + English + 1 other.

Anyway, it's not a big deal either way, but I'd like to see multiple languages be a little rarer & more valued.

I *even* wonder if it might be fun to not have Common - between the average party they could probably all communicate anyway & I could see it being quite funny. But that's probably better suited to a specific campaign/ house rules than the general Pathfinder game.

I hope we can get the different class/ adventuring kits from Ultimate Equipment right in the core rulebook - they can save a surprising amount of time in character creation - shopping is really slow !

I also wonder if we can get the Beginner's Box/ Ultimate Equipment style of item stat blocks ? (they're very readable).
I noticed we didn't in the Starfinder CRB - I wonder if this was a simple space consideration ?

In general, I did notice that although the Starfinder CRB was a lot more user-freindly than the Pathfinder one, it didn't go for the full-on graphical style that we saw in BB, Ulimate Equipment & the Strategy guide - I'm guessing that was a space consideration more than anything ?

Obviously, these considerations are more important for the eventual PF2 CRB than the Playtest book but I'm curious to hear other people's thoughts.

Just made a Level 1 Half-Orc Cavalier with a horse mount & wanted to check that I have all the mounted combat rules down right:

A) Example TURN A - not charging:

1) - HORSE uses it's MOVE action to move up to 50ft

1) - CAVALIER on horse spends his MOVE action waiting for the horse to reach the enemy. He doesn't spend it to move, because the horse is doing that. He could use it to do another move action, like 'Pick up an item' or 'Sheathe a weapon'. As a BAB +1 character, he could also 'Draw a weapon' or 'Ready or drop a shield' combined with this otherwise wasted MOVE action. In any case, he can't full-attack this round.

2) - HORSE uses it's 'Bite' Natural Attack as a STANDARD action. But first the Cavalier has to 'Handle Animal' as a FREE action with DC 10 to do the 'Attack' trick. If the Mount is injured, the DC is 12.
'Handle Animal' is a FREE action, due to the CAVALIER's 'Animal Companion Link' class ability. If the HORSE wasn't his Animal Companion, it would be a MOVE action.

2) - CAVALIER uses his STANDARD action to make a single attack. He gains +1 to attack bonus if attacking a 'Medium' or smaller opponent, due to being on top of a 'Large' horse.

- If the Cavalier wants to use a 2-handed weapon, or use a 1-handed weapon & shield, he needs to pass a DC 5 Ride check to 'Control with knees' his HORSE. If this is his mount, he doesn't take an 'Armour Check Penalty' to his ride skill, due to his 'Ride Mount' class ability.

Just picked up the Advanced Players Guide Pocket Edition & really enjoying reading through it.
The 6 new classes & all the archetypes are great !

But I'm slightly less keen on the 'new rules' chapter - mainly because it adds even more rules & moving parts to a game that already has loads.
I just wondered - of these, which are used pretty much as standard - ie which would most Pathfinder players expect to be in the game unless specifically ruled out ?