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****** Pathfinder Society GM. Starfinder Society GM. 5,056 posts (9,081 including aliases). 60 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 83 Organized Play characters. 36 aliases.


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Silver Crusade

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I just wouldn't have him concede. I'd instead reward the players by having some of his allies abandon him so the assault is easier but still make them go in to winkle him out

Silver Crusade

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I definitely want a character that fits the theme of the campaign or knowingly breaks it.

To take Quest for the Frozen Flame as an example I'd find it fun to play a character that was born into the following OR a character that was deliberately designed from the outset to be an outsider (eg, a rich noble fop from some civilized land). But, in either case, I'd want to make a character that the other characters would value and would adventure with for reasons OTHER than "enforced PC bonding". I do NOT want the other people at the table (players or characters) to be constantly going "Why are we putting up with this s**$e?")

Silver Crusade

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
there are very few reasons to take other feats compared to those ones,

Adopted and Ancestral Paragon are both very useful for some builds. But you're pretty much spot on.

Silver Crusade

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Gortle wrote:
Feat Tax? Not really at the strength some are talking about. Is Fleet, Improved Initiative or Toughness a Feat Tax?

Most characters seem to end up with at least a couple of those, so while its not quite a feat tax its pretty close.

Of course, a big part of that isn't so much how powerful these feats are as how meh most general feats are.

Silver Crusade

Fumarole wrote:
Don't forget that chain lighting needs the caster to have line of effect to all targets. But yes, it is quite powerful. The 11th level magus in my party did 654 total damage to ten targets with it (all enemies in the fight).

I love chain lightning.

In one fight the bad guys were riding aerial mounts and were supposed to be peppering us with missiles. One chain lightning later and over half of them were on the ground with some falling damage. Tip to scenario makers : do NOT put in weak mounts that you want to live :-)

Silver Crusade

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SuperBidi wrote:

how do you feel about a Dragon Monk version with Dragon Roar and an item to slightly compensate its low Will saves? More straightforward to build, I think we can both agree on that. In terms of power, would it cause issues in a party or for the game balance?

And compared to other Monk builds, would it make the Dragon Monk too strong?

I'm honestly don't know.

I've seen Dragon Style monks in play and I think they're definitely towards the top end of the power spectrum for monks (more damaging and slightly less AC than other monks seems like a decent trade). I don't think I've ever seen Dragon Roar in play which makes me strongly suspect that it just isn't particularly practical (or, at least, not seen as practical) to raise Cha to sufficient levels given that Dragon Style need Str and Dex.

I'd have little to no issue with a magic item that catered specifically to characters with Dragon Roar (not that I expect Paizo to ever publish something that specialized). At least not until I saw it in play.

But if I go back to my Intimidate monk for a second it would just seem a fairly cheap way to raise his will saves. I'm also currently playing a Magus/Monk (free archetype) in Ruby Phoenix and the item would shore up a weakness in THAT character (his will saves are a bit low) at essentially no cost. And I don't think that either of those characters really need the boost. They're fine as they are. Definitely significantly above the baseline of "functional". Oh, a boost to their will saves would certainly NOT make them overpowered but they just don't need it.

Silver Crusade

SuperBidi wrote:


And I fail to see where the Dragon Monk is an optimized character. Last time I've checked, the optimized martials were Rogues, Fighters and Champions, not Monks. Allowing the Dragon Monk to take their level 6 feat and have decent use out of it seems like an asset, not an issue.

I think it is optimized for monks, which is where the comparison should be. Bringing in other classes to the comparison just muddies things. It essentially means that the ONLY martial classes we need discuss are the rogue and fighter (and maybe ranger).

But I missed a key factor in Dragon Roar. A monk taking advantage of Dragon Roar IS hard to build. The sacrifices to get intimidation up are pretty much going to have to come from somewhere unpleasant. I still think it is functional but its a lot closer than I thought and it would fall outside of some definitions of functional.

SuperBidi wrote:


pauljathome wrote:
I've played a monk with decent charisma. Its quite playable. It DOES give up a little but its quite, quite functional.

Actually, you have first-hand experience. Was your character really strong, so strong that any improvement would have imbalanced the game?

To make it functional, did you jump through a few hoops? Did you manage to build a functional character mostly because of your system mastery or was it very easy and obvious to build?

Not very many hoops really. It was NOT a Dragon Monk, it was a Dex based monk using intimidate and Intimidating Prowress at level 6. Starting characteristics (level 1) were (IIRC) Str 14, Dex 18, Con 12, Wis 12, Int 8, Cha 14. Frilled Lizardfolk. Slightly lower defences and damage than I'd like.

I guess that is sort of using some hoops and system mastery (Frilled Lizardfolk). Didn't feel that way though since I pretty much STARTED with the Frilled Lizardfolk character.

Also was for PFS so functional has to be taken in that context.

Silver Crusade

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aobst128 wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
roquepo wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
It doesn't help that the example you chose (a dragon monk) is already pretty optimized and the end result of the suggested change is to make that dragon monk signficantly more powerful.

A bit of a tangent, but I would like to know whick Dragon monk builds are you refering to.

Unless you go Dragon Disciple or something similar you can't Afford to Boost STR/CON/WIS/CHA due to AC, and in that case, you are sacrificing your level 2 and 4 feats for a level 6 combo that in any way but mobility will be worse than any Fighter in full plate with a halberd and a bit of CHA

Good question. It wasn't my example, it was SuperBidi's.

I've been assuming it was just a Monk with Dragon Stance who wanted to also use Dragon Roar.

And I'd claim that is at least functional with cha 10, intimidating Prowress, expert intimidation, intimidation boosting item.

And you can easily afford Cha of 12 or 14 by level 5 if you want it. Yeah, something has to give but nothing that makes the character non functional.

I'll note that intimidating prowess only works for demoralize checks specifically.

Absolutely correct. I'd missed that (my monk didn't use Dragon Style). That does make it harder to build specifically a dragon monk with decent Dragon Roar. I was wrong on that. That was a poor decision on Paizo's part.

Silver Crusade

roquepo wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
It doesn't help that the example you chose (a dragon monk) is already pretty optimized and the end result of the suggested change is to make that dragon monk signficantly more powerful.

A bit of a tangent, but I would like to know whick Dragon monk builds are you refering to.

Unless you go Dragon Disciple or something similar you can't Afford to Boost STR/CON/WIS/CHA due to AC, and in that case, you are sacrificing your level 2 and 4 feats for a level 6 combo that in any way but mobility will be worse than any Fighter in full plate with a halberd and a bit of CHA

Good question. It wasn't my example, it was SuperBidi's.

I've been assuming it was just a Monk with Dragon Stance who wanted to also use Dragon Roar.

And I'd claim that is at least functional with cha 10, intimidating Prowress, expert intimidation, intimidation boosting item.

And you can easily afford Cha of 12 or 14 by level 5 if you want it. Yeah, something has to give but nothing that makes the character non functional.

Silver Crusade

aobst128 wrote:
Gorilla monk has similar issues with needing charisma for its 6th level feat.

I've played a monk with decent charisma. Its quite playable. It DOES give up a little but its quite, quite functional.

Silver Crusade

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SuperBidi wrote:

And on top of that completely missing the point as this whole discussion is about making non functional builds functional, optimized builds will not use it as they already maximize their save stats.

You might honestly see it that way but many of us don't.

It doesn't help that the example you chose (a dragon monk) is already pretty optimized and the end result of the suggested change is to make that dragon monk signficantly more powerful.

I can (and have) given you several ways to build a functional monk with high charisma. Functional, not completely optimal. Which makes me think that you have a blind spot with your motives. This does NOT seem to be about making a non functional build functional.

If I've missed an example of where this is necessary to make a non functional build functional (NOT optimal, functional) I apologize. Please post it again. But a Dragon Monk isn't that example.

Silver Crusade

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Given we're talking about Bulwark. I thought I'd mention the 10th level Sentinel feat Mighty Bulwark. Fixes those pesky problems with trip et. al.

Silver Crusade

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SuperBidi wrote:


The concept of this item is not to get more optimized characters but to remove one way of completely failing a character (there are few in PF2 and this one is treacherous as you may not expect at low level that not raising your saves makes your character unplayable at high level).

While I agree that it should probably be made clearer to newbies how important saves are it is the case that this has become pretty well known at this point. I think EVERY class guide I've read mentions it.

But yeah, ALL saves (and AC) ARE important in this game and that means that ALL characters need to worry about them to a significant extent. I completely agree with you on that.

But the game makes that very, very possible (almost trivial) for almost all characters. It really is only optimized characters that ALSO want to branch out from their core competency that are having an issue. Or, at least, so far I've yet to see an example to the contrary.

The example that YOU chose (Dragon Monk) is a good example of this. A Dragon Monk is pretty much optimized for damage while also having very good defences. Your problem is that it can't ALSO be very good at intimidate.

Now, if you want to play a monk who is slightly less damaging while still very good at intimidate that is trivial. Just take a stance that uses Dex, don't raise your Str as much, and you're golden. You do less damage and THAT is the tradeoff. Less damage for social skills. No Dragon Roar (I've already agreed that putting Dragon Roar on a monk who can't easily afford Charisma was arguably a poor decision. Or perhaps was deliberately done precisely to avoid your being able to make the monk you want to make)

What you can't currently do is to have
1) The most damaging Monk possible
2) The best defences consistent with that possible
3) A very good intimidate score (you can still have a decent intimidate).

That sure looks to me like you're complaining because you can't optimize your optimal monk even more.

And no, throwing a bit of money at things so that you can have your optimal monk (or very nearly) with a very good intimidate isn't a valid tradeoff.

I've played a monk with high Charisma (Monk/Bard with free archetype) and the action economy advantages that a monk gets make them VERY good intimidators. A Dragon Roar Monk with their D10 attack would definitely have been significantly more powerful than the one I played.

Silver Crusade

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SuperBidi wrote:


The concept of this item is not to get more optimized characters but to remove one way of completely failing a character (there are few in PF2 and this one is treacherous as you may not expect at low level that not raising your saves makes your character unplayable at high level).

While I agree that it should probably be made clearer to newbies how important saves are it is the case that this has become pretty well known at this point. I think EVERY class guide I've read mentions it.

But yeah, ALL saves (and AC) ARE important in this game and that means that ALL characters need to worry about them to a significant extent. I completely agree with you on that.

But the game makes that very, very possible (almost trivial) for almost all characters. It really is only optimized characters that ALSO want to branch out from their core competency that are having an issue. Or, at least, so far I've yet to see an example to the contrary.

The example that YOU chose (Dragon Monk) is a good example of this. A Dragon Monk is pretty much optimized for damage while also having very good defences. Your problem is that it can't ALSO be very good at intimidate.

Now, if you want to play a monk who is slightly less damaging while still very good at intimidate that is trivial. Just take a stance that uses Dex, don't raise your Str as much, and you're golden. You do less damage and THAT is the tradeoff. Less damage for social skills.

What you can't currently do is to have
1) The most damaging Monk possible
2) The best defences consistent with that possible
3) A very good intimidate score (you can still have a decent intimidate).

That sure looks to me like you're complaining because you can't optimize your optimal monk even more.

Silver Crusade

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Lets be clear. Bulwark comes at a significant price (for most characters)

1) Many (NOT all) characters have to invest in Str because they can't afford the penalty
2) It only is useful until such point as your expertise in non heavy armor increases to expert+.
3) It only affects some Reflex saving throws so a low Dex is STILL something of a handicap (completely eliminated with Mighty Bulwark).

The OP is asking for something BETTER than Bulwark.

Silver Crusade

dmerceless wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
In my opinion Bulwark wouldn't actually be necessary except for one key failing. It is the ONLY way to get useful heavy armor proficiency once a character gets expert proficiency in lower armor (level 13 for most non martials). If there was a general feat that gave expert proficiency in plate armor in that circumstance then I'd have no problem with Bulwark going away. It IS right at the edge of being too powerful.
I think you're mixing up Bulwark with Sentinel. Bulwark is an armor trait.

You're quite right. I'll go back and edit my answer.

Silver Crusade

dmerceless wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Amazed how many people want to vehemently punish low WIS or low CON characters but are completely fine with Bulwark for low DEX characters.

How do you justify this ?

Because it's how it's already designed and printed, unlike OP's suggestion, which is a change. You'd be surprised at how far people go to defend the status quo and not admit the current state of the game is not perfectly balanced.

I'm with you on this one, Bidi.

Bulwark is kind of necessary to allow low Dex fighters in heavy armor (very definitely a trope) to be practical.

The Sentinel archetype is also necessary due to one key failing. It is the ONLY way to get useful heavy armor proficiency once a character gets expert proficiency in lower armor (level 13 for most non martials). If there was a general feat that gave expert proficiency in plate armor in that circumstance then I'd have no problem with Sentinel going away. It IS right at the edge of being too powerful.

Silver Crusade

SuperBidi wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
Are you paying something for the ability to have Cha skills? Of COURSE you are. Its a tradeoff.

Not increasing your main attribute? Quite a tradeoff...

pauljathome wrote:
What is the alternative? You can play a Dragon Monk with high Charisma with NO meaningful tradeoffs? Seems unfair to me.

I was speaking of an item that is just giving you a low modifier, not a competitive one. On top of that you need one extra invested item and pay for it. So it's quite a tradeoff.

Also, why would a low Wisdom (for example) Monk would need a tradeoff when a low Intelligence Monk has no tradeoff besides a single Trained skill?

It's no tradeoff, it's just punishing some builds and not others.

You've deliberately chosen as your example a character that outdoes any other monk in base damage AND that needs to maximize Str partly as a counter to that maximal damage. Now you want to take that maximally damaging monk and make it still better.

Now, if you want to argue that its bad design that Dragon Roar needs Charisma and Dragon Stance is all about damage then I might agree.

But lets be honest here, you're NOT looking at viable here you're looking for optimal in more than one area.

Currently, a Dragon Monk is going to be something like
Str 18, Dex 16, Con 12, Wis 10 or 12, Int 10 or 8, Cha 10 or 12 depending on choices like ancestry.

They're going to take Intimidating Prowess for a sweet +1. +2 at level 10

Even if you insist on constantly raising Str, Dex, Con and Wis to keep maximizing your damage potential (again, remaining the MOST damaging monk) your intimidate hardly sucks. Yeah, you're a little behind a bard. But you have a lot better action economy.

With your proposed magic item your character will be BETTER than the bard at intimidating at most levels (that intimidating prowess is very good).

Silver Crusade

SuperBidi wrote:


So you can play an 8 Int Barbarian and it's fine, but you can't play an 8 Wis Barbarian without it being painful for the whole table. I find that annoying as I don't find that every Barbarian should be wise.

First, if you want to play a character who acts as if they have a low wisdom but still has good will saves then just buy up your wisdom and tell the table that you're going to play the character is if they have a low wisdom. I doubt anybody will mind. Well, most people HATE playing with Leroy Jenkins so they might mind :-). But not because your stats say that you're wise while you're playing unwise.

But I'm getting the impression that you just don't like tradeoffs. If you dump your Wisdom and raise your Charisma you're getting access to a whole slew of skills that are generally more combat useful than the Wisdom skills (intimidate rocks. Diplomacy and Bluff are useful. Innate spells rock). And you're trying to find a cheap way (an invested item is cheap) to just not make hard choices and tradeoffs, to have everything you want without a significant cost.

Now, if you're arguing that some stats are better than others for some characters then I agree. I'd like to see Int and Str matter more. But this really doesn't seem the way to address that issue.

Silver Crusade

SuperBidi wrote:


pauljathome wrote:
I have very little sympathy if you're claiming that your character concept NEEDS Str, Int AND Cha

And why?

You are speaking of mechanics, as in: No character mechanically needs Str, Int and Cha. But if you want it from a flavor perspective? Like if I want to play a Charismatic Dragon Monk?

Uh, a Dragon Monk doesn't need Int so hardly counts as a counter example to what I was saying.

But lets take a Dragon Monk. It has a D10 attack which means that it does fine damage if the Str isn't quite maximized. And as a Monk your AC is fine if not quite maximized.

So, its a quite viable character with (assume human for simplicity)
Str 18, Dex 16, Con 12, Wis 12, Int 10, Cha 10 at level 1. Or make it a Lizardfolk so you have Cha 12 and Int 8.

At level 5, raise Dex, Con, Wis, Cha
At level 10, raise Con, Wis, Cha

This seems quite viable to me. At level 10 you're 1 behind on to hit and damage.

Are you paying something for the ability to have Cha skills? Of COURSE you are. Its a tradeoff.

What is the alternative? You can play a Dragon Monk with high Charisma with NO meaningful tradeoffs? Seems unfair to me.

Silver Crusade

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I think that the issue that the OP is identifying is real. Saves matter a LOT in this game and as a result almost all characters max them out or come very close to maxing them out.

But I'm not sure that I see that as a problem. Almost all characters have the option of going into full plate (and possibly going into sentinel for the sweet, sweet Mighty Bulwark level 10 feat) which reduces the "mandatory" stats to two. And that should be enough for just about any build (I have very little sympathy if you're claiming that your character concept NEEDS Str, Int AND Cha). Spell casters can afford to take the Str penalties and just ignore Str, Str based martials are going to meet the requirements, Dex based martials don't find this an issue anyways.

Right now it can be a bit of a struggle to fit everything you want into your character but it is essentially always possible to get most of what you want unless your character concept is a "Do everything" kind of character.

PF2 is all about choices and tradeoffs. And that is a good thing.

All that said, I'd have to think much harder to see if I'd actually oppose a solution similar to a Sentinel. An archetype to allow you to get Wisdom or Fortitude saves higher. But I'm pretty sure that I'd want it to be at least that expensive, certainly not something you could buy for money or with general feats.

Silver Crusade

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Xethik wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
Xethik wrote:
The requirement on it is confirmed to be an error - or at the very least, you do not need to meet the requirement in order to maintain the stance.
While I agree that this is the only remotely sane interpretation, I wasn't aware that there had been any official confirmation of this. Do you happen to have a cite for that?

Logan Bonner covered it in a YouTube video series:

You can see it here.

Thank you

Silver Crusade

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Xethik wrote:
The requirement on it is confirmed to be an error - or at the very least, you do not need to meet the requirement in order to maintain the stance.

While I agree that this is the only remotely sane interpretation, I wasn't aware that there had been any official confirmation of this. Do you happen to have a cite for that?

Silver Crusade

rainzax wrote:

Bummer to hear about your AoA game.

pauljathome wrote:
One of the huge disadvantages to starting at level 2 is that it opens up all the archetypes. Suddenly the breadth of characters that one can create increases by a massive amount. Option paralysis becomes a very, very, very real problem, especially for new players.
Do you think this particular problem could be mitigated somewhat with liberal usage of Downtime Retraining?

Not really (maybe a touch). The problem is that there are just SO many archetype options and evaluating them takes time and expertise (for example, for a novice Champion Archetype probably looks better than Sentinel Archetype since it gives you more at lower levels. But Sentinel scales far better to higher levels)

Silver Crusade

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aobst128 wrote:
I don't think that a divide is inevitable with more thorough errata through online means. I doubt changes would create a fissure big enough that the physical copies become fossils. As long as they don't completely disregard reprints, It should be fine.

You're wrong. It is utterly inevitable.

I actually played 4th edition D&D for awhile and that is exactly what happened. Players had a choice. Use their physical rulebooks with whatever they considered the most important errata added in or use the online subscription rules (I forget what it was called back then). Every group made its own decision and stuck to it. The vast majority, at least locally, went with the online rules and the books were essentially only useful as door stops.

Silver Crusade

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nick1wasd wrote:
The changes that happen from starting with a level 1 character and starting with a level 2 character are:

That is only true if the players/GM want it to be true.

One of the huge advantages to starting at level 2 is that it opens up all the archetypes. Suddenly the breadth of characters that one can create increases by a massive amount

One of the huge disadvantages to starting at level 2 is that it opens up all the archetypes. Suddenly the breadth of characters that one can create increases by a massive amount. Option paralysis becomes a very, very, very real problem, especially for new players.

Silver Crusade

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rainzax wrote:
pauljathome wrote:

I'd urge you to reconsider your decision to not just have the characters be a level higher

1) A great many characters only really come on line at level 2 (eg, a character planning on getting heavy armor proficiency via an archetype, a martial/caster hybrid, etc) anyway so starting at level 2 greatly expands the range of decent characters. And for a casual player creating a level 2 character isn't much harder than creating a level 1 character

2) it is just such a simple and elegant solution to the problem. You don't have to do lots of work. you don't have to carefully calibrate things. It just works.

And yes, that is the voice of experience. I did exactly that with Edgewatch for a group new to PF2 and it worked very, very well with very little work on my part

How did this Campaign end, truly curious.

Level 21?

No. The group ultimately decided (in Book 4 IIRC) that PF2 just wasn't the game for them (mostly. Part of the problem was also some structural issues with this particular AP). But the decision to have them be a level higher than expected made getting through book 4 practical and possible. All of their issues with PF2 were significantly reduced by that decision.

Silver Crusade

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Harles wrote:

I guess I could write my own encounters for 1st level before starting the AP. I don't want to start them at 2nd level. They are barely confident in character creation, much less starting with two levels, a magic item shopping spree, presenting more decisions.

As the GM, the burden of presenting fair challenges is 100% on me.

Lots of 1st level adventures to steal as well. Just grab one or two introductory PFS things or some quests or the like.

Silver Crusade

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I'd urge you to reconsider your decision to not just have the characters be a level higher

1) A great many characters only really come on line at level 2 (eg, a character planning on getting heavy armor proficiency via an archetype, a martial/caster hybrid, etc) anyway so starting at level 2 greatly expands the range of decent characters. And for a casual player creating a level 2 character isn't much harder than creating a level 1 character

2) it is just such a simple and elegant solution to the problem. You don't have to do lots of work. you don't have to carefully calibrate things. It just works.

And yes, that is the voice of experience. I did exactly that with Edgewatch for a group new to PF2 and it worked very, very well with very little work on my part

Silver Crusade

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Here is the picture from the potus twitter feed

Alex is the one who is third from the right (wearing the red T shirt and a suit)

Silver Crusade

CaffeinatedNinja wrote:

The post core classes that have a choice between melee and ranged (Specifically talking about Magus, Investigator, and to a lesser extent Inventor) are all much much better served by range. It sadly isn't even a contest this is for multiple reasons.

I pretty much agree.

The investigator is almost a ranged only class. Not only is ranged much better than melee but a melee investigator is quite bad (its playable but definitely a bottom tier martial). Its close to the non viable line (considering only its ability in combat, it has a lot going on outside of combat)

While the ranged Magus is better than the melee Magus the melee Magus is still most definitely a viable character.

I haven't seen or played the inventor so I'm pretty much theory crafting when I say that it seems to support both melee and ranged options fairly well (at least when its Armor option gets to be the equivalent of plate mail)

Silver Crusade

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Squiggit wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
I don't think you can really fully evaluate how good a Players Guide is until you have either finished or at least read (GM only) the entire AP.

Sort of disagree with this sentiment. A player's guide should be aimed at helping a PC get in the door and get started with the adventure, but the adventure itself should take it from there.

Honestly the notion of a player's guide giving you advice on how to build your fresh level 1 character so they're ready for whatever happens in book 6 feels kind of wrong to me. Doing that negatively impacts the flow of the adventure itself, because you shouldn't be getting insight in advance to major plot twists and developments, imo.

A player's guide not preparing you for books 3-6 is not only fine, but arguably a good thing since it leaves room for growth and development.

I'm not asking for as much as you think I'm asking for. But some things you pretty much need to know about at character creation.

For example, if you're going to NEED good social skills to get through book 4 of the AP then I really hope that I get some warning. Because there is nothing I can do to make my Cha 8 Dwarf even approximate competence if I only find out at level 11. In PF1 I could suddenly throw massive resources at the problem (Cha headband, skill focus feat, lots of skill points) and do from hopeless to not all that bad over a level or so but I can't do that in PF2.

As another example, it would be nice if the Players Guide for an AP billed as concentrating on a circus pointed out that the circus is actually a quite minor part of the AP and almost completely just forms the backdrop of your adventures. That characters should be actively discouraged from spending too many resources on their circus abilities.

Silver Crusade

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I'm preparing to play Frozen Flame and I'll point out some things that I think the Players Guide did well and some it did poorly to illustrate what I want from a Players Guide.

Good:
It gives enough background that it lets me create a character that will fit. Most of this is reasonably obvious but spelling it out has value. It points out the way that the group is different than others in accepting a wider range of characters and that is very worthwhile (I can then decide HOW strange a character I want to propose).

Meh:
The backgrounds are all pretty boring. Oh, I can be a herder. Or a hunter. Would NEVER have occurred to me :-). Ex Crusader is about the only one that isn't 100% obvious and unnecessary.

Bad:
It hints that acquiring some gear will be difficult but that is all. Just hints. I have no clue if a character than intends to wear heavy armor (especially plate mail) is a possibility at all. But that is something I really want to know at character creation since it directly impacts how much I invest in dexterity, whether I go sword and board, etc. It also doesn't tell me how much downtime I have so I don't know if crafting my own armor is an option.

Yes, I an ask the GM but
a) That relies on the GM having read enough to know
b) The entire purpose of the Players Guide is to reduce/eliminate how much the players have to ask the GM about things.

At this point of time (character creation) I'd be giving it a C+ or a B-.

Silver Crusade

Verzen wrote:

"You gain a humanoid associate. It can be a goblin, elf, human or anyone with the humanoid trait. Due to your tutelage and watchful gaze, you permanently lose 1 of your actions. Your associate gains 2 actions to do with what it wants."

4th level feat: "Your associate gains a class and can be any class of your choice. Your associate gains all class features of that class at 1st level.

6th level feat: "Your associate gains a 1st or 2nd level class feat."

8th level feat: "Your associate gains a class feat at half your level in their chosen class."

I hope that you realize that this is SIGNIFICANTLY more powerful than a current animal companion is, at least assuming that they get scaling proficiencies and hit points (and overpowered at low levels and underpowered at higher levels if they don't).

AND significantly more powerful than a summoner.

I stand by my earlier statement. Balancing this will be very hard and starting from the Summoner is a LOT better starting point than starting from an animal companion. You have to give up as much as the summoner gives up for this to be balanced. If it is an archetype there are going to have to be at least 2 versions, 1 for martial and 1 for spell caster.

Silver Crusade

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SuperBidi wrote:


You're hard on it. It's the best Player's Guide I've ever read so far.

I don't think you can really fully evaluate how good a Players Guide is until you have either finished or at least read (GM only) the entire AP. Certainly the first 2 or 3 volumes in it (as there are often very significant tonal and mechanical shifts from volume to volume).

There have been guides in the past that led one to create characters that really were fairly poor fits for the AP. And that fact would often not be known until a fair bit through the AP

Silver Crusade

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quibblemuch wrote:
I'd say I'm over-thinking this, but these are EXACTLY the kind of questions my players will ask.

I've found that I can often answer these sorts of questions with

"Paizo" said in a dispirited kind of voice :-) :-)

Silver Crusade

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I think its more that in one letter he accidentally drops a clue to his identity and in the second letter he accidentally drops a DIFFERENT clue to his identity.

AEach alone isn't sufficient but together they're sufficient for the PCs to identify him.

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Sir Newt wrote:
I get that, but without any narrative reason that explains the tiny world, I'm worried my players will feel less like they're heros of a classic fable, and more like they're on a Wonderland drug trip, complete with a talking cat and a red queen.

Wow, sounds wonderful. Now I've GOT to play this.

Silver Crusade

Castilliano wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

You're using 2 INSTEAD of 1. The 1 is INCREASED to 2.

It's the only interpretation that makes any sense and accounts for both "instead" and "increase" being used in a correct and logical manner.

If it was meant to sum to 3, they wouldn't have needed to use the word "instead" at all.

That's untrue.

Source: Former English teacher, me.

I'm not following this discussion as I find it rather tedious so this is NOT supporting any particular interpretation.

But if you start arguing grammar then you've already lost. It doesn't matter at all what some former English teacher thinks something means after very carefully parsing the grammar. There is no reason to believe that the author was correct in their grammar and even less reason to believe that the reader is going to correctly analyze the grammar.

Parsing words this carefully is just a waste of time. And boring to boot. If you have to argue grammar at this length then the text is ambiguous. Note that and move on

Silver Crusade

keftiu wrote:


I’m not interested much at all in their mechanics; I like having a pre-established hook for each character, and that’s what they do. Outlaws of Alkenstar has Backgrounds that give everyone their own unique reason to hate the antagonists, and that’s worth more to me than any Skill Feat.

I just hope they learned from Crimson Throne and that antagonist survives the second session :-).

Silver Crusade

Its REALLY hard to get the cost of an intelligent sidekick right. And in this game where action economy is SO important it would just be harder.

About the only approach that I think would work would be a variation on the summoner chassis.

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keftiu wrote:
I 100% prefer characters tailored to an AP's theme and setting. My favorite part of each one is the unique Backgrounds in the Player's Guide!

I (again) find it varies a lot by AP. Sometimes the backgrounds will make me think of new and interesting concepts for my character, sometimes the backgrounds seem totally redundant or obvious.

In PF2 there is almost always absolutely no mechanical advantage to taking the AP backgrounds over the already existing ones. At one level I think thats good (it makes the flavour the only thing I really have to worry about), at another level I miss the "bribe" that PF1 AP backgrounds had to get the players to all select one :-). I mean, I'd take one without the bribe if one was interesting, but I still like the small power boost :-).

Have I mentioned that my Roleplaying Side and my Powergaming side both exist and sometimes are in conflict with each other? :-)

Silver Crusade

By the time that you're more or less casually using a 3rd level cosy cabin spell you probably have all sorts of counters if somebody tries to burn you out (and likely have lots of warning since the person on guard duty looking out the windows is likely to notice the brush being piled up).

If nothing else, you've got time to put on armor and throw haste before opening the door to do battle.

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One of my (minor) pet peeves is that various bits of the game (APs, PFS scenarios, etc) basically allow nature checks to accomplish pretty much exactly what is covered by Animal Empathy (or the ability to speak with animals) via diplomacy.

Makes it very hard to decide HOW I should build my "wants to play nice with animals" character. Do I rely on Nature or do I also have to invest in Charisma and diplomacy? The answer varies, sometimes within the same AP (I was sometimes using diplomacy and sometimes using nature in different books of Extinction Curse with the same GM. Not sure if that was the AP or the GM changing his mind)

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SuperBidi wrote:

I must admit, as a GM, I dislike the player's guides. They give very bad directions at what character you should play.

For example, if I take the Abomination Vaults one, there are 7 backgrounds in there, 2 are good fits for the campaign, 2 will have their moment, and the remaining 3 are bad fits for the campaign.
What's the point using the guide, then? I'm still wondering.

They can vary a lot.

Curse of the Crimson Throne was one of the worst. According to the boards, more than one group ended in book 1 when the PCs, all built to handle a specific bad guy, killed said bad guy in the first adventure. The PCs looked at each other, went "have a nice life", and wandered off.

Ruins of Azlant, on the other hand, I thought did a reasonable job of setting out expectations and the backgrounds were reasonable entry points.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

DrakeRoberts wrote:


I don’t want to go off-rails here, but let’s leave the maligning of other systems out of this please? !

I don't think anybody was intending to malign other systems. I think it is fair and truthful to point out that different games consider different types of behaviour to be acceptable. PvP (or anything that comes very close to it) is NOT acceptable in PFS games. That doesn't mean its bad or poor roleplaying or anything of the sort.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:


Exactly! I'm upfront with this

That changes everything.

If you want to complete a campaign I'd advise you to do one of the following, with the first being much easier to do

1) Play with various groups in one off or short adventures. PFS is a good tool for this but there are others. Look for people playing a module. Use this to hone your style and to try and find people with an approach to the game compatible to yours. Basically, make gaming friends. This can be done on line or it can be done in person if there are local options. Only AFTER you've got to know some people should you try and get into an AP. Running or playing an AP is a huge commitment, people don't want to do that with strangers very much

Different groups and people have different styles. In order to have fun AND to have them want to play with you you need to find a group with a style compatible with yours. The above is a good way of eventually finding such a group

2) Sometimes an existing group will get a vacancy (somebody moved, had a kid, whatever) and be looking to fill a spot. Take that spot. You'll probably be limited in character options and even in gaming style (you'll be adjusting to their style far more than them adjusting to your style) but if the styles are close enough it can work out well.

Silver Crusade

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Not to mention that this particular sword (ovinrbaane, ennemy of all ennemies if memory serves) is encouraged to be modified from a bastard sword to any other weapon one of the PC's use by the AP I think, so a good gm will modify.
No, Ovinrbaane is a greatsword, I was thinking of Briar. But the same principle applies: the less you have to ask of the GM the better, because they already are being pretty generous by running the game for you in the first place, running a game is a lot of hard work and organization and stress, and placing even more burdens on them with additional requests is selfish and rude.

Speaking as a GM, no. Every other GM I've ever discussed this with would agree. Reading stuff before hand is unacceptable.

I guess I should add that there is one HUGE exception to that. As long as you tell the GM ahead of time (way ahead of time if possible) that you have run, played or read something then they'll quite possibly be ok with it. They can change things, they can keep an eye on whether they think that you're consciously or unconsciously using information you shouldn't, etc.

Or they can just say no.

But it is THEIR decision and not yours.

Silver Crusade

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

The player's guides don't tell you things like "make sure at least ONE member of the party is some form of Chaotic and can use a bastard sword as a weapon, or the big plot-important sword in book 5 will be useless." or "this AP features a lot of tiefling enemies, so playing a tiefling yourself will allow them to act as foils to you for more drama."

They only give you the information to START, not to plan out your entire dramatic arc so it's consistent and meshes well with the plot of the AP. My own writing's terrible and juvenile, so I need to use Paizo's as a crutch.

You need to be aware that many (almost certainly most, quite likely nearly all) people consider it cheating for a player to read the AP/Scenario/Module before playing it. The fact that you're publicly admitting that you do this makes me believe that you are unaware of this.

Yeah, it lets you create the perfect character. But that is the point. You should NOT be able to create the perfect character. And a huge part of the fun for the entire table is seeing the unexpected, trying to overcome the unknown, taking characters that are NOT perfectly fitted to the challenge and overcoming it anyway.

The Players Guides are an attempt to give the player enough information to come up with a good thematic fit while NOT spoiling the fun. While they're not perfect they generally do a reasonable job. Limiting yourself to them, to the public blurbs and to any GM advice is pretty much what you're expected to do.

Silver Crusade

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I'm going to agree with the other posters. All of those concepts sound fine to me. Some are pretty classic.

I'd suggest just building one or two of them and trying them out in PFS (still lots of online games available if there aren't any local games) and see how they work. That way there isn't too much investment on your part and you can easily switch if the character isn't doing what you want it to.

One downside of PFS is that you'll be starting at level 1 but in all honesty that is the best place to start with a new game system anyway. Things are simpler and generally more forgiving there. And it only takes 3 sessions to get to level 2 :-).

Elf with the Ancient heritage even lets you play a dual classed character from level 1. So you wanna play a flurrying cleric you can do so although it will have to be an elf :-(

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