I'm getting a bit frustrated with how paths to fairly common and apparently acceptable concepts seems unexpectedly convoluted...
A cleric who wants a (non-favoured) sword and shield can pick up Mauler (even though he's not really into two-handed weaspons) and he's golden. A cleric who wants a (non-favoured) hammer and shield is out of luck because there isn't a one-handed Two-Hand hammer. If he's into two-handed weapons, he's got both sword and hammer covered. But if he's into fencing weapons, Duelist, while seemingly on the same order as Mauler, only for dueling instead of mauling, won't help at all. Unless he's into Aldori fencing weapons, where Aldori Duelist, a completely different thing from Duelist, has him covered again.
Feels like "can I use a better weapon than normal?" should have the same answer for all classes and all weapons in principle, only with a higher cost for a bigger benefit. Instead, the answer seems to be "yes, probably... you just need to sift through dedication feats, general feats, ancestry feats, and try and trace a path to what you want... odds are there is one, but maybe not".
Kyra is my favourite iconic design all the way back to 1E, so looking for some inspirational imagery for a cleric of Sarenrae for our first 2E game, I was delighted to discover this:
Obviously art will be influenced by earlier art, but these guys look like they're literally wearing the same uniform as Kyra, including the positively WAR-like amount of equipment tucked into their belts.
I love tracing D&D's (and by extension Pathfinder's) influences and sources, and I've never seen this discussed before, so this was quite a find.
I'm unclear whether things higher up the rarity scale are supposed to be higher up the power scale.
It mostly seems they aren't (longsword is common and katana is uncommon, but neither is better, and it might be swapped around in another pat of the setting), but the rewards bit suggests they are: if it's a reward to be allowed to use a katana, then presumably it's better than the longsword in some way?
I very much see the value in genre and style, but a group or a player either has interest in it (in which case they won't bring katana-wielding drow in what's supposed to be a musketeers-style game), or hasn't (in which case restricting access to katana-wielding drow won't help much, because they will easily bring in something common and inappropriate). And if the group or DM is supposed to exhaustively review the rarity tags of everything to match each new style of game, what's the value in the initial tags?
I feel the intent will easily become very muddled here between the original designers, DMs, and subsequent designers, with some treating rarity as a tool to describe the setting, some treating it as a tool to control more powerful toys, and unintended effects when one intent clashes against the other expectation.
The very well know Exotic weapons issue, only rather than being restricted to a handful of weapons, applied to most of the elements in the game.
I'm becoming skeptical of largely divorcing training from skill check odds, and requiring both for success. There's some interesting nuance there, but it seems little gain a a lot more work: setting difficulty is now picking a point on a two-dimensional scale.
If picking this lock seems like it should be somewhat harder than breaking it, does that mean I want a higher DC? Or the same DC, but more proficiency? Or more proficiency, but a lower DC, since only a seasoned locksmith would even know what to do, but it's then it's fairly easy for them to actually do it?
Setting difficulty, ad hoc, fairly, quickly, consistently, is something a DM has to do all the time. It seems this approach makes it a lot more demanding, of only a small increase in texture.
Maybe it's just because it's new. Anyone who actually played a bit: have you found this to be an issue?
I love the idea of Monster Hunter, someone who fight well not because they're strong or quick, but because they're smart... but +1 to 3-5 attacks (whole party) against 1 creature, and only on a critical skill check, seems awfully limited compared to Weapon Focus: +1 to pretty much all attacks you make. Maybe the baseline has changed? Maybe Weapon Focus isn't there anymore, and +1 attack is considered more valuable?
Snares are a fun idea in the abstract, but in the life of a D&D adventurer, vastly more time is spent on the offense. Can you count on being able to lure enemies into specific squares often enough to invest feats in it?
Again keywording seems a bit out of control. Once Snare and Trap are different keywords, but a given object is both Snare and Trap, it might be time to wonder whether there's too much granularity there.
I really liked the general section, where the ranger comes across as a warrior who's not as good with weapons as the fighter, but is even better than the fighter at focusing on one guy with a flurry of quick attacks. Yep, feels like a ranger!
Mark Seifter wrote:
Is that the primary purpose of Resonance then? To make sure high level adventurers heal up with a reasonable amount of high level wand uses, rather than trickle-to-full with a more hp-per-gp efficient wand?
Edit: Eh, replied before seeing this was asked multiple times already.
I'm pretty confident it's:
* Focus Activation to cast ghost sound
But I agree it's very hard to read as it stands. Embedding rules in description can work (I like "The shield floats in the air next to you, granting you its bonus automatically, as if you Raised the Shield") and can make the presentation less dry and more natural. But having the stat block/power card format, but then also putting some of the info you'd expect to be in the rules header in the description body (only!) is the worst of both worlds.
I think I can see the reasoning here: Activation is a specific rules term, meaning powering a magic item with Resonance (with as much Resonance as required, even if that's 0, to cover Automatic Activation). For the cloak, the Interact action is not Activation, it's just manipulating your cloak as you'd normally do, and then it grants you bonuses (although... why doesn't that count as Automatic Activation?)
But that's back to my keyword complaint: it seems there's at least 5 different activities you can do with an item, which all have different rules meanings, even though they sound pretty much the same in common language, or at least don't suggest the specific rules meaning:
I think that needs cleaned up. The best keywords are those that fit naturally even for someone not familiar with the technical usage: a [Fire] spell is, in fact, a fire spell.
"Consumable, Enchantment, Fear, Magical, Mental, Trinket" So many keywords.
Keywords are good if they improve clarity, but if you ever need to write something like "A potion requires you to spend an Operate Activation action to drink it." it might be going overboard.
Overall, this article reads a lot like something from a late stage RPG, Book of Nine Swords, Pathfinder Unchained: mitigating complexity problems by introducing more layers of complexity. That's not always wrong (I loved Book of Nine Swords, for what it was), but it doesn't look encouraging for that part of the audience who like Pathfinder but are fatigued by the complexity and were looking forward to the new edition as an opportunity for a reset to cleaner, simpler position.
I admit that I initially balked at Cat Fall due to the players at my table as well as myself really enjoying that feeling of “we could really, really, die due to falling off the cliff”
If you wanted to die falling off a cliff, wouldn't you just... not take the feat that lets you not die falling off a cliff?
Really? Cuz I awlways thought rougues were supposed to be scouts and skill monkeys rather than killing machines, but I guess my grognard is showing.
I agree the rogue's primary role is not (should not be) killing machine, but I don't think "skill monkey" is a role at all. "Skills" is just a 3E-and-onwards term for other skills, those not central enough to have their own cool subsystem like the combat system, spellcasting, powers, special abilities. No class should be defined by being the master of the "none of the above" category.
In practice, it's a minor issue, but aesthetically, the organisation of the spell list made me grit my teeth with frustration. It changes the key three or four times down the length of a five item list!
Why isn't it sorted by level?
7th plane shift (at will, to Elemental Planes, Astral Plane, or Material Plane only); 5th illusory object; 4th gaseous form, invisibility (×2), produce flame (cantrip); 1st detect magic (constant)
Or sorted by use limits?
Slots illusory object (5th); gaseous form (4th), invisibility (4th) (×2); At Will plane shift (7th, to Elemental Planes, Astral Plane, or Material Plane only); produce flame (4th); Constant detect magic (1st)
1) is not easy to avoid at all, because it's sometimes not easy at all to correctly judge the investment and the benefit.
Do you have an exact quote?
If you go and look it up, you'll find it a lot less strongly worded than you make it out, more like acknowledging that some options are better and being fine with that, rather than intentionally setting out to trick the players into choosing the poor option (as the word "trap" suggests).
Additionally, it's a very old article. I see little reason to expect Pathfinder designers now to be intentionally holding to the same design philosophy from 2000 that Monte Cook was reflecting on (and criticising!) in 2005.
Nathanael Love wrote:
Maybe this hypothetical Pathfinder 2 would keep Vancian magic and a 1-20 leveling system? I'd even say it's probable. Do you know you wouldn't want to play it even so?
I saw a Bestiary rising from the sea and the number of the Bestiary was 5.
The first seal is the seal of framework, and the first seal was broken when the mythic rules gave things which are not feats and not class abilities and not skills and not spells, but other things, yet they are like feats and class abilities. When the designers must go outside the framework is the first seal broken.
The second seal is the seal of the fighter. Advanced Class Guide shall break the second seal with a hybrid between the fighter and the gunslinger but without the guns, which counted and measured is again the fighter. When there are two fighters in the same game is the second seal broken, as it was in the time of the Book of Nine Swords.
The third seal is the seal of the wizard, and again shall Advanced Class Guide breaks the seal, mixing Vancian with spontaneous, wizard with sorcerer, arcanist of arcanists. Magic is the great work which reworks reality, and when the designers make the great work which reworks magic, then is the third seal broken.
The fourth seal is the seal of the monster. The rukh in Bestiary 4 is the roc, and the roc is a monstrously large bird like unto an eagle, and like unto a vulture and monstrously large is the rukh, and they are like unto one other, for the rukh and the roc are the same. And when the time comes when the new monsters are the same as old, the old monsters will become new, and the fourth seal is broken.
The fifth seal is the seal of the V, which is 5. Monster Manual V was the last one in the 3.5 days, and it marked the final breaking, and the coming of 4. And now the 4 is upon us, that is the Bestiary, and the next Bestiary will 5, which is V, and it will be the last, and it is surely coming, for I saw a Bestiary rising from the sea and the number of the Bestiary was 5.
I don't know how I feel about a grit like thing being part of the Swashbuckler as I'm not all that familiar with the class or it's mechanics.
I think it should be fine, "spend renewable points to do cool stuff" is a universally applicable mechanic, just call it "ki" for ninjas, "grit" for Western gunfighters, "panache" for foppish duelists, "mana" for mages...
Also I doubt these 'hybrid' classes will be just reworking concepts. The Magus is by no means a reworked Fighter or a reworked Wizard. It is an archetype common in fiction that is mechanically different from both of its parent classes.
Exactly! And in that the magus is quite unlike the swashbuckler, arcanist, hunter, or slayer. Unlike those, the magus combines two radically different character types, both mechanically and, more importantly, conceptually.
As mentioned the Gunslinger is a common archetype in much film and literature that is different from the Fighter
How is a movie gunslinger different from a PF/D&D fighter, once you account for the differences in setting? Both are the primary, purest warriors of their setting. What more is there to the archetypes, and what are the differences?
The gunslinger makes sense as a different class because guns are peripheral enough a feature in most PF/D&D settings that just giving a fighter a gun isn't very well supported.
But removing guns from the gunslinger and combining what's left with the default fighter pretty much gives you... a fighter, reimagined.
Now, a fighter reimagined is not an unworthy goal, I'm just saying that when the designers are reimagining the fighter, it's a sign that they're starting to chafe under the limitations of how the current fighter works.
When a character takes a drug, he immediately gains the effects, an amount of ability damage, and must make a Fortitude save to resist becoming addicted to that drug (see Addiction).
At 25 gp, opium is a very affordable way to hit someone for 1d4 Con and 1d4 Wis, no save.
Further research reveals other interesting substances.
For 500 gp, 50% chance to instantly drop any foe not immune to sleep!
We now plan to invest in injury drugs and start offering... involuntary free samples... to our enemies, and slaughtering them as they stumble around all doped up.
This feat does grant mechanical benefit, it's equal to +1 AC versus that enemy.
Don't be absurd. Giving the opponent the benefits of Power Attack is not a benefit.
And as for descriptive natural language mechanics: Ghost Sound. Do I have rules for what happens when I use that spell ? Are there rules that tell me how shall a monster react to a ghost sound if it fails the save ? It must/can/shouldn't/can't investigate ? It's all down to the DM.
So that's one 0-level spell on one side, and pretty much the whole weight of the 550+ page rulebook on the other.
Some love such freedom, some - like you - don't, because you want mechanics for everything.
Like me? Because I want? How in the world did this become a discussion about me?
Focus on the feat.
I haven't read the entire thread, so something like this might have already been covered, but I was directed here by Carpy DM after making some suggestions for alternatives to Two-Paw Pete the paladin in a lay on hands thread over in General Discussion.
Swap Dex for Cha. Swap two +3 kukris for a +3 falchion and a circlet of Cha +4. Swap the two-weapon feats for Power Attack.
You get +4 Fort, +2 Ref, +4 Will, lay on hands uses increase by 4 (some 75 hp, almost a whole 'nother paladin worth of staying power). Damage when not smiting and damage when smiting are basically the same (increased ever so slightly). Much better damage on a standard action attack. Still two feats left over to play with.
STR: 20 (+5) (14 base, +2 racial, +4 belt)
DEX: 12 (+1)
CON: 13 (+1)
INT: 10 (+0)
WIS: 8 (-1)
CHA: 21 (+5) (15 base, +2 level, +4 circlet)
HP: 79 HP (10d10+20)
AC: 22 - Touch 12, Flatfooted 21 (+10 +1 full plate, +1 dex, +1 Ring of Protection)
BAB: +10 CMB: +15 CMD: 26
I'm not really happy with how this indicates that Power Attack is even more mandatory for warriors than in 3.5.