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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber. 404 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Kyrone wrote:
RaptorJesues wrote:
What is a slide pistol though? Is it a semi automatic gun loke say a mauser HSc?

It's a gun with 5 barrels, and then you slide the gun to another barrel to shoot.

roquepo wrote:
How does the kickback trait functions exactly? Do different weapons have different STR requirements? Is it 1 damage per weapon damage die or does it scale like Backstabber?
Basically propulsive, gives you +1 damage but you need 14STR to not take the -2 penalty to your attack roll, have a modification that increases it to +2 but requires 18 STR to not take penalty.

So it's not per damage die? That seems quite weak.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Build 46: Raging Dragon Monk
~ 18 Str, 16 Dex, 14 Cha, 14 Con
Max Intimidation, then Crafting

1. Skilled Human -> Whatever
General Training -> Shield Block
Dragon Stance
2. Barbarian Dedication (Dragon Instinct)
Quick Repair
3. Toughness
4. Basic Fury -> Raging Intimidation
Cat Fall
5. General Training -> Incredible Initiative
6. Instinct Ability (Draconic Rage)
7. Diehard
8. Dragon Roar
Battle Cry
9. Haughty Obstinacy
10. Advanced Fury -> Swipe
Kip Up

12. Advanced Fury -> Cleave

14. Advanced Fury -> AoO

16. Shattering Strike

18. Diamond Fists (dragon tail Strikes gain forceful)

20. Enduring Quickness

Stride or Demoralize, flurry at 0,-5 with dragon tail strikes + rage damage, and raise a shield.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Uchuujin wrote:
Only class change that really bothers me is the Champion/Paladin losing Smite Evil for the Champion's Reaction(s). I think some sort of alternate class feature could be possible in the future though (though that would end up being more like 1E archetypes, so maybe that's a can of worms they don't want to open.)

The CRB does have rules for class archetypes, even though none currently exist.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Brutish Shove adds this failure effect to your attack

"Failure: The target becomes flat-footed until the end of your current turn."

So if your attack roll fails, but does not critically fail, you get that effect.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Getting spells when raging and getting the sorcerer dedication at level 1 seems too strong to me. Not to mention that those innate spells are higher level than you could cast at level 1.

Perhaps give the sorcerer dedication only, and grant the spells in Specialization ability.

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The ShadowShackleton wrote:
Saros Palanthios wrote:

That depends...

If all you're doing is moving, a non-minion mount can move 3 times per round. However you have to use all three of your actions to command the mount to move three times, so you can do nothing else during your turn. (You can of course use fewer command actions, but then the mount would also get fewer move actions.)

A minion can only move twice per round, BUT you only need to spend one action to command it to do so-- meaning you have two actions left with which to cast a spell, attack, recall knowledge, raise a shield, etc. Plus animal companions can Support you, or attack, and gain other abilities as you level up. Also they tend to have more HP than ordinary mounts.

So if all you're interested in is running away from a battle as fast as possible, then yes, a mundane mount can flee 50% faster than a companion mount (assuming it has the same base movement speed). However if you plan to actually participate in encounters, companion mounts are far superior.

Isn’t it also true that if you take multi action activities outside of combat they are fatiguing after 10 minutes?

That would mean that outside of combat you would get two moves for one action with a minion (and not be fatigued) and one move with one action for a mundane mount unless you want to ride hard and get fatigued.

I realize this might not be directly quoting the rule but seems to be more or less what was indicated by other exploration actions.

Traveling in exploration mode does not use actions. You look at your mount's speed and compare it to the travel speed table.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Any rule *may* be overridden by the GM, but some rules specifically state that the GM may/should do so. That is not the same thing in terms of GM guidance, and it's not really helpful to conflate the two.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Shinigami02 wrote:
Darksyde wrote:
Just a quick double check. there isn't any adjustment to weapon stats in 2ed for size just bulk and cost? So the main thing the giant instinct barbarian gets is the reach? I looked for info on changing the damage die for size but didn't find anything.
The really funny thing is the Titan Mauler-granted oversized weapon explicitly doesn't even change the bulk or cost of that weapon. So the weapon in and of itself doesn't actually do anything but give you Clumsy 1, and then allow you to use the other abilities as relevant.

Large weapons have increased bulk and cost, as detailed in the equipment chapter.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I had a monk PC climb a cliff, up to a kobold that was on the edge shooting down. He wanted to yank him off. I ruled that was a Grab and a Shove. He made the grab but missed the shove; the rogue immediately killed the flat-footed kobold with a shortbow. Everyone seemed content with that.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Lucas Yew wrote:

I heard long ago that one of the 3 devs of the d20 engine other than Monte Cook (surprise) had some serious hate of Sorcerers, for reasons not clearly known. As I heard he hated Fighters too, I personally think it was some sort of an "intellectual preparation play" snobbism.

Now it seems that his poisonous grudge somehow managed to contaminate both 5E and PF2 by placing unexplainable and unnecessary nerfs to Sorcs...

Assuming malice on the part of a game developer because you don't like the class is entirely uncalled for.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As the rules you posted say: "the second morph effect attempts to counteract the first". So you roll and see which effect wins, and the losing effect ends.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Vallarthis wrote:
The Kraken also says its tentacle attacks are magical, which left us scratching our heads when a player had Freedom of Movement on themselves and got grabbed a kraken. The spell says "...they automatically succeed...unless the effect is magical", so I had to figure out if that applies to the grab as well.

I don't think that's a magical grab.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Your daily preparations happen once per day. You have to make a trade-off between efficiency and speed, and you can't change your mind until the next day.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Everyone has "daily preparations", even non-casters, even if they don't currently have any abilities that mention it.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ubertron_X wrote:
lordcirth wrote:
Someone using a bow has a hand free to trip. They only need both hands when they shoot.

This is technically correct. However how often do you see somebody with a longbow in melee? And even if the monster gets through, lets look at the following example at its associated action economy.

1) Monster attacks some fronline character twice, then uses his last action to move up to a ranger.
2) The ranger lets go of the bow (free), trips the monster (action), moves back (action), grips his bow again (action).
3) Monster gets up (action), moves up to the ranger (action), attacks (action).
4) see 2)
5) see 3)

Repeat ad infinitum.

If you need to grip your weapon again you will lose 2 actions for every trip you do, which of course is less then ideal. Thats what I meant when I wrote you "lose" actions, when you need to change grips in order to conduct a trip attempt.

There is no action to re-grip a bow. Bows are not 2-handed weapons, they are 1+.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ubertron_X wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Assurance in Athletics can give you a good enough third attack trip that you can topple any mooks still left in your reach at end of turn.

Do you all run Monks or 5 to 6 player groups? I have seen this argument come up very often, however when looking in our 4 player group there is exactly 0 persons who can do a regular trip or grab. Not because we are shy of Athletics (3 of 4 chars have it), but because we are shy of hands to actually use the skill.

Sword and board fighter (0 hands free), sword and board warpriest (0 hands free), ranger (either bow 0 hands free or bastard sword 0 hands free) and wizard.

As soon as the fighter uses a block all monsters can swarm past him like no tomorrow and while the ranger could possible have a hand free while he is using his bastard sword one-handed he most often is backline just like the wizard.

And as changing grips actually makes you "lose" actions I see no reason how we will ever use grab or trip in the near future.

Someone using a bow has a hand free to trip. They only need both hands when they shoot.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Champion will get you d6 fists. Monk Dedication will get Powerful Fist, which won't stack but does grant lethal attacks without penalty. You can use light armor at first, until you get stances that require unarmored.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
james014Aura wrote:

Replying to Fuzzy-Wuzzy and Captain Morgan:

action 1: as cleric, cast a 1-action divine spell (Heal? Shield?) Non-cantrips only if not Cleric.
free action: Divine Weapon
action 2: cast a 1-action spell from wizard/sorcerer multiclass
free action: Bespell Weapon
action 3: attack with weapon

You can use a 2-action spell for one of those if you're under a Haste effect. Such as, from wizard or arcane/occult/primal sorcerer. Also Bespell weapon is lower level than Divine weapon, so Cleric/other caster.

It's not at once, but it's still the same turn. It looks like both last until the turn's end, not just the next action.

Clerics can't use Divine Weapon after a cantrip either. Cantrips don't use spell slots.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Phntm888 wrote:

I don't know that you need Selective Energy as a prerequisite, just as a means of avoiding smacking your allies at the same time.

Perhaps something like this would be more appropriate:

Twinned Font - Level 8 Cleric Feat
Prerequisite: Versatile Font
You can channel to both heal and harm at the same time. You gain the twinned Font Focus Spell.

Twinned Font - Focus 8
1-3 Actions - focus, somatic, verbal
Expend 1 use of divine font to simultaneously cast heal and harm, with an area of effect equal to the number of actions spent to use this focus power.

This Focus power would expend both the focus point and a use of divine font - which isn't how focus powers usually work, but might balance things out. My concern with making it a Focus point cost only would be making what is, with 10 minutes of rest, an unlimited daily use divine font.

By making the actions variable, you also technically allow this to be used as part of the single action and two-action versions of divine font - although the use of such would be rather limited, I grant you.

Casting both spells for one font slot is far too strong.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Micheal Smith wrote:

I really would like to see the twin channeling feature. That was my favorite part of the EoB PrC. I don't know if this would be better off as a feat. Because another thing the EoB did was treat your versatile channel as the same level instead of level - 2. Now the 2E version of this just allows you to cast either Heal or Harm (Assuming your deity allows it). So some of the abilities are automatically given.

Focus Spell: (A feat gives access to it)
Prerequisite: Versatile Font, Selective Energy
Level 8 (or around this level)
3 Actions
It allows you to cast both Heal and Harm as appropriate for your level.

Not sure if in this system this would be too powerful. I know in 1E you didn't spend multiple uses of channeling, to my knowledge.

A focus point to simultaneously cast both bursts, still paying both slots, is strong. But I don't think it's broken. Perhaps it would need to nerf the spell level of the channels.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The Ancient Elf Heritage lets you take a level 2 dedication at level 1, but you still need all the other requirements.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I tried to post this last week, but the forum ate it.

I ran a session last week (level 1 oneshot, 4 players), and it went well. The biggest problem I noticed is that everyone, including me, found the diagonal movement rules to be cumbersome. I like that it's more realistic, but how much does it really matter in practice? Has anyone tried houseruling 5e-style movement in? Alternatively, what about hexes?

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
WatersLethe wrote:

One problem is that whatever weapon trait budget they're using means that Longbow probably affords its higher damage dice by taking on a negative trait.

Negative traits are decent in some cases, when they make sense, but putting a positive trait on Shortbow would skew it against other weapons in the category.

The volley trait is not an example of a negative trait that I would be okay with. The reason is that it's singular purpose appears to be punishment, not flavor.

Here are some quick/brainstormy version of negative traits Longbow could have that would fit:

Volley: All attacks with this weapon during a round must be against targets in the same range increment

Bulky: This weapon can't be used while mounted

Strenuous: Using this weapon is tiring. For every strike you make with this weapon your movement speed for the round is reduced by 5.

"Same range increment" is nearly irrelevant, given the massive range.

"not while mounted" is irrelevant to most characters in most fights.
"Strenuous" seems to me to encourage boring strike-strike-strike turreting.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Particle_Man wrote:

I am liking combat grab and might make that my usual floating feat at 15th and I like certain strike and could make that my level 16 feat.

I assume that all of these feats are “either/or”? I cannot use lunge with combat grab or combat grab with certain strike buy pick one and only one feat to use with my action, if the feat costs an action?

Correct, either/or. Lunge is an action which allows you to make a strike, modified with +5 reach. It doesn't passively modify all strikes you make. Same with Certain Strike.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Siro wrote:
Atalius wrote:
rainzax wrote:

Intimidating Prowess and Battle Cry.

Frightened reduces Saving Throws.

Might want to 18 ST so that at 10th level you have 20 ST and that second +1 kicks in?

Or if you are willing to wait until 12th level you can MCD Sorcerer?

Or do both?

Don't think it's possible to start with 18 STR?

You can, but it involves using the ‘Optional Flaw’ mechanic during character creation. This is where you voluntarily take additional Flaw in two separate ability scores (can be the same score if ancestry gives you a boost to it, but can not be applied to a score which already as a ancestry flaw) to increase one other score (can be a score already boosted by ancestry) during the ancestry part of the character creation process.

A 18 Str Cleric would be possible at LV1, by gaining two ancestry boosts to Str, using the optional Flaw feature, at the cost of lowering generally two other scores.

You can never get a 14 in anything at the Ancestry stage. You can only put the extra boost from voluntary flaws in a stat you boosted if it's also your ancestry flaw.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Why is covering your tracks, or tracking, problematic? They are basic uses of the Survival skill.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I personally love the new Ranger. I never saw why the ranger had to have spells. Obviously a Ranger with the Druid Dedication works great too if that's what you want. I'm personally looking forward to trying other spell lists as well for some interesting characters.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

All attacks use MAP normally unless specifically mentioned otherwise. There are many monsters and PCs that can make 4 attacks in a round. Keep in mind that MAP caps at your third attack (-10, -8, depending on weapon).

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Mountain Stance does slow you a little, but you're a monk. Moving is cheap when you have Flurry of Blows, and at level 3 it will barely matter anymore. Also, dwarves with Unburdened Iron won't care.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I ran a game yesterday, with four players. Two had played 5e a lot, and not PF2; one had played PbtA RPGs but not d20, and one had never played an RPG. None of them had any real trouble with their character sheets after a minute of explanation.

The two new players were rogues, btw, and the party was level 1.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The max AC that any non-monk can have at level 1 is 18. A dex monk can have 19, and a strength monk can have 15 base, 19 with mountain stance. And the strength monk can easily have a lot of HP to handle a possible first-round attack.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
SuperBidi wrote:

Ho, I thought the movement penalty was also removed with the proper strength. It's quite a big difference, yes. For bullwark, it's only in full plate. Other heavy armors don't have it.

Going light armor could be also great then, to avoid the movement penalty. Movement is quite important in PF2.

Having the strength for the armor reduces the move penalty by 5. So light and medium won't slow you down at all, given you have the strength. Heavy armor would be -10ft but is only -5ft if you have the strength.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Regarding shields, fighters get more fancy options with them, but champions get good ones too, and Divine Ally (Shield) is really strong.

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I think that Resilient Bulwark is very strong, and also a bit too complicated, though I like the idea. At level 1 with medium armor and no shield, you could resist 5 damage, which is the same as a steel shield. Unlike shield, this doesn't take a hand nor damage a shield. I would make it either your item bonus to AC, or your proficiency, not both. Proficiency would probably be better, since it would not unduly punish behemoths wearing, say, hide.

I would also cut the shield aspect, and maybe make something like it a level 1 class feat.

It's also unclear how this should interact with the armor specialization abilities.

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swoosh wrote:
Dude literally swore off a system forever because he couldn't cheese his way through a fight. Sorry, but this statement isn't consistent with his behavior as you're describing it.

A rogue being a rogue isn't "cheese". Sneaking and assassination is what the character does.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Charisma is entirely optional, yes. I love it. That stat array looks fine to me.

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roll4initiative wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
roll4initiative wrote:
Can anyone tell me why Grab is Athletics versus... Fortitude? Why not Athletics vs Athletics? Kinda strange.
The question for me is why is it fortitude rather than reflex? Dodging aside from someone attempting a hold seems to make more sense than, what? Being really healthy at them?
Lol! Yes! I'm like, "Hmm, fortitude measures your resistance to poison & disease, ability to shake off fatigue, and... not being grabbed. Ohhkayy."

Fortitude save tends to correlate with strength and mass, so this is an easy way to make it easier to grab the wizard than it is to grab the barbarian, who might have the same reflex saves.

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Ten10 wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
I don't get why a higher level foe shouldn't have higher AC and to-hit just because he's a caster. He's higher level, he is stronger in a general sense. Call it passive wards and enchantments, call it years of exposure to mana hardening the skin and sharpening the body, call it what you will. There's no reason a higher accuracy and evasion because higher level caster can't work fine thematically aside from just saying casters shouldn't be able to have good accuracy or AC despite their level.

Because in former editions armour did matter? Cloth like +0 and plate like +8 instead of, well yeah +5 for everything (if you have the appropriate Dex)?

I have absolutely no problem if the enemy caster is playing roughly to the same rules as the player casters, so for PF2 I have no objection for a CR+3 caster to have like +5 AC because AC scales with level and he could also have higher proficiency and/or items (which then however have to appear as loot).

However I have an issue if said caster has like +300% HP or other excessive stats for no reason as they did in 4e. Building enemies the same way as player characters goes a long way regarding a general sense of fairness and pseudo-realism and D&D 3.X and Pathfinder 1 did that very well.

If I manage to jump the enemy mage with my fighter I expect him to be in trouble, even if he might be of higher level and not having my behind handed to me in the field I ought to be the expert in. Ask your own casters how they feel once the enemy Ogre, Troll or else has closed into melee.

Obviously this does only work within certain limits, not if my level one fighter is trying to jump Elminster.

General sense of fairness and pseudo-realism? But you're a group against one? Now the group has 300% more HP than the Big Baddie, who isn't and now is just Bad Bob.

I believe his point is that the boss should have lots of HP because they are a generally higher-level creature, not have +300% HP because they have the "boss" tag.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Set wrote:

A better version of the Hunga-Munga or Throwing Iron. The one from PF1, which did less damage than the sharpened frisbee that is the Chakram, despite weighing one fifth as much (and, IRL, said to be able to thrown with such force as to sever a man's leg from his body at 30 yards), made me sad, because it's such a cool-looking weapon, and the game already has a somewhat dire relationship with thrown weapons like spears, throwing axes, shuriken, etc. IMO.

I'm also a big fan of the 3.0 Tortoise Blade (knife sticking out of a buckler), which PF1 had as the Shoanti Klar. In my head, there needs to be rules allowing someone to wield *two* Klar (but preventing them from getting magical shield bonuses from both, because that would be over the top). I love the visual of a Shoanti warrior leaping, all X-23/Wolverine-style, with two punch-dagger/bucklers, even if the game's current mechanics don't support using two shields or two bucklers (and at least one of the devs finds that image 'silly').

The Orc Shotput was another favorite, from back in the day.

Dwarven Throwing Axes that can be used as a hand axe or throwing axe, and not require two different weapons with minutely different stats, would be cool.

A Double-Barreled Sling! No, wait, that's just a bra. Moving on...

For a combo of punch-dagger and buckler, I think you could just clone the orc knuckle dagger and give it the 'Parry' trait in place of Disarm. That would allow you to spend an action for +1 AC, and it would work with some of the Fighter's TWF parry feats.

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Aservan wrote:

Remember when Full Plate made you more vulnerable to electrical attacks? Total physics fail.

Good times.

Shocking Grasp still has a bonus against metal armor. It's Hollywood logic :)

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ubertron_X wrote:

Where is it written, that the shield is strapped to you? A buckler is, but you will have the hand free nonetheless.

Else just drop it.

RELEASE [free-action]
You release something you’re holding in your hand or hands. This might mean dropping an item, removing one hand from your weapon while continuing to hold it in another hand, releasing a rope suspending a chandelier, or performing a similar action. Unlike most manipulate actions, Release does not trigger reactions that can be triggered by actions with the manipulate trait (such as Attack of Opportunity). If you want to prepare to Release something outside of your turn, use the Ready activity.

It is explicitly mentioned that "detaching" a shield is a 1-action Interact. CRB 274, Table 6-2.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Good question. I looked for a while and didn't find it.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

That's a good question. It seems ambiguous. I would go with yes until it's clarified, as an action is already more than dropping anything else.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ubertron_X wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
PF2 actually makes solo bosses a real threat, and some of the best encounters I've run. The fact that the level difference actually means something results in them being very difficult to harm and very dangerous on the attack unless you work to make it otherwise. These fights are where buffs, debuffs, and tactics really come to play as it's very important to turn the math as much in your favor as possible against a level+3 or 4 enemy.

A question out of curiosity. How are bosses in PF2?

Are they the same kind of thematically stupid as they were 4e? The bookwormish cloth wearing cult leader that was super hard to hit and apart from being a great caster could still whoop your behind in melee just because he was labelled boss was as a huge turn off in that system...

Cloth caster bosses built using PC rules will generally have lower AC then most creatures their level. APL + 2 gives them +2 AC, but having 16 dex and no armor is -2 from where anyone with armor will be. So they'll be as hard to hit as the PCs, or lower if they don't have 16 dex. But of course they should have pre-cast Mage Armor, False Life, etc in most cases. Then there's more visible spells like Blur or Mirror Image which justify them being hard to hit.

I actually made a wizard boss, at 2nd and 3rd level, and used the 2nd level one because there was only 2 level 1 PCs. That was a mistake. I had multiclassed him into Rogue for studded leather, so he wouldn't be too hard to hit. The PCs won initiative and the monk promptly killed him in one turn. If I'd used the level 3 version with pre-cast False Life, it might have been very different. (The session was still great, though!)

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I had a player ask me for a lucerne - ie 2H, martial, bludgeoning, versatile piercing, reach.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Step is a basic action that anyone can do. It is therefore a "general rule" in the context of "specific beats general". Tiger Stance modifies the generic Step to be 10ft, by being a more specific rule. Elf Step is an action that lets you take 2 5ft Steps. This is a more specific rule still, so it overrides.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Alchemists get a pretty big buff to crafting just by their main stat being Int. Then they get starting formulas and alchemical crafting. However, I suspect that at least some alchemist builds are underpowered in general.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
TomParker wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
It's all fun and games until you realize that your fighter can not shield block and make attacks of opportunity in the same turn...

As in PF1, unless you had a feat.

I really do consider the 1 reaction/round limit a huge factor when it comes to action economy, especially as the list of possible / additional reactions for each character will probably increase over time.
I think at some point we’ll see a feat that adds reactions. Probably not to the extent that Combat Reflexes did. But the limitation to reactions really doesn’t bother me. I’ve played lots of characters that had a lot of choices for their one swift action, so this doesn’t feel any more restrictive to me.

There are already several feats that grant extra reactions. 3 for Fighter, 1 for Champion.

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Liegence wrote:
I actually think the Liberator exalt is slightly worse, since the steps only activate if the target ally refuses the free escape. Which is itself pretty restraining (the irony!) - to get a benefit your ally has to be restrained, in 15ft, and refuse the liberating benefit...

The free steps also activate every time you use Liberating Step against a non-restraining strike - that's why that wording is there. You can either liberate an ally and grant them DR and a step, or you can grant them DR, and all allies a step.

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