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****** Pathfinder Society GM. Starfinder Society GM. 5,062 posts (9,087 including aliases). 60 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 83 Organized Play characters. 36 aliases.


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Silver Crusade

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This point has probably already been made but I only dip into this thread from time to time as I mostly find it fairly tedious.

Let us assume that Wish said ONLY the following

A wish spell can produce any one of the following effects.
1) Duplicate any arcane spell of 9th level or lower.
2) Duplicate any non-arcane spell of 7th level or lower..
3) Reverse certain effects that refer to the wish spell

Would people still take that as a 10th level spell on a normal "I don't have particular knowledge as to what I'm facing" adventurer day?

I know that I would without hesitation. The incredible flexibility of that is more than worth the 10th level spell slot to me.

Anybody who would should pretty much drop the "But what does the other text accomplish then?" argument. As they agree its a perfectly good 10th level spell WITHOUT that text.

Silver Crusade

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I think I'm getting a little confused in this argument.

Surely we all agree that
1) A wish can cast a meteor swarm. Its a level 9 spell
2) A spell where you get to choose the energy type when you cast it is more powerful than the identical spell with a fixed energy type. Note, I'm NOT saying how much more powerful, just that it is more powerful. So, a meteor swarm of varying energy types is more powerful than a meteor swarm. Maybe a lot more powerful, maybe slightly more powerful, but it is absolutely unequivocably inarguably more powerful.

So, if we agree with both of the above then what is the argument? At this point it is clearly a GM call whether it is SUFFICIENTLY more powerful to not be allowed. Who else can possibly make that judgement? Does anybody actually disagree with this?

As a (silly) couple of counterexamples, lets say that you wanted to use a wish to cast a Meteor Swarm that, in the event that the meteor swarm rolled absolute maximum damage, did one entire extra hit point of damage to one specific target for <in character reasons>. Again, clearly and inarguably this is more powerful than a Meteor Swarm. But it is such a tiny, tiny power up that most GMs would allow it. Or you want to cast a Meteor Swarm that does double damage. Clearly significantly more powerful and would be disallowed by most GMs. But in both cases its the GMs call. Who else can possibly decide?

So, clearly GM call whether cold Meteor Swarm is within bounds for a wish.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

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This particular ritual really should be made available to players somehow. As Nefreet says, its just too adorable to not be allowed somehow. Toss in some cost (ACP, money, whatever) if you need to in order to keep things balanced but allow it.

Silver Crusade

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SuperBidi wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
^^ Hi!^^

I have the impression that the concept of "pushing a houserule to the GM" is subtle to most players when, for GMs, it's something you pretty much feel even if you don't necessarily know what words to put on it.

The most common example is with skill checks. Like:
GM: The door is stuck, you can try to force it open with an Athletics check.
Player: Can I use Thievery instead?

God I dislike that. Because the only thing I hear is: I want to use my bigger bonus, please please please please!!!!!

I totally and utterly understand where you're coming from but this is one of those places where different people have different tastes.

As a GM I like it when a player comes up with alternate suggestions. Makes my job easier. Now, I DO want them to be polite about it "Perhaps we could use a meteor swarm that does cold damage for the wish?" AND I INSIST that they accept my "no, thats too powerful, just use a level 9 cone of cold" answer.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Silver Crusade

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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

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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

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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)

Silver Crusade

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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

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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 :-(

Silver Crusade

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Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
pauljathome wrote:


But we just had a TPK at level 20 where one significant element (NOT the only one, but definitely a contributing factor) was the Marilith Demon with her essentially infinite number of AoOs. They CAN matter. A lot.
And it can, somewhat easily be shut down with a 2nd level hideous laughter. (Note: you can prevent an enemy from using aoo's with this spell even if they succeed at the saving throw.

Not when your spellcasters are in range of the Marilith and she crits you it can't :-(. Which she is quite likely to do against a caster. Another of the factors in the fight was that we had very little room to manuever.

And the Marilith was one of the mooks in the encounter :-(. Suggesting that we spend a PCs action to try and reduce the effectiveness of one of the mooks AoOs is kinda making my point that AoO's still very definitely matter

Silver Crusade

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Gortle wrote:
Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
I find the paranoia around aoo's a little unfounded. Their frequency is under 50% of the time. AND with the options available to either not provoke or preventing a creature from aoo'ing, it is nearly a non problem.
The actual number is somewhere around 15%.

I find that, in practice, it varies a lot by level. By the time you get to level 15+ its a LOT higher than 15% in the published adventures I've played in.

Quote:


Worrying about AoO is hangover thinking from other game systems.

I mostly agree with this. Its something to take into consideration but its not something to obsess about.

But we just had a TPK at level 20 where one significant element (NOT the only one, but definitely a contributing factor) was the Marilith Demon with her essentially infinite number of AoOs. They CAN matter. A lot.

Silver Crusade

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Old_Man_Robot wrote:
Generally, when we accept a limitation or a restriction, we expect there to be a payoff or reward for doing so. A drop in power here, so we can get a boost in power there. However, with PF2 being so narrow, and the guidelines for power being somewhat harshly defined, there isn't much point in accept any loss of power because the rewards for doing so can't surpass characters who didn't do anything.

I pretty strongly disagree with your basic argument.

For everybody who has been in a game where one character was completely overshadowing other characters OR in a game where the math completely broke down and the characters were either ROTFLstomping AND/OR constantly TPKING the payoff for the limitations on power is clear cut. For a great many people the game is a lot more fun when it is more balanced (both intra party and between the party and the world).

And in PF2 I'm CONSTANTLY making decisions about tradeoffs. I'm deciding to trade a bit of martial strength to get some casting ability, or deciding that my desire to be able to contribute to social conversations is worth taking a hit in my purely combat abilities. The tradeoffs are much more real in PF2 than in PF1 (I haven't played enough 5th edition to have a really informed opinion of it) because in PF2 you can NOT do everything whereas in PF1 past the early levels your wizard or druid or cleric really COULD just about do anything and everything.

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Sanityfaerie wrote:

So, yeah. You do need the optimization basics. That basically consists of...

Step 1: Pick a class.
Step 2: Figure out which stat is going to be your primary attack stat. Arrange to have an 18 in that stat if you can, or a 16 if you cannot (for example, you're an alchemist or an inventor and your class simply doesn't offer a boost to your chosen attack stat).

There is no step 3. There's lots of other stuff that you can do that will help, but none of it's mandatory, and at least half of it will come from just picking stuff that makes sense or looks cool or seems to fit.

That will bring you to the lowish end of viable. But if you want to be "fine" there is a little more to it than that :-). Largely class specific stuff like

if you're playing a rogue make sure you have a plan to reliably get sneak attack and the abilities to enact that plan. Note that may be as simple as making sure you have melee flank buddies who are willing to set up flanks for you

If you're a melee martial make absolutely sure your speed is at least 20 feet a round and have a plan for getting it up soonish (although access to sudden charge or something similar reduces the need for this movement is still important)

Do NOT dump either Con or Wis. Do NOT dump Dex unless Plate Mail is an option.

Have a plan for how you're going to contribute in combat. A plan that
1) recognizes that you'll often have to move
2) hopefully makes better use of your third action than swinging looking for a 20

Have a plan for how you're going to contribute out of combat.

Recognize that the plans above will NOT always work and, to the extent possible, be prepared with alternatives so you can at least do SOMETHING. At the very least be mentally ready to change but hopefully be able to do SOMETHING at melee range AND at range regardless of your character. Even wizards will sometimes wade into melee with Produce Flame :-).

Silver Crusade

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:


I'd be FINE with just "fine" instead of "perfect" but the responses I've gotten when I present my ideas is that those are the same thing. You have to be perfect in order to just be fine

Those responses are just wrong, at least for most groups.

You mention martial/caster multiclasses in your original post.

What exactly do you see the problems with a sorcerer/fighter, a fighter/sorcerer, or a magus? All of those are fine with them all having a different emphasis on spells and blades.

What is wrong with a druid with a sword? He won't be doing quite as well as a shapeshifting druid in terms of melee damage but to counter that he can still cast spells and NOT lose 2 actions and a focus point to shapechange. A character throwing tempest surge or electric arc while hitting with his pointy stick is doing fine for damage and that is using absolutely NO resources at all. And the character isn't even that MAD since he only needs 4 stats

Now, if you want a character who simultaneously does only slightly less damage than a fighter, is only slightly less robust than a paladin, and only has a little less magic available then a wizard then you are right, you can NOT make that character in 2e. That is by design and most of us playing 2E think it a very, very good thing.

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AceofMoxen wrote:
The undershooting on powerlevel is fine in PFS and maybe in home games, but The APs (at least Age of Ashes and Extinction curse) are too hard. A party needs to optimize to get through an AP, and that feels bad.

An easy solution to this is to just buff the PCs a little.

Maybe give them Free Archetype.

With inexperienced players, have their characters be a level higher than they "should" be.

The entire group being weak is easy to solve

Silver Crusade

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CaffeinatedNinja wrote:


Melee magus? Maybe a 3-4.

I'm playing one in Ruby Phoenix and would strongly disagree with that (for level 10+ at least). He gets his spell strike off pretty much every other round and so isn't all that consistent in his damage. But its a fair bit of damage when it works, even just using a cantrip.

And you have to factor in his AoE attacks 4 times a day. They're not his bread and butter so he has to choose to use them wisely but its hard to argue with doing 100 or 200 points of damage in a round.

Toss in the utility stuff he has and the benefits of having a high intelligence and I'm quite happy with his overall contribution to the party.

Yeah, a ranged magus would be more powerful. But I personally find them to be very, very boring. A melee magus is good enough AND fun to play.

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SuperBidi wrote:


I don't get it, because it's the exact opposite. Outside Healing Font, the Cleric is just a prepared divine caster with meh focus spells and nearly no access to out-of-tradition spells (you get your deities spells, but it's rare to have good deity's spells as you already need to check a lot of boxes between font, alignment and domains).

If you look carefully enough this just isn't true. To take 2 of my actual characters:

A cleric of Sarenrae makes a pretty decent blasty sort (fire ray focus spell, fireball blasty spell)

A cleric of Nalinvati gets access to the SUPERB draconic barrage focus spell, lightning bolt for blasting, and several interesting utility spells (invisibility, charm, contingency, etc).

You can build quite a few fun, interesting, versatile and reasonably powerful cleric characters.

They're wonderful for PFS where the ability to fill one of 2 or 3 different roles with the same character is huge. They're also great for campaigns where you can build a character focused on the particular campaign (my cleric of Sarenrae was very, very useful in the undead heavy Abomination Vaults AP. Faerie fire may be boring but it saved our asses lots of times :-). And AoE against undead can rock)

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I think that, by and large, Paizo is doing an EXCELLENT job of keeping things balanced between the old classes and the new classes. Oh, I have nits to pick here and there but they're nits.

I think that the new classes are intentionally kept to a power level slightly lower than the STRONGEST of the CRB classes and this is fine with me. But I strongly disagree with the assertion that they're less than the mildest options in the CRB.

But mostly the new classes go in different directions and explore different character types. They make direct comparisons hard to make. All the classes sometimes shine and almost all are fun to play if you embrace the style of play the class expects. And they're all within sufficiently small differences in power that player decisions, pure luck, details of the campaign etc are almost certainly more important than the mechanics baked into the class itself.

Just look at all the discussions here of the form "A is broken in how weak/strong it is" followed by people disagreeing and thinking that A is just fine, if anything a little too strong/weak. Those are good evidence that things are pretty much balanced and its largely individual player preferences that are deciding which is "better".

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The Raven Black wrote:

What is the rest of the party ?

I would advise playing a Starlit Span Magus with a shortbow, as I feel it is the most simple Magus build to play and a pretty fun and powerful one at that.

But it means you're not on the frontline.

I would definitely agree with this. You start with a character who has basically one trick (2 action spellstrike with arrow and gouging claw cantrip, 3rd action regain spellstrike) but its a GOOD trick. You then start to learn how to take better advantage of the character and do some other interesting things.

Stats at Level 5 should be something like
Str 14, Dex 18. Con 12, Int 18, Wis 14, Cha 10

Grab a +1 striking shortbow, a +1 shortsword so you have a melee backup weapon.

Concentrate on Dex and Int based skills.

To add a second set of tricks, take something like Lightning Bolt and Fireball as your level 3 spells and sudden bolt as your level 2 spells.

Take starlit eyes as your level 4 feat.

The rest (skill feats, other class feats, etc) take whatever you fancy.

An interesting alternative would be to take the archer archetype at level 2, planning on taking Advanced Bow Training at level 6. Complete waste of a feat right now (archer archetype gives you nothing) but, at level 6, lets you use a better bow (either a Hornbow OR a Daikyu). But before you do that check with your GM to make sure he is ok with that as both of those weapons are also uncommon and so need GM buy in.

Your basic plan is
Round 1 : enter arcane stance, spellstrike with your bow
Round 2 onwards : Regain spellstrike, spellstrike

Occasionally you'll have to move and lose spellstrike.

If you see a really good opportunity, throw a fireball or lightning bolt.

Cantrips - Electric arc, gouging claw, shield, rest up to you

Pretty much done.

Silver Crusade

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Blake's Tiger wrote:
Robinhood was used as the archetypical Chaotic Good example.

I still remember a discussion quite awhile back (decades at least) as to the alignment of Robin Hood.

People defended EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE 9 alignments. More than one person for every aiignment.

I think this is a mugs game. Peoples view of alignment vary too much and peoples view of a fictional character's personality also vary too much (ESPECIALLY for any character that has been represented in multiple media by multiple creators over time).

And lets face it, any remotely two dimensional character is NOT going to fit easily into the alignment straight jacket. Alignments are just way, way, way too confining for any character with any pretensions to being realistic.

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Its actually not THAT bad in my opinion

I play with one GM who had ruled this way in the past (the rules are ambiguous). With that GM. my corgi familiar took extra speed instead of independent.

While extra speed is NOT as useful as the free action movement having (essentially) a move speed of 80 once a round is still pretty darn nice and very much worth the cost of the ancestry feat.

Silver Crusade

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Ravingdork wrote:


Are the days where high level heroes and foes were the rare exception long gone? Is every barber, chef, and midwife now capable of challenging the PCs at all levels just because Paizo wills it?

If we're talking about published Paizo adventures then I think it varies a huge amount.

By the end of Age of Ashes it was kind of a mix. On the one hand, the city guard were something like 17th level NPCs (admittedly in a place where it made sense that they'd be at least pretty high level). On the other hand, a monk PC headlocked the Avatar of a bloody GOD and a different PC (a fighter :-)) outargued a Golden Dragon on the fine points of Arcana and both of those ARE pretty darn epic.

Agents of Edgewatch definitely feels not particularly heroic to me (I'm the GM). We're in the final book and while everything is scaled to the characters level it kinda feels like pretty much the identical story could have been told with the characters 5 levels lower.

On the lower end of the scale, Abomination Vaults felt like we went from L1 to L10 and became city saving heroes influencing the country we're in.

But I think this is also true of PF1. While I loved Curse of the Crimson Throne I think the end could easily have been done with characters and adversaries 5 levels lower. War for the Crown would have benefitted if the first four books were stretched into 6 books while keeping the maximum levels down in the low teens.

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