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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:
Arcane Weapon (Su) (Advanced Class Guide pg. 9): As a standard action, the arcanist can expend 1 point from her arcane reservoir to enhance her weapon. The weapon is treated as magic for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. At 5th level, the weapon gains a +1 enhancement bonus, which increases by 1 for every 4 levels beyond 5th (to a maximum of +4 at 17th level).

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).


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.

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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:
Bards, Clerics, Druids, Fighters, and Paladins have natural proficiencies with shields. Bards may only use Light Shields, Druids may only use Wooden Shields.

Light Shields give +1AC and +1 TAC. They have Light bulk.
Heavy Shields give +2AC and +2 TAC. They have One (1) bulk.
Wooden Shields give 3 Hardness.
Steel Shields give 5 Hardness.

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
You position your shield to protect yourself. When you have Raised a Shield, you gain its listed bonuses to AC and TAC as circumstance bonuses and you can use the Shield Block reaction. Your shield remains raised until the start of your next turn

(reaction)Shield Block
Trigger: While you have your shield raised, you take damage from a physical attack.
You snap your shield into place to deflect a blow. Your shield prevents you from taking an amount of damage up to its Hardness-the shield takes this damage instead, possibly becoming dented or broken.

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 " 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:
Unlike magic armor, magic shields can’t be etched with runes granting potency or properties. All magic shields are specifc items with a wide variety of protective effects, as described in their entries.

Pg. 190: Item Quality Table 6-19
Expert Shield cost: 300sp +1 Hardness
Master Shield cost: 3,000sp +3 Hardness
Legendary Shield cost: 6,000sp +6 Hardness

Magic Items:
Sturdy Shields
Type expert light wooden; Level 2; Price 35 gp; Hardness 6
Type expert light steel; Level 4; Price 90 gp; Hardness 8
Type expert heavy wooden; Level 5; Price 140 gp; Hardness 8
Type expert heavy steel; Level 7; Price 340 gp; Hardness 10
Type master heavy steel; Level 9; Price 675 gp; Hardness 13
Type master light adamantine; Level 10 (Uncommon); Price 1,000 gp; Hardness 15
Type master heavy adamantine; Level 12 (Uncommon); Price 1,800 gp; Hardness 18
Type legendary heavy steel; Level 17; Price 14,000 gp; Hardness 17
Type legendary heavy adamantine; Level 18 (Uncommon); Price 22,500 gp; Hardness 21

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:
While Druids, Clerics, and Bards have access to Shields, they have no access to shield feats outside of multiclassing. Of the two remaining classes, Fighter and Paladin, Fighter gets the bulk of the feats while the Paladin mostly gets +2 dents and Hardness from Shield Ally, and the rest of their feats are trying to fix the fact that Retributive Strike and Shield Block are both reactions.

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.

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?

You Interact to draw a weapon, then Strike with the weapon you just drew.

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.

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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?