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I think the problem here is just one of player frustration caused by unlucky dice rolls. I get it. A streak of bad rolls can be really annoying.

But it has nothing to do with the feat. Like several in this thread, I had a great experience with Nimble Dodge. It saved my Rogue from a round 1 crit that would have resulted in a desperate situation. The difference with the OP is pure luck of the dice.

The math calculation is correct but unconvincing. A 20% chance to make a difference is great. In fact, I don't think many feats usable every round provide more than a 20% improvement of anything. Most feats that provide a bonus give a +1. Some give more, but are situational (compare with You're Next, the other level 1 Rogue feat that provides a reaction).

As others have mentioned, Nimble Dodge is a fine choice for a level 1 feat, for a class that doesn't have a built-in reaction. At higher levels, it can be upgraded with Nimble Roll, or it can be retrained when stronger reactions become available.

I think the OP has a point, however, when it comes to the Swashbuckler. That class is built for reactions, so it would be a much greater cost for the Swashbuckler to declare Nimble Dodge against his opponent's first attack, making Opportune Riposte unavailable for the rest of the round.

Now, the Swashbuckler is in the playtest phase. Now is the time to provide that feedback, so the designers can consider a new version of Nimble Dodge more appropriate for the Swashbuckler.

My other takeaway is that keeping a log of dice rolls is a bad idea. If the dice have been bad, it's just depressing. It proves exactly nothing. Worse, it gives rise to the false impression that you're somehow "due" better luck in the future.


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I think 99% of the rule changes are perfectly fine from a continuity perspective. Numbers are different, that sort of thing. Even the details of how smite evil works can be explained away by the fact the paladin does good damage, thereby harming evil creatures.

There's a small portion of the rules that are really breaking continuity, however. The example of the Goodberry spell is clear: A low level druid used to be able to feed a large family in times of famine, this is no longer possible. Another example is Wild Shape: The druid used to be able to change into an eagle for hours, and so explore a large expanse of land from the air with ease. This is now out of the question. It doesn't take lab notes to notice these things, they're obvious.

I don't think it's the end of the world, but if I change editions mid-campaign (and I really would like to), I'll need to come up with a few fixes to explain away the most glaring problems.


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Shed Tail is genius. Can't wait to play that trick :-)


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All the best, and enjoy! My advice is 1) have a cheat sheet at the ready for stuff that comes up often, like basic actions, detection vs stealth, and conditions; 2) don't sweat the details, be easy on the players and yourself. We're all beginners with these rules, and a heck of a lot of that stuff is new, plus many of us need to "unlearn" PF1 habits. If you miss the effect of a manipulate trait or a non-stacking bonus here or there, it's no big deal, just roll with it and move on.


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A superb job. Thank you!


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A few I have noted:
- The rule for counteracting effects has been greatly simplified. You don't take a penalty depending on the counteract level. It's much cleaner now.
- Attack of Opportunity no longer takes a -2 penalty. It only disrupts the triggering action on a critical hit (not just a hit).
- Cover is clarified and more finely detailed with the addition of lesser, standard and greater cover.
- The conditions have changed pretty significantly.


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Whoever predicted a disaster on the site was completely wrong. It took me less than 2 minutes to buy, pay, and download. Delighted!


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I remember how impressed and excited I was, reading the 3e PHB for the first time. This system had a really long run, and that comes to show how strong it is. A good portion of the audience will continue playing it for years and I'm not surprised some don't wish to move on to PF2.

As for me, I won't forget these good times, even though I embrace PF2 as a welcome modernization.


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Cool. There seems to be room for notes and descriptions in the attacks, spells, actions, and saves, this is great.

Now, just this as a form-type fillable pdf and I'll be all set. Meanwhile, my handwriting will have to do (ouch).


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Anyway, there's a lot of non-temperature goodies in the blog too, and thanks to everyone for reading and responding. Every week, Logan wonders which thing in the blog will become the big side discussion, and I sometimes guess right, but this time I thought it would be the Pathfinder baseline, not temperature. :D

People are going to talk about their reaction to temperature, and about the importance of using their preferred measurement scale, because those topics are about them. Likewise, the Pathfinder baseline is a topic related to people's identities, so it's got great potential for generating a long, heated thread. But you didn't provide any details about it, so it's a bit of an abstraction at this point, and harder to comment on. (Yes, this is a shameless bait to get you to say more about it).

Anyway, the blog has plenty of great stuff for us to remark on. For example, I love the idea of the ghaele as an embodiment of freedom to bear arms against oppression, while the lillend is all about freedom of expression: A pretty clever concept, and great flavor.


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Eoni wrote:
Oh wow. When I read about Bards having Muses I was thinking it would be a more abstract concept but to see Nymphs giving out actual bonuses for Bards who use them as Muses is getting me extremely excited to see what other possible Muses are waiting in the bestiary.

I remember writing in a survey (or was it on the forum) that a muse should be a person (possibly an imaginary one), not some abstraction. Very happy to see it happening!


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This is a superb blog, thank you Mark. As expected the monsters are juicy! And the art is very, very cool. I also appreciate the DC table, so much more sensible and easy to understand than the playtest's. Kudos also on the excellent GM guidelines.

I second those who would have appreciated a column with temperatures in Celsius. I have adjusted to feet and pounds without excessive pain since the conversion isn't hard (5-ft = 1.5 m, 1 lb = 0.5 kg), but for Farenheit I have to use Google, and I hate having to do that during a game. Trying to "think" directly in F is extremely counter-intuitive and not workable.

By the way, a wind adjustment, for cold temperatures, is as necessary as a humidity adjustment for high ones. That said, these are minor quibbles. Some sweat about environment effect rules isn't the end of the world.

Now, yes, this preview makes it really attractive to run adventures with this ruleset. Earlier I thought I couldnt afford to switch mid-campaign... Now I think it would be worth it, if I can bring my players on board with the effort required for the change.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:


And why not? It's just like any other subject. If I spend an extra 20 hours studying statistics, would it be unfair for me to perform markedly better on an exam than someone who did not? I certainly don't see a difference.

If you work hard, you should do well. If you dont, then you shouldn't complain.

This approach is perfectly valid on its own logic. However, it implies that the game is designed for an elite group of heavily invested players. Other players don't need to apply, unless they don't mind their PCs being vastly outclassed at the table. Your exam analogy is telling, in that perspective. You have those who pass, and those who, well, fail or drop out.

I don't agree with this philosophy. It's appropriate to reward mastery, but that reward should be moderate in scope. Otherwise the difference between hardcore and casual players becomes so large that they can't play together.

So then the casual players ask the hardcore players for help. Back to the metaphor, I used to study with and help classmates all the time. You can do the same thing with character builds. Think of it like tutoring.

Yes, of course. In my group, I've been one of the players who do that, for many years.

But this process is time-consuming, and I'd rather spend time in, you know, actual play, or looking after my own character. As the GM, I'd rather spend time thinking about the next developments I want to introduce in the campaign, rather than advising the less expert players so their PCs don't fall hopelessly behind.

So, among the things I'm looking forward to in PF2, there's the time freed from having to fix issues with the group's power balance.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
RussianAlly wrote:
I feel that system mastery should be rewarding when it shows through intelligent strategical and tactical application of the systems in play to achieve unexpected and interesting results. It should not be a reward for having extra 20 hours to spend on manuals or the SRD reading build options.

And why not? It's just like any other subject. If I spend an extra 20 hours studying statistics, would it be unfair for me to perform markedly better on an exam than someone who did not? I certainly don't see a difference.

If you work hard, you should do well. If you dont, then you shouldn't complain.

This approach is perfectly valid on its own logic. However, it implies that the game is designed for an elite group of heavily invested players. Other players don't need to apply, unless they don't mind their PCs being vastly outclassed at the table. Your exam analogy is telling, in that perspective. You have those who pass, and those who, well, fail or drop out.

I don't agree with this philosophy. It's appropriate to reward mastery, but that reward should be moderate in scope. Otherwise the difference between hardcore and casual players becomes so large that they can't play together.

In that regard, PF1 was poorly balanced: Not only was system mastery well rewarded, but lack of experience was severely punished. PF2 tries to reward expertise while reducing the gap between experts and beginners. Time will tell if it was successful with that goal.


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Others have said something similar, but I find it interesting how completely I disagree with sherlock1701's issues with PF2. With very few exceptions, everything he sees as a downgrade I see as a major improvement over PF1 (I hasten to say I've been playing PF1 for years, still love it nearly as much as I did when I started, and still consider it vastly superior to any other version of the game published so far). Clearly a big difference in play style and preferences across the board.

There are many things I look forward to in the new edition, but the biggest ones are:
- As a GM, a much easier time prepping for high-level play for my group.
- As a player, a much easier time creating and up-leveling characters.
- A much easier time teaching the game to complete newbies.


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I would certainly give a long try (like, a whole AP chapter at least) to the rules as written, before I start house-ruling, except for things that the rules don't cover yet, like the aforementioned technology rules.


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22

Name: Gurgarmuskh

ABC: Goblin, Acolyte, Cleric of Irori

Weapon of Choice: Dogslicer

Mount: A goblin dog named Zen

Catchphrase - a mantra he recites to maintain his self-control:
"Impassive, my face
Respectful, my language
Orderly, my thought
Relaxed, my breath
Impervious, my mind."

Personality: Gurgarmuskh renounced his native tribe's disorderly, dirty, loud, destructive mindset. He found faith in the deity most in opposition to that: Irori. He received a great monastery education where he learnt the way of rigorous order, cleanliness, silence, and discipline. Always impeccably dressed, polite, calm and polished, his only concessions to his ancestry are his traditional goblin weapon and mount.

Weakness: He completely loses his well-rehearsed self-control in the presence of fire. This is anathema, so, when that happens he needs to discipline himself in a variety of ways to atone for the lapse.


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The list of conditions isn't much shorter than in the playtest (1 less if my count is right) but it's been greatly clarified, by removing redundancy and unclear language. Well done.

Examples:
- The playtest had Drained and Enervated, now down to Drained.
- The playtest had Accelerated and Quick, now down to Quickened.
- The playtest had Entangled, Hampered, Slowed and Sluggish. This is now just Clumsy and Slowed.
- The playtest had Asleep and Unconscious, this was simplified to just Unconscious.
- The language used for degrees of concealment (Hidden, Unnoticed, etc) is also more clear than the playtest's (Sensed, Unseen).


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- Every time you sneeze or burp, flames come out of your mouth, causing 1d4 fire damage to creatures and objects in the adjacent 5-ft square of your choice.

- No matter how hard you try to be discreet, you always speak with an annoyingly loud voice.

- Once per minute or so, a cockroach crawls out of your clothes and scurries away.

- The contact of water with your skin causes a strong tickling sensation.

- Your hair grows 1 cm per minute. For males, this includes facial hair too.


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This may be an out of order release, but who cares? It's just great!


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I agree, this is one of the most sensible updates we've seen coming out the playtest so far. IMO, with this finishing touch, the skill rules for PF2 are definitely a major improvement over PF1, in every way.


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There’s no way to make everyone happy. Some want more encounters (new dungeons) and don’t care as much about extra background or kingdom development (companions). Some want more companions and don’t care as much about additional story (new chapters). Then some want more story and don’t care as much for more physical goodies (maps, unique dice, etc). Then some would like more goodies and don’t care as much about more encounters. Or any combination of the above.

So the devs just offered a mix of everything. This guarantees they’ll get complaints, but at least they didn’t leave any potential fan out in the cold. In fact with this campaign Paizo has really gone out of its way to offer at least something to every faction out there.


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Very nice piece. Kudos!


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Marco Massoudi wrote:
NielsenE wrote:
I'm getting a little annoyed at how just about everything is copied form the CRPG. Dudemiester's enhancements felt so much better to me as a starting point for Paizo's writers/designers/etc to build off of for what works better in pen and paper. I liked the CRPG but so much of their changes made it feel more solo player than party based. While I want more foreshadowing, the CRPG was too much by quite a long way.

I agree about it feeling that everything added is exclusively from the computer game.

The prologue is, the epilogue is (that one seems cool) & now a new middle chapter?

Actually, from what we've heard so far, a lot of what's going to be added remains open at this point. For example, look at this thread in the Kingmaker subforum, where Mark Moreland asked for folks' preferences as to what should be added.


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There was a definite acceleration in pledging yesterday. I think this was because Owlcat sent out an update on their own KS project pointing to this one.

As for the companions, I'm all for them including sidequests. After all, what is a sandbox, if not a large pile of sidequests for players to choose from? Even if not used for such purposes, the companions provide color and depth to the Kingmaker world, which is always welcome.


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denigreur wrote:

Started running it last year. PLaying the CRPG. Aiglos made a bunch of good comments, so i'll go another way. Emphasis on dudemeister change to Hargulka.

My main comment :
- Fill the empty hexes.

Agreed! This doesn't mean every hex needs to have its own encounter. For this purpose, I used 1-paragraph locale descriptions which I found on this very board. Some great folks have compiled a whole bunch of descriptions, some basic, some intriguing or magical, all pretty fitting to the setting. I just rolled like for random encounters. In most cases, this was just for flavor. In some cases, it inspired me to add an encounter. In other (the best!) cases, it inspired players to look for something more, and I went on improvisation mode. I remember great fun with a place where oaks grew to phenomenal heights. So, the acorns where huge, too. So, there had to be... giant squirrels. The players had a great time trying to chase / speak to the giant squirrels!

So I think the anniversary version could have like 1-2 pages per chapter worth of landscape descriptions along with the random encounter tables. This really helps flesh out the land, and therefore the story, since in Kingmaker a lot of the story is really the land itself.

I also wholly agree with the idea that various political and religious factions, Brevoy powers, potential allies/enemies, etc, negotiate with the new barony, offering BPs in exchange of various benefits. This really installs the reality of kingdom building into the game by linking roleplay with the mechanics of kingdom growth.


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There are many pieces of the CRPG I would love to see in an anniversary edition, and I'm far from finished with the game! (Right now I'm in Vordakai's tomb). In fact, a number of the CRPG's subplots are cooler than certain portions of the original AP.

Let me mention a few from the top of my head:
- The battle with the Lamashtu cultists, especially the fact that they were recruited from the barony's citizens. There should be a bit more of an opportunity to convert them back to humanity's side.
- The fey's invitation to the baron under the condition that he comes alone.
- Most of the companions, especially Jubilost's much expanded personality and role.
- Pretty much all of the companions' special events and subquests. Special mention to Linzi's printing press, just hilarious.
- The visiting Numerian barbarians. Great NPCs.
- The troll who genuinely tries to make peace with humans (I forgot his name).
- The expanded role of Tartuk (I did something similar in my own campaign before I knew of the CRPG).
- The goblin village.
- Candlemere.

A few things not necessarily in the CRPG which I feel would be good additions:
- Most of Dudemeister's ideas (check out the Kingmaker subforum)
- Something to happen under the lakes, like ancient underwater temple or submerged elven village... Colossal, ancient monsters in the depths..
- A lot more ties to Brevoy and River Kindgom politics, especially in the Kingdom Building portion, but also in the adventure. I felt Brevoy was under-utilized in the original AP.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Hi! Hello. Um I might have a few ideas for content to add to an updated compilation edition of Kingmaker that have been loved by many groups over the years ;-)

Stolen Land Toolbox
Hargulka’s Monster Kingdom
Dudemeister’s Varnhold Vanishingly Additions and Changes
Dudemeister’s Blood for Blood
Irovetti’s Clockworks Kingdom

I also have Legendary Beasts that stalked the Stolen Lands as optional bosses for each region. My additions and changes are very much expansions on the original spirit of the adventures and I would love to help bring them to the next edition of Pathfinder and 5e! :-)

Enthusiastically seconded :-)

There's also some great ideas for subplots in the Kingmaker CRPG that I would totally plug into this anniversary release.

Now, as someone who's still running a multiyear Kingmaker campaign... I will buy this for sure, but will I convert my players to 2e mid-campaign? I didn't think I would, but 2e is really promising. Choices, choices...


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Fully agree, this works very nicely as a teaser, and it's a cool read on its own right too. Kudos.


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pjrogers wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
The point being made is that PF2 it will be harder for players to make such an error and character capabilities at a particular level will be more comparable to each other even when comparing the optimized and non-optimized. Which is an unambiguous good.

And here's where we clearly part company on what is really a subjective matter, aka what makes a good set of rules. I would prefer one with a wider range of options, including ones that aren't really all that great, while others would prefer a set that, to my mind, "coddles" players and protects them from themselves.

Also, by the time a player has a 14th level character, they should not be "accidentally" making characters with such a poor Will save.

In my view, a system with 1000 character build options, 50 of them great or good, and 950 disastrous, isn't a good set of rules for either experienced/careful players, or inexperienced/negligent players. The latter will fall into traps and have to be rescued by their GM or fellow players. The former will have to go through a lot of homework, not all of which is fun, for their own build, and sometimes for the other characters' (unless they don't want to help and are content with dominating an unbalanced group).

Besides, such a system places too much emphasis on building characters. This can be a fun activity on its own, but not everyone enjoys that. It is also a solitary activity, while the game is meant to be social.

I much prefer a system with 500 options, 250 of them being at least OK. It's easier on everybody and places the focus where it should be, that is, around the game table.


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Very nice piece, and inspirational. Well done!


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Mark Seifter wrote:
oholoko wrote:


If that is correct it might be lovely, powers are one of my favorite new addictions. Even if i think they could have been done better xD

Whether that's correct or not, I am incredibly excited for people to try these things out with all the adjustments you guys asked for (among other things, you guys let us know on the surveys that power was too confusing a name, so hence I say "these things").

Also, while the mystery chapter may not be a rituals chapter, I'm excited about some of the new rituals we have, especially since it was close. A spread (that means two pages that you can see open at the same time in the book biz) of rituals were on the cutting room floor back when the decision between 632 and 640 pages was being made, but ultimately cutting a spread of rituals, a spread of the all-important intro, a spread of mystery chapter, and a spread of backmatter (weakening the index) for too high a price to pay, so I was on the edge of my seat about some of these rituals until pretty recently!

The DoEM just pressed the red Skyrocket button here. :)


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N N 959 wrote:
Someone made a comment that I really wanted Ranger 1.5, not 2.0.

That someone was me. And I think it's not just Ranger 1.5 you want, it's really Pathfinder 1.5. Which makes sense, since I don't think it's feasible to create Ranger 1.5 in any framework other than Pathfinder 1.5.

N N 959 wrote:
I think the vast majority of people who play PF1 wanted version 2 which kept the best things about PF1 and reduced or eliminated the bad things.

Of course, if you ask players about the idea of a new edition, you're going to get a majority of answers along these lines. Problem is, there is a vast array of opinions about what bad things need to be removed or changed. Some will loudly call for non-LG paladins; some will ask for the end of Vancian casting; some will want caster-martial disparity fixed; some will want a simpler game; and there will be those who oppose any change since they're delighted with the present edition.

In the case of the PF1 ranger, my opinion (that's just me) about "bad things" is primarily about general issues with the game at large:
- Hard to play and design high level adventures for, due to what Jason called "fractional math" in the Know Direction interview.
- Overshadowed by spellcasters in many respects, after level 10 or so.
- Requires a growing magic item collection, made primarily of boring items (ie the kind of item that provides a permanent, flat bonus) to be viable past mid levels.

Then, there are a few issues specific to the ranger:
- Iconic abilities that rarely see use because they're narrowly focused to particular situations (tracking, etc).
- Favored enemy (and terrain), a key ability that is 100% situational. This problem is so annoying that the designers came up with a band-aid: Instant Enemy.
- Weak and frustrating spellcasting capability, primarily used through wands.
- Weak animal companion, which requires a feat to remain viable (Boon Companion).

It would have been possible to build a PF 1.5 to fix all the ranger-specific problems listed above. But this would not have been enough to fix the broader issues with the game. This is unfortunate, and I can see how some might say the playtest ranger is an unlucky casualty of necessary, broad reforms. Other classes, particularly rogue and fighter, got a lot more lucky. I'm hopeful that the final rules will make the necessary adjustments, but I do think the PF2 ranger will have to be fairly different from its predecessor. I fully understand this is hard to accept for fans of the old class.


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N N 959 wrote:
I've also used Gravity Bow, Lead Blades, Resist Energy, Shield Companion, Feather Step, and Longstrider, to tremendous effect and benefit. That's excluding the ability to use CLW wands which comes directly from having a spell list. So spells have had a substantive and demonstrative effect on my ranger's story telling. In fact, spells are a bigger factor in my game play than Tracking is by an order of magnitude. And on paper you'd think Tracking was far more important to the concept.

I appreciate the concrete examples. They're convincing, regarding your story-building experience. They don't match with my understanding of the ranger, however. I think what you describe here is more thematic for the druid than ranger (but that's just a personal opinion). The mention of the CLW wand makes this even more apparent.

I also note the inherent contradiction in your statement that the ranger should be primarily a tracker not a hunter, when you admit that tracking doesn't play nearly as much of a role as spellcasting in your ranger's career.

N N 959 wrote:
No, it's not. Not in the way you mean True Ranger. There is no "True Ranger." There is class concept which supports different play-styles and there are attributes/abilities given to the class that are designed to support that concept, as is true with every class in every RPG. The fact that some people aren't aware of them or don't recognize them doesn't mean they aren't there.

Please don't tell me what I mean. That doesn't come across well. You can ask me to elaborate on what I mean if it's not clear, but not assign intentions to me.

What I read in your statements about the class concept, I feel like you're asserting some immanent nature of the ranger that nobody is allowed to question (you did claim in the other thread that your description was fact, not opinion). Sorry, there is no such thing. There is a history of the ranger since the class was invented in 1975. That history has had a number of twists and turns, the class was recognizable throughout, but it evolved, and will evolve again in the future. Hopefully, the majority will continue to recognize the class as an inheritor of that long history. Some may disagree - that will be a matter of opinion. It's the job of the designers to keep as broad a consensus over such things as they can, but they will never achieve unanimity. Game design isn't an exact science.

N N 959 wrote:
The survey asked what people preferred.

Yes. They preferred a ranger with optional spells. Optional implies they need to choose spells over some other abilities.

N N 959 wrote:

Do you think if the Survey had said:"

A - "You get NO spells and nothing else to compensate"
B - "We're going to fix spells for the Ranger and make it default but with an opt-out"
The majority would be taking A as Paizo seems to suggest?

In any survey, closed questions are always leading, that's unavoidable. A well-designed survey will make them as little leading as possible. Your suggested questions are more than leading, they're forcing. Of course no one would do a survey that way, so I'm not sure where you're going with this.

Now, when I read your other posts on this thread, I'm tempted to think what you really wish for PF2 is more of a PF1.5, an incremental evolution only, fixing issues and not much more. Am I mistaken in that assumption? Or is it just about the ranger evolving more than you would have wished?


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N N 959 wrote:
But here's the rub, hunting isn't really a thing in Pathfinder. It's not a means to an end is more like a Profession than a heroic endeavor. Granted, it's really about the Ranger using the hunting skills as an adventurer ...

Yes. "Uses hunting skills as an adventurer" is the most exact definition of the ranger class I can think of. There you have the ranger's identity in one phrase that applies to all iterations of the class since it was first invented (refer to Jason's quote in the Know Direction thread).

N N 959 wrote:
...but as I said in the other thread, the "first and foremost" mindset feels like we are off on some tangent. What's more, the pivot for the class is Hunt Target. The entire time I played this class, i felt forced into this simple-minded approach of focusing on ONE target ALL THE TIME. It felt so incredibly limiting.

Now, this is a compelling objection to the PF2 ranger. There is a risk of being a one-trick pony, indeed.

N N 959 wrote:
First, thank you for focusing on the salient point. Second, it is a bad thing if Paizo is telling me to come play PF2 and I can tell the "same stories" as I told in PF1, because I can't. Not having spells has already precluded that option. Paizo says they'll add them? If they aren't in Core, then who knows when you'll get them.

I'll continue the focus on the salient point and let go of the debate on hunting vs tracking skills (which feels like terminology for its own sake). I find it hard to believe that the PF1 ranger's pitiful spellcasting ability was ever important to any story. Sure there will be exceptions, but wouldn't they be incredibly rare? In the campaign I'm running (level 8 right now) the ranger will cast some buff spell like Gravity Bow or Aspect of the Falcon before combat, and that's it. Not a bad buff, but the story would be the exact same if she didn't have spells.

N N 959 wrote:
I never used the term "True Ranger." But the fact remains there is a game endorsed concept of what the Ranger is

Different words, same thing.

N N 959 wrote:
... and the truths is a lot of players are not in tune with that, but instead view what they want the want their "Ranger" to be as the same thing as what the Ranger was intended to be. The class has had spells since Day One. The fact that someone can't imagine their Ranger character having spells doesn't change the class is designed with the concept of using spells.

I'm afraid the surveys don't support your view.

Mark Seifter wrote:
in terms of the question about survey results on spells and rangers, basically the results were the "Default no spells, with add an option to get spells like monk" option won by a landslide (and that'll guarantee we add that option at the soonest possible juncture we can fit it in), followed by the "Ranger never get spells" option with a sizeable chunk but nowhere near enough to challenge the leader, and in last place was the "Ranger has mandatory spells like in PF1" option.

In other words: For the vast majority of people, spells are either an option, or should not be part of the class at all. This is a definitive vote against making spells a baseline class feature for the ranger.

N N 959 wrote:
I never said it was a "key characteristic" I said the class has spells and is literally one of the things that defines the class

Different words, same thing. Let's not get bogged into that sort of word play, it serves no practical purpose.

N N 959 wrote:

I'll also point out that with spell use, comes wand and scroll use. And this adds a tremendous amount of "power" (in the sense of Deadmanwalking) to the class as compared with Fighters, Rogues, and Barbarians. When Paizo removed spells, they removed a Ranger's access to all that classification of stuff. Even if the nature of those items is not going to be carried over to PF2, the Ranger has lost that axis of agency. I think Paizo underestimates the impact that has on the viability of the class. More so that Paizo gave absolutely NOTHING to compensate.

Now, I like your arguments much more when they're about concrete things. You have a point here. But I always felt that this isn't the kind of agency for the class. It is a crutch, to try and make it differentiated from other martials, with something that doesn't really belong there, and isn't implemented well at all (I think we will at least agree on that last point). Access to a long spell list is more of a frustration than anything else, when the number of spells per day is ridiculously low, and anyway you don't have time to cast them because you need to get into the enemy's face already.

Rather than access to a spell list, I think the option to bring powers, like Mark promised, and like the survey suggested, is the right path. This will allow for iconic abilities (animal speech comes to mind) and give the ranger just the right sense of the supernatural. For those who want more of this magical feel, a druid or fey sorcerer dedication will be the answer.

That said, this doesn't fix the other issues with the PF2 ranger, such as the constrained nature of Hunt Target and its related feats, or the lack of skills. On those, I agree with you.


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necromental wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:

The game is designed to make written adventures go as planned no matter what the players build.

That's it.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

I want my games to go off-rails because of my player's choices, not their builds.

Character power gives them choices. I get that people don't like to get their games derailed, but it's not a choice if you told me what I can do. It's an illusion of one.

I'm with MaxAstro on this, and let me add a clarification: I want my games to go off the rails because of player's creative choices, ie choices made around the table with little or no forethought.

Of course it's possible to be creative with a build, too. But you can do that only once, after that it's no longer an invention. Even less so, if it derails the game enough that it becomes part of a class guide for others to copy-paste.


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The 4 essences are one of the coolest innovations in PF2, flavor-wise. The playtest didn't make much of it but I hope the final book will allow this great idea to fully blossom.


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Mark Seifter wrote:

MaxAstro would like to know what the number would be that would actually be extremely hard for a level 20 PC. Frankly, it's useful to know that; I want to have that information too. But the problem with providing it inthe DC chart in the gamemastering section, as revealed by many of you in the playtest on both the boards and the surveys, is that GMs who don't read all the advice about how to use the chart might just pull DCs from the chart, so the playtest showed that we needed to present DCs that didn't keep up with the PCs so that someone just quickly reading the chart could use them as intended and allow PCs to progress and be awesome. We can always put the information on the side somewhere and not in the chart so that someone who reads everything will have it but someone using the chart alone won't accidentally create a treadmill.

Does that make sense?

It does. Suggestion: A good place for "on the side somewhere" would be the bestiary, with the hazards section. It would still need to be written carefully to avoid the GMs reading it as a guide to treadmill creation.


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MaxAstro wrote:

On the topic of scaling difficulty:

One thing that people need to keep in mind IMO is that, for better or worse, PF2e is using a unified math, and that causes some problems with certain implementations of scaling difficulty. "The specialist can't fail, the non-specialist can't succeed" is perfectly fine for Perform checks. It's distinctly not fine for attack rolls and Will saves.

This unified math is clearly for the better, as far as I'm concerned. It greatly simplifies the rules, making them much more logical and naturally understandable. It also opens a lot of possibilities for using skills in combat: That's why the devs were able to remove things like CMB and CMD from the game, another very welcome reduction in complexity.

This has a lot of value, and if a couple of minor trade-offs are required, then I'd say it's worth it. Seriously, has any character ever been forced to wear armor? Besides, if it did happen and it made their AC much worse, wouldn't that be a perfectly reasonable narrative?


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thflame wrote:

The problem here is that you are attributing motive when you actively do not know why every individual person makes these choices.

I have 2 characters that have "dumped" stats for other higher Stats.

Grimm the Unpleasant had a 22 STR at level 1 in exchange for a 6 in INT, WIS, and CHA(he's an Orc). He get's ONE Skill Point per level thanks to his favored class bonus (the first was spent so he could actually speak Common), pretty much auto fails any Will Save, and is an active hindrance to the party in social situations, of which I ACTIVELY seek to roleplay. (Grimm is a very friendly Orc who wants to initiate every conversation with a big, sweaty, stinky bear hug. It doesn't go over well with NPCs often. Imagine a 4 year old that has rolled in "dear god, what's that smell!?!" but this 4 year old is 7 feet tall and casually carries around a sword that you're pretty sure he ripped off of a large statue.)

My other character is Coravellion. He's a Elven swashbuckler with 20 DEX and 6 CON at level 1. I also refuse to grab any feat, magic item, etc. that will increase my Fort Save or my HP. (He get's 4 HP per level, as per average HP rules at my table.) The idea was to play a character that was REALLY hard to hit, but dropped like a sack of potatoes if (when) he was hit.

Both of these characters are well loved by everyone who has had the pleasure of playing with them. Nobody has ever felt like these characters were "too powerful" or game breaking.

Now, CAN someone min-max or power-game the system to create a broken pile of stats that ruins the fun for everyone else? Yes, if you let it happen. Is that a good enough reason to outright prevent anyone from playing such a character? No.

These are cool characters, but they would be equally cool if their maxed out ability was something like 19 or 20, rather than 22.

That said - as GM I would totally welcome those characters and make room for them via house rules if necessary (in PF1 it isn't necessary, in PF2 it might be). I remember playing a character like this many years ago (D&D 2ed rules, with rolled abilities) and it was hilarious. He was pretty short-lived, though, as I suspect yours will be. Note the hilarious part came mostly from his flaw rather than his crazy-high abilities.


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I have never seen the term "tier" used for anything but a measure for comparison of power. The word itself implies some are superior and some are inferior.

I guess it will be impossible to retire this concept entirely, but I think it will be much watered down in PF2. I interpret the devs' statements on new edition goals as indicative of that.

Of course, it will be impossible to assess until we get the nitty-gritty of the final rules. But the playtest gave us a good indication of how balance between classes is handled: At the very least, tiers will be much more blurred, compared to PF1.


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BryonD wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
The problem in PF1 isn't about number inflation, it's about inflation of the gaps between characters. That gap becomes so large eventually that it makes the die roll pointless: Given any check of whatever DC, either the specialists can't fail it, or the non-specialists can't pass. The playtest gets the d20 back to the center of the action, where it belongs.

Obviously a lot of people have this complaint. So I won't suggest it isn't real.

But I will offer an alternative view. In 1E the rolls only matter when they SHOULD matter.

I have literally had a recent game where the monk didn't have to roll to climb a tower while other characters ended up needing help to get to the top and some climbed with decent rolls and then later the monk was rolling to climb a tall stone wall that nobody else could even consider.

In both cases the system worked right because the monk was able to be awesome and skip rolling on the moderate wall, while the people who were typical were rolling. The monk not rolling was right. The others rolling was right.

At the "epic" wall the monk rolling was right and the other knowing better than to roll was right.

The game allowed this giant space for the story to happen within, and the mechanics work when they are supposed to and step out of the way when the story doesn't need them.

I really like that.

This is a compelling point. However:

1) Your example narrative equally works in PF2, where the gap between the monk and the rest of the group would be something like 10. The group needs help and good rolls to get on top of the tower, while, with the same rolls, the monk critically succeeds and climbs much faster (this is narratively superior to what the PF1 rule allows for, by the way). For the much more difficult wall later, the monk goes for it, while the rest of the group wisely stays behind, because a critical fail would mean a nasty fall.

2) Your narrative works well with out of combat skill checks. Because there are many times more combat rolls than out of combat rolls, such a large gap doesn't work at all in combat situations, and in particular it doesn't work for attacks or for saves. If somebody can't succeed on attacks, things get tiresome very fast. If somebody can't fail saves, then the GM must either put up with that or increase DCs. If they increase DCs, then the rest of the group can't succeed and this results in unavoidable TPKs. Either way, this is not satisfying.


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kaisc006 wrote:

I agree about number inflation but PF2 has inflation baked into the system.

Great roleplaying game design occurs when the mechanics and narrative work hand in hand. As a GM you never want to force the narrative on your PCs with no mecihanical explanation. Similarly when homebrewing or designing a game you never want to push math on PCs without it making sense in game.

PF2’s core functions (3-action economy and +10/-10 crits) force many factors that don’t make any narrative sense in order to work.

The problem in PF1 isn't about number inflation, it's about inflation of the gaps between characters. That gap becomes so large eventually that it makes the die roll pointless: Given any check of whatever DC, either the specialists can't fail it, or the non-specialists can't pass. The playtest gets the d20 back to the center of the action, where it belongs.

Not sure what you mean about PF2 has inflation baked into the system, but this is incorrect, if we're talking about the differences between same-level characters. Of course it is correct if we are talking absolute numbers, because of the +level mechanism, but that kind of growth is just to reflect differences between characters of different levels - it's a narrative choice that says high-level characters are far above low-level ones. The alternative is 5E's bounded accuracy, a different, equally valid narrative choice.


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kaisc006 wrote:
Was there ever a dev comment on why to start stats at 10 and not allow “dumping”? I know PF1 started at 10, but of course everyone lowered to 8 or 7. Seems to me they should’ve started stats at 8. Not only do you get more than enough boosts, but it’s odd to me that RAW every PC (and I would think other rangers fighters wizards etc in the world) are at least average at everything... although I’m not sure if an average stat is 10-12 in PF2 did they raise the bar to match how easy it is for PC to attain 18 in four stats?

This contributes to the general goal of tight math, ie. making the gap between the absolute best and the worst character's bonus on a given roll no more than 18 or so (as far as I can remember). There are many other ways the playtest rules achieve this goal, notably by removing a lot of bonus stacking.


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MaxAstro wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
If focus is still based on Charisma that would leave the stat with a cool function sans Resonance.

Jason's statement indicated that "Powers" become "Focus Spells" and implied that "Spells Points" would become "Focus" (or "Focus Points"?). That isn't indicative of a change in the mechanic, just the terminology.

Irrespective of what was said, I don't think the concept of tying Focus to Charisma makes sense. Focus Spells are class-defined magical powers, it stands to reason they'd be tied to the key abilities of their respective classes.

I'm going to actually disagree here, with the corollary that what I am saying assumes that all classes can be effective with or without Focus Spells (much like Monk in the playtest).

I like the idea that, like Monk, Focus Spells are a way to enhance your class, rather than a core defining feature of the class. From that point of view, tying them to Charisma instead of your main stat makes sense because it increases build variety. "I know I want my main stat high for my core class features, but do I also want to invest in Charisma for Focus Spells? Or do I want to invest in feats and abilities that don't cost Focus Points so that I can keep my Charisma low?" Sort of a parallel conversation to the archer trying to decide how much to focus on Strength.

I feel like in an ideal world that is how it could work.

It would make sense for it to work that way, if Focus Spells were an optional feature for all the classes that have it. But that is not the case. It's a baseline feature for clerics and non-universalist wizards. So, it this was tied to Cha, it would be an undue burden on these classes (less so on clerics since they already have Channel Energy tied to Cha).


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Captain Morgan wrote:
If focus is still based on Charisma that would leave the stat with a cool function sans Resonance.

Jason's statement indicated that "Powers" become "Focus Spells" and implied that "Spells Points" would become "Focus" (or "Focus Points"?). That isn't indicative of a change in the mechanic, just the terminology.

Irrespective of what was said, I don't think the concept of tying Focus to Charisma makes sense. Focus Spells are class-defined magical powers, it stands to reason they'd be tied to the key abilities of their respective classes.


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D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:

Min-maxing is not inherently bad.

I would argue that it is healthy in the right doses.

YMMV on what the right dose is, but here are some potential points to adress:

1 - It makes the game imbalanced
It depends on how effective the minmaxing option is compared to its cost first, and to the whole game in general second.
If the game can handle it fine, then it's fine in this regard.

2 - It rewards players who min-max
Again, it depends on how effective the minmaxing option is compared to its cost - some players may very well prefer to be able to roll on every occasion rather than have a 5% higher chance of a spotlight at a single skill, that sounds reasonable to me

3 - it is not necessary
Nothing is, but it's a feature some players will love to have. Again, it cannot be bad as long as there are no adverse effects.

4 - it is BAD design, ditto
It is not as long as it has no adverse effects

I'm afraid your suggestion fails badly on point #2. The benefit is +5% to pass on the skill you want to use most, and +5% to either critically succeed or avoid a critical failure (depending on how hard the DC is). So this is a pretty effective option. But the bigger problem is on the cost side: The cost is effectively zero for the vast majority of builds. Only very rare characters will not have at least 3-4 skills they really don't care about. For example, martials can expect the high Int folks in their group to deal with the four knowledge skills in 99.9% of occasions.

An option with some benefit and zero cost is dangerously close to a mandatory option. Enough to qualify as bad design? It's a matter of opinion. Personally, I would say, yes.

Anyway, this is purely academic, since the devs chose to remove +level from untrained.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
A well-run game doesn't need to break immersion, as PF2 gives the GM all the tools to prevent it.
Whether Paizo wanted it or not, the playtest provided a sample as to how PF2 could work if implemented with the rules that were present in the playtest.

Doomsday Dawn was a test, as Edge93 reminded us. Using this as a predictor of how PF2 adventures will be designed requires assuming that Paizo will ignore their own stated intent. I think we can safely dismiss that hypothesis.

Beyond that, I agree with Unicore: The discussion has been civil and enlightening, but it seems to have run its course, as arguments have become circular over the past few pages. While I understand the differing viewpoints, my own takeaway remains unchanged: +level is a good mechanic, justified by game balance and the idea that level gain should make a major difference in character power. Restricting it to trained and above is a surprising decision, but I trust Paizo to make it work for most players (not all players though - some opposition will remain, with some views deeply entrenched and not amenable to compromise).


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Envall wrote:

This is all still feeding into the reading of skill points that is ignoring the fact that level bonus IS STILL NOT ABOUT PROFICIENCY.

Ant can drown in a puddle. I cannot drown in a puddle, and it is not because I know how to swim and the ant doesn't, I am a freaking human and the puddle is a size of my foot. It is about literal POWER LEVELS.

Accept the abstraction.

Problem is, this analogy implies that a level 20 character is to a level 1 character what you are to an ant. And this, before counting feats, skill increases, or spellcasting.

It is an abstraction I can accept without much trouble. But there are a number of people who find it breaks immersion for them. Hence all this talk of learning to stealth from watching someone do it, swimmers born in deserts, smooth wall climbing, etc. I personally find these debates are often misguided, because attempting to closely mirror real world physics quickly leads into a rabbit hole of contradictions. But there's no denying that such feelings exist, and telling people to stuff it rarely helps anybody.

I prefer the more grounded view: Level reflects not just raw power, divine favor, and sheer luck, but also experience in the broadest sense. Many monsters tried to hit the wizard (often succeeding), he survived, so, perforce, he had to learn something about how to dodge blows. Watching the rogue climb the wall taught the basics to the fighter (indeed, this is how humans learn, for a great part). The barbarian acquired a modicum of religious knowledge from listening to the cleric's stories of her god around the campfire. Etc.

This is how things always worked for BAB and saves. There is no reason why it shouldn't work in the exact same way for skills and AC.

Also, we should remember that basic proficiency doesn't make anybody great at any skill. Tasks that require training remain out of reach. This also means that a GM can always decide the wall is so smooth that there's no hope of climbing it without some level of training. A well-run game doesn't need to break immersion, as PF2 gives the GM all the tools to prevent it.

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