Shouldn't be too hard to work around.
Spells you cast gain the Rage tag.
I don't loath Vancian casting the way others do, but I would really like to see some non-vancian magical classes. Maybe something to do with Words of Power or a Kineticist remake. Another option would be a Mechanic or Blacksmith class that forges its own magically imbued weapons and armor; each class feat adding a new power to your gear. Ooh! A true Arcane Theurge class!
A true gish class that melds fighting and casting would be cool, maybe something like the Swordmage from 4e. I also really loved the old Hexblade from 3.5, and I think a melee light-fighter with some debuffs, a small magic pool, and a summoned animal companion would be cool.
Stances were such a cool and overtaxed part of PF1, I think a Master-of-Many-Styles class could be great as either a full class or Archtype.
Rangers had the Trapper archetype that let them place and throw traps around the battlefield, which could be pretty cool.
I feel like the Witch would be a big contender for coming back as a full class, but with Bards/Sorcerers being a full Occultist caster, there's not a terrible amount of design space left for the Witch. Maybe make it an archtype?
Inquisitor on the other hand has a ton of design space. Judgements, banes, inquisitor domains, and a nice, tight spell list? You can also pile on with the Intimidation focus.
Slayer and Swashbuckler seem like prime targets for archtypes. Cavs, Oracle, Arcanist, Bloodrager, Brawler, Hunter, Investigator, Shaman, Skald, and Warpriest all feel like they can be baked into existing classes to multiclasses (ie bloodrager being a simple barb/sorc multiclass).
Also cool would be to bring back the old multiclass PRCs like Nature Warded and Eldritch Knight that requires your character to already be multiclassed in certain classes. So, imagine a Rage Prophet archtype that requires the PC to be a Barbarian with X number of Sorcerer multiclass feats.
Question: Can I take a single level of Arcanist or Exploiter Wizard, pick up Arcane Weapon, and then go into another class while retaining the Arcane Weapon level scaling?
Relevant text from AoN:
Reasoning: Most (not all) other Exploits specifically call out Arcanist level scaling for their effects. Compare Flame Arc (deals +1d6 for every 2 levels) to Force Strike (1d4 damage and +1 damage per Arcanist level).
The main issue is that martials get 10-20 feats, while casters get 50-200+ spells which are, for most intents and purposes, better than feats while also being able to switch them out on the fly, and are able to turn them into magic items. Not to mention feat chains and feat taxes eating up the few feats you get.
If fighters could scribe level 1 feats for 13gp, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation.
As for second edition, you have to remember that casters are no longer relegated to shooting crossbows for three levels. Cantrips deal good damage and naturally get better over time, meaning that you're not completely useless if your spells don't get saved.
I'm not saying these changes are bad. I wish to understand them so if I choose to play PF2, I won't be frustrated coming from my AD&D roots. As I was reading in the forums, it seems paizo wanted to make it more about the GM storytelling, which explains a lot.
One of the big problems with 3.5/PF was that you had two equally important ways to advance your character: levels and items. Classes that relied on weapon damage to be useful ('martials') would spend half their gold on a weapon or two, a third on armor, and the rest on getting access to flight. Primary spellcasters (guys with 9th level spells), on the other hand, needed absolutely nothing to do their job to 99% effectiveness. This meant that not only did spellcasters get to have all the cool toys, but they could also blow all their money on consumables for nearly zero penalty.
The typical trick for a wizard would be to buff their spellcasting stat to the absolute maximum, spend all they could on a +x Headband of Vast Intelligence, and spend the rest on wands and scrolls. If you really cheesed the system you could get an intelligence of 26 as early as level 4 (and 15 spell slots at level 5). You then fill all your spell slots with your daily drivers (fireball, invisibility, flight, hold monster), and you could take all those pesky utility spells as scrolls and wands and literally never have to prepare them.
So Wizards who were DESIGNED to have maybe 4 1st, 2 2nd, and 1 3rd level spells, with two or three of those being Water Breathing or the like, ended up with 5 1st, 4 2nd, 3 3rd level spells filled with power, and then had gold to spare on 5 wands and 20 scrolls. This is where a huge chunk of full caster's power came from, and why people complain about guys who swing sticks.
Pathfinder 2e is combating this in its own way. They've beefed up low-level casting, giving casters infinite use damage spells so that they're always able to do things without wasting slots on Magic Missile. They've also made it so you're getting something out of your spells 90% of the time, as most spells still have a powerful effect even if the target makes his save. On top of that, casters still don't really need to spend their gold on anything, leaving them with lots of money for consumables.
They have, however, lost half their spell slots. Also important to note that a lot of low level spells retain their use at higher levels, AND spells now set their DC based on the caster's level, not the spell level. Level 1 spells now have the same DC as level 9 spells.
As for the difference between Sorcerers and Wizards, well, they're changing that up. Sorcerers traded spell breadth for spell slots, but wizards could just make infinite scrolls, so what's the point? As an aside, they got rid of experience penalties with 3rd editions, so your rogues and wizards leveled up at the same rate. They never compensated for that, and they also beefed up their hit die to a d6 while also beefing up most defensive spells to make wizards reliably unkillable.
Investigator is a pretty weak partial multiclass. Having access to a single second level spell at CL4 isn't doing you any favors, and Studied Target taking a move action is crippling. I'd either want Swash1/Invest8, full Swash, or mix in some Rogue or Fighter for some extra oomph.
Your stats are pretty painful. No strength means no Power Attack, which really gimps your damage (and most importantly your crits). No Con means those D8s from investigator are extra painful. Being Rapier focused also means you can't take Piranha strike, which doubles down on the lack of PA.
Rob Godfrey wrote:
The thing that makes a Paladin more interesting, in a way, than clerics, is the paladin's code (and also a point of contention). It makes sense that a CG/NG god can have paladins in that every god has a set of laws or guidelines to be followed, and the paladin's deal is that he both follows and enforces those laws in a way that a cleric wouldn't. You can think of it like a cleric being a spiritual leader, while a paladin is a spiritual enforcer.
You could, in this manner, conceive of a Paladin of Calistria; someone who seeks vengeance for others, hunts down rapists, and protects those in revelry. While Calistria is not Lawful of Good, a Lawful and Good person could defend her principles. You could think of a Paladin as a sort of 'gift' to a deity's followers. Does a Paladin of Rovagug make sense? No, but that's what makes them different than clerics.
The main problem is that this is all fluff, and someone could very easily say "Hey, you're wrong!" and they'd have as much a point to make as I do. There's never going to be a consensus on the paladin because its thematics are not tied to mechanics (like a barbarian's rage).
The problem with Paladins is that they are a Specific Thing to HWalsh types, and to others it's simply a bundle of features. Paladins, to me, are specifically Lawful (upholding order and the right of might of authority), and Good (promoting selflessness, being righteous, compassionate, and empathetic). That doesn't mean I wouldn't love a divine warrior of Asmodeus, Urgathoa, Irori, or Calistria!
Turning the class into Holy Warrior/Crusader/Champion and having Paladins be LG only seems to be an excellent compromise. My main problem is that the Paladin class, as-is, leans extraordinarily to the defensive and healing spectrum to the point that it wouldn't make sense for there to be a Champion of Rovagug.
Most of the people who wanted to nix the alignment requirement seem to want a more generic Divine Mage-Knight than what we currently have. I'd personally like to see Retributive strike be made less restrictive and more useful in more situations, and I'd also like to see more power point options like casting Bless or Doom or something. I suppose that's what splats are for, though.
The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Alright, nevermind, shields are all garbage. Hopefully 1.7 will address them.
The main problem is that shields are pretty bad unless heavily invested in. Compared to previous editions, there's also less differentiation between classes. What's the difference between a shield ranger, shield fighter, and a shield barbarian? Unless the talents are wildly diverging, it would just be a choice of Hunt, AoO, or Rage.
In Pale Moon's Shadow B3, there's a river that, if a player fails a DC15 athletics check, he floats ten feet down river. Pretty simple except, there's nothing stating the length of the river, or what happens if the player is carried further down. In the text blurb at B2, it states there's a waterfall, and the provided map also shows the river that the PCs cross is connected to the waterfall, but there's no listed height to it.
I was GMing a Cleric and a Paladin (third guy dropped out last minute) and the Paladin made it safely across, but the Cleric had a solid -6 to Athletics and literally couldn't pass the check save for rolling two 20s. I arbitrarily stated they were 80ft up the from the waterfall, and that it was a 1d100ft drop. The Cleric managed to fail all 24 swim checks (three per round), and half-way through decided to climb back up to where he was, so I let him use his reaction to Grab Edge with an Easy DC11. He failed all those, too.
Mind you, the paladin was throwing a rope to him the whole time, which I ruled to be an Aid Another action.
So Pavlov the Cleric fell 48 feet into into the water below, and was stuck 1d50ft (30) below the surface with 10 breath units. He was still underneath the waterfall, so it made sense to me that he still needed the DC15 swim checks. That means he needed to succeed six times, or critically succeed three times, without critically failing. Don't forget his -6 to Athletics.
The paladin leaped in after him, taking the fall damage, and managed to Aid Another him up to 15ft below the surface before he ran out of breath, rolled a 5 on his Fortitude save, and instantly died.
The moral of the story is that if you're wearing heavy armor, train athletics.
Thesis statement: Shields are bad at low levels, and more importantly, feel bad to play. We can make shields better and feel better by making making a number of small changes.
Author's note: This is a new system and like most I've yet to inter every single minute detail into my consciousness. If you see any errors or omissions, please voice them so I can make changes to my post.
Rules regarding shields:
Light Shields give +1AC and +1 TAC. They have Light bulk.
Shields give no benefits unless the wielding character uses the Raise Shield action. Shields have a Check Penalty of -1, which is not affected by its item quality (unlike armor). Items (including shields) can take two dents before becoming Broken. A broken item cannot be used further unless repaired.
(one action)Raise Shield
In essence, then, I can take one action to gain +1/2 armor and block 3/5 damage. If I take a second dent while blocking damage, I can no longer gain the +1/2 armor bonus. The trigger for the Shield Block reaction is "...you take damage from a physical attack.", so I could potentially choose to use the Shield Block AFTER I see the damage roll (this is my interpretation of the rules, I'd like clarification).
This means I should always use Shield Block if the damage I take is below the hardness of the shield, as it's not at risk of being dented/destroyed. At low levels this makes Steel shields infinitely more useful, as the likelihood of taking 2 damage (the maximum damage you can take without denting a wooden shield) is extremely low. Characters (IMO) should never use Light shields unless 1 bulk is important, or use Wooden shields unless they're a druid. Wooden shield users should probably never use the Shield block action more than once without repairing it. This makes Light Wooden Shields pretty useless.
Higher Level Shields:
Pg. 190: Item Quality Table 6-19
Unfun: Paladin/Fighter/Cleric and Bards get nearly identical shields. At low levels, the Sturdy Light Wooden Shield and Expert Heavy Steel shield are almost identical (+1AC vs +1Dent). P/F/C pulls ahead at levels 7 and 9, but at level 10 the Bard again is on even footing for having the best shield available to him. This also applies to regular armor-Magic Light/Medium armor comes faster than magic Heavy armor, removing some of the value of having higher armor proficiency.
Higher Level Shield Proficiencies: Paladins and Fighters get increased training in Shields. Fighters eventually get Master armor prof, gaining another +2AC from armor, and +2AC from shields. Paladins get a +3 bonus instead. Those multi-classing into Paladin can spend two feats to get Shield proficiency and Expert armor/shield training. Seems good.
Shield Feats and class abilities:
Conclusion: The best shield user is a Legendary Crafter Paladin/Fighter multi-class with Quick Repair, Shield Ally, Shield of Reckoning, Quick Shield Block, and Shield Champion. With this build you can Shield Block allies, and then Retributive Strike the enemy twice per round. Your shield has 5 dents before it breaks at 23 Hardness, and you can repair a dent in a single action. Your shield also provides a +5 bonus to (T)AC. A Fighter (with no multiclass) can take Quick Shield Block and Shield Paragon to trade a hand for increased defenses. Aside from that, every other shield user is better off getting access to the Shield cantrip or doing something more useful with their hands/actions.
TL/DR and Suggestions: Paladins have a hard time of it because Shield Block and Retributive Strike are at odds until level 10 or so. They should have some way to fix this as early as level 2 IMO. Maybe replace those garbage Oath feats. Bard and Druid really don't need shield proficiency, they don't have any synergy with it and it's not terribly well tied to either class's fiction (I'd sooner see a Barbarian with a shield than a Bard). The differentiation between Light/Heavy and Wooden/Steel is just too much complication for zero benefit.
I'd be fine with a single 'Shield: +2AC +1TAC 5 Hardness' option, where you add half your level to the hardness and item quality gave +3/6/9 hardness on top. Get rid of the Sturdy Shields and just have cool stuff like the Lion Shield and Indestructible Shield. Allow dents to be removed between fights without a skill check. Fighters and Paladins should both have access to 5 dent shields.
Unless you can't stow a loaded weapon, yeah, I don't see a reason I couldn't stash multiple slings/crossbows and simply drop them after I use them.
Seems pretty lame that even among the few ranged feats there are, most of them don't apply to weapons with reload 1.
The crux of my question is, can I use Quick Draw with reload 1 weapons to reload the weapon and also fire it in the same action?
QUICK DRAW FEAT 2
As far as I can tell, there's nothing saying that Ammunition is not a weapon, and it's listed in the weapon section on the weapon table. We use the standard Interact action to draw and reload weapons. However, technically we're not Striking with the weapon 'we just drew' (the bolt or bullet), but rather with the sling or crossbow the ammunition went into.
I could see it go either way, just figured I'd ask before I made my Sling Staff halfling.
I was thinking the same thing. The Sling Staff is really strong as-is, though. The D10 damage die versus the D6 Shortbow or D8 Longbow isn't nothing, and don't forget that the Longbow has the terrible Volley trait (-2 to hit at ranges shorter than 50ft).
A 16(-2) Strength halfling would be dealing 1d10+1(6.5) damage every other action, so 18.5 damage over two rounds. A shortbow would be dealing 1d6(3.5) damage every action, so 21 damage over two rounds. The big difference here is that the shortbow has to land two -10 and two -5 attacks, while the sling staff only has to land a single -5 attack.
This means the sling staff is pretty beefy, especially when you pick up Quick Draw to reload it for free with your strikes (I'm assuming that's how that works). Every +1 you throw on the Sling Staff is going to increase the damage disparity as you add d10s instead of d6s to damage.
It'd still be nice if they added the ability to use it as a quarterstaff or club. It would make it a bit more unique without adding too much power.
The same people who use wands of CLW, I imagine.
The difference between 16 armor and 18 armor is often the difference between getting crit on a 20, or being crit on 18s, 19s, and 20s. Pumping AC is relatively more important due to this fact. Heavy/medium armor is basically something that lets you get around having a low DEX, rather being its own boon. The AC of a non-shield Fighter and a Rogue are pretty similar.
Not sure if this should go here or another subsection, my apologies if I'm off. I'll try to be brief for the benefit of those reading. It is possible that I am off in my assessments due to the newness of the content.
Compared to previous editions of similar games, Strength and Constitution do not give as much relative benefit when compared to other attributes. Mental ability scores have either remained the same in value or increased. The value of Dexterity has increased.
In PF1e, Constitution gave +1hp per modifier bonus, and HP totals averaged between 3.5/HD (Wizard) to 6.5/HD (Barbarian). In PF2e, HP totals have nearly doubled from 6/HD to 12/HD. The relative value of Constitution is halved.
The number of attacks and damage multipliers in PF2 have decreased. Gone are the x4 criticals and 1.5xSTR bonuses. Criticals are now governed by attack roll total rather than natural die results, making them much harder to optimize for. It is also less likely (impossible?) to get more than four attacks in a round, whereas in PF1e two-weapon fighting and extra attacks were commonplace. Though less noticeable than Con, Str no longer gives as much damage output as it did in PF1e.
The benefit of higher DCs on spells is more pronounced now that nearly every offensive spell is both weaker and can now crit.
Intelligence still gives one skill per modifier, but each skill training is relatively more useful due to the smaller skill list (as you require fewer total skills training to learn every skill). Charisma now gives resonance in addition to its previous bonuses, and Wisdom still governs the most important saving throw.
Dexterity now becomes the most important defensive stat for all characters due to the importance of AC in an enviroment where attack bonuses and AC are more bounded together, and the lowered importance of constitution. Melee characters need at least 14Dex to make the most of Half-Plate armor.
My recommendation: Remove Ancestry based HP and replace it with your Con score, or Con/2. An 18 Con Barbarian would have 34/25hp at level 1, and a 10Con Wizard would have 16/11hp. Not sure for Strength, maybe have successive attacks add more strength damage?
First question is, who's going to wear a chain shirt? Alchemists, Bards, and Rogues are limited to light armor. I can't see a reason for most classes to use a lower tier of armor in most situations, so we'll leave out the medium and heavy armor classes.
Second question, what's the opportunity cost? Padded Armor has L bulk and the lowest combined AC with no check penalty (+1AC/+5Dex/+0TAC), Leather has 1 bulk and lower TAC (+1/+6/+0) with no check penalty. Chain Shirt gives +1TAC over Studded Leather and gains Noisy and 1 more bulk.
From that, the only people who would want to use a Chain Shirt are low-dex characters who can't make use of Leather armor, or people who just really need that +1TAC. Another thing is that Expert and Master level armor reduces your check penalty by 1 and 2, respectively.
So really, all Elven Chain does is give you +1 TAC over Expert Leather armor.
Seems pretty terrible, if I'm not missing something.