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Cyouni wrote:
Look, I'm tired of having level 15 characters that can only spot an avalanche when it's on top of them. (This is literally something that happened in a game I was in.)

How? This sounds like there were either extenuating circumstances or you had a jerk GM. Anything in plain sight doesn't require a Perception Check to notice, and given that the roar of an avalanche is louder than a DC 0 conversation, your players should have heard it coming.

I'm tired of level 15 characters that drown in a calm pond because they're wearing armour and haven't put ranks into Swim.

Then put ranks in swim. I know, PF1 doesn't give nearly enough Skill Points to certain classes, but if your character NEVER decided to get any training in swimming, they would obviously drown.

I'm tired of level 15 characters that are stymied by a small cliff because they didn't explicitly plan around climbing.

Grappling hook + knotted rope. DC 5 Climb Check. Climbing gear is also trivially cheap at level 15. Complaining that your level 15s are stopped by a cliff is like claiming you can't have a picnic because you didn't bring food.


The sheer amount of incompetence automatically assumed in PF1 for high levels is aggravating, in that you're never going to succeed in a thing which you haven't invested half your life in. The average level 15 fighter will know absolutely nothing about the world, have no idea what he's been fighting for 15 levels (even level 3 things can't be identified), can only do one of climb/swim/jump, and shouldn't ever waste their time with anything social.

That's not remotely interesting as a high level character.

This is where I have an issue with PF1. You don't get near enough skill points, and the game incentivizes putting all of your points into a few skills. This could be easily fixed by making 4+INT mod the minimum skill points for characters and/or consolidating the skill list. There is no need to make everyone Mary Sues/Marty Stus at high level.

The way I understand it is that AoOs were removed because they bogged down combat.

I also understand that they were added to the game (D&D) originally because they kept PCs/NPCs from doing stuff that would be stupid "IRL".

It is ultimately going to come down to what kind of players you have.

One side is going to want to be able to do whatever their character could reasonably do, rules be damned.

The other is going to want to play 100% RAW.

(Then there is the small number of players that want both, depending on if it benefits their character or not. My advice is to not play with these players.)

Personally, I like the idea that you get to thwack someone who tries to wave their arms while speaking an incantation for 2/3rds of their 6 second turn while standing next to you.

I have also never had trouble with AoOs bogging down my game, so my solution is simple: I play PF1.

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HWalsh wrote:

Level 9, -1 for 8 Cha, -4 Untrained - He would have a +3. In order to make a trivial level 0 check he'd need a natural 6.

9 (level) -1 (CHA) -4 (Untrained) = 4, not 3.

The only reason to hate +level is to penalize non-int classes or classes with low skills.

Or the stated issue of "being good at everything". Cherry picking one specific instance at a particular level, then claiming it works the same in PF1 does not prove your point.


I had enough of that in PF1 when PFS Bards literally told my Paladin, who invested 1/3 of all of his skill points, a feat, and an item into ONE SKILL, (diplomacy) because his +24 wasn't needed when they had a +56, that he should sit down and shut up.

I had enough of being told, "No, you need acrobatics to jump this 5 foot hole, even though you're level 11 and can bench press a Buick you can't do this."

Aside from your issue being jerk players, have you ever thought that maybe some of those random bonuses that allow bards to have +56 to Diplomacy might be the problem?

I'll agree that nearly everyone needed more Skill Points in PF1, and that PF1 (and 3.5) does a terrible job when it comes to making everyone max out one or two skills, as opposed to branching out and having more well rounded skills, but changing the incentive is MUCH preferable to making everyone Jacks of all Trades and masters of a few others.

I'm also interested in how someone get's a +56 to Diplomacy at any level allowed in PFS. I hope that the players know that versatile performance does NOT stack with any skill points you have invested in that skill.

The final thing I'll add is that I wonder how often +56 to a skill check is necessary? I'm willing to bet that, 99/100 times, they completely overkill any DC they roll against. This means all of those extra points are worthless. When you get a group that realizes this, the game plays a LOT differently. (Although, at high levels, Bards don't really have a choice but to have really good skills, due to versatile performance.)

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As much as I liked the +10/-10 system, I think it is causing more problems than it is solving. If I can't stack bonuses or penalties because the +10/-10 system makes them too powerful, then I don't want the +10/-10 system.

(The other issue is that the game is balanced around coin flip probabilities AND you are expected to max out certain aspects of your character to achieve this probability.)

PF1 DOES have issues with too many stacking bonuses, but a list of patch notes banning problem features would have been a heck of a lot better than what PF2 is trying to do now.

I LIKE the idea that you can "over specialize" in one area at the cost of other areas (even though there usually wasn't much of a cost in PF1).

A person who maximizes their attack rolls should be rewarded by hitting more often (>>>>50%) and should have to pay for it by having lower statistics in other areas. (Maybe his AC is low and he get's hit often, or he has bad saves and fails saving throws more often, or he has low HP, or he's allergic to magic.)

Yes, there may be situations where one character can't fail and another can't succeed, but that should come down to being the player's fault for dumping a stat.

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Just looked it up. Dropping a SINGLE item is a Reaction, so you can only drop either the flint or the steel in one turn, since you only get one Reaction per turn.

Quick Draw lets you draw a weapon and strike with it as part of one action.

So, to fix my example:

You drop the flint (Reaction), move 5 feet with the Step Action, then draw a weapon and attack with the Quick Draw Action, then Strike as a bonus action via Speed, and now you are holding a piece of steel and a weapon and have NO reactions until next turn.

EDIT: Miscounted the actions. You can Strike once more. So there's 3 attacks, not just 2.

EDIT 2: Never mind. "Free" actions are still a thing, so the correct sequence of events is:

1) Trigger - Turn starts - Drop flint as a Free Action.
2) Take Step Action - Trigger - Drop steel as a Free Action.
3) Quick Draw Action - attack
4) Quick Draw Action - attack
5) Strike as a Bonus Action due to Speed.

So you can drop both items, then draw both weapons, attacking 3 times in total.

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I'll agree that the issue with the 3 action economy is that formerly "free" actions now cost a 3rd of your turn.

While this is a very specific scenario, imagine a level 20 TWF Ranger with speed weapons being caught trying to light a campfire by an enemy that is 5 feet away.

In PF1, you drop the flint and steel(free action), draw your weapons(free action), take a 5 foot step(free action) and attack the monster 9 times.

In PF2, you drop the flint, then the steel, then draw one weapon...and that's your turn. (You could theoretically throw your one weapon at the enemy, because of how speed works.) There is also no way in hell you are getting 9 attacks in one turn.

More realistically, situations where you want to take a hand off of a two handed weapon to drink a potion and be ready for combat next turn are somewhat common, yet not doable without eating half your turn either way.

In PF1, you would have to take your whole turn to draw and drink a potion (without specific feats), but you could also move your speed at the same time.

In PF2, you have to let go of your greatsword(I think this is free), pull out the potion, uncork it, drink it, drop the vial, then put you hand back on the sword.

On the topic of the +/-10 crit system, it DOES cause more problems than it solves. It's a cool mechanic, that would break the game if it came up too often, so the game has been designed around keeping it from rarely coming up(at least in the party's favor). It's existence REQUIRES the bounded accuracy design, which stifles creativity, and prevents characters from feeling special.

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I like the idea of extra damage dice from weapons being based on proficiency. You are more skilled at hitting weak points or making good strikes, therefore, you deal more damage per strike.

Theoretically, a level 1 PC could happen upon a Legendary +5 sword that deals 6d8s and grants them a +3 to hit, and curb stomp everything until level 15 or so. That shouldn't happen.

Magic weapons should do stuff like extra damage to dragons, deal extra fire damage, shoot laser beams, etc.

Stat boosting items are a hard one. On the one hand, they are genre defining tropes, but on the other hand, their existence effects the balance of the game.

If you balance the game around someone not having a stat boosting item, then those with them are going to be OP. The other way around, you have to have them, or you fall behind.

5e "fixed" this by making such items effectively replace your current attribute. A Belt of Giant's STR on an 18 STR fighter, gives him 19 STR. It also gives the 8 STR wizard 19 STR. And the 20 STR barbarian doesn't benefit from it at all.

Both solutions have issues.

Perhaps having such items have daily uses(yuck), or limited applications would help?

The Power Bracer in Legend of Zelda only affects lifting strength, for example.

The last option I can think of is to have such "Big 3/6" items require an "attunement slot" that must be purchased with a feat. Give everyone a free slot to start with, so they can equip the first cool item they find, but if they want to be a walking magic item mech suit, they can burn feats to do so. This trades power for versatility.

Yes, you will be above the curve in that particular area (assuming the item isn't compensating for a lack of power in that area) but you will have given up a significant resource to get there.

Just my thoughts.

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As I see it, these are the problems.

1) Math is so tight that there isn't room for hyper specialization.

2) Math is based on the idea that you have a 50% chance of success vs a level appropriate challenge if and only if you have every single feat, skill increase, magic item, etc. available.

3) The math just "feels" bad. It feels like an MMO on paper. It feels like a treadmill. It feels bad to have to buy the same kit as everyone else just to be able to have fun.

The problem with 3.P was that bonuses could get WAY out of hand WAY too easily. A combination of reigning in how high stuff could get, along with some for of increasing cost to stacking bonuses that high would have probably fixed the problem.

Also, it is important to LET people still build their "hyper-specialized" characters that curb stomp on a particular check. People LIKE playing characters like that. Just make them pay for it in other ways.

Finally, don't FORCE people to use a magic item just to be good at something. It trivializes magic items and makes them not magical anymore. It also adds to the treadmill feel.

"Well, I got to go get a new sword. This one just won't cut it anymore. Goodbye, Excalibur, we had some good times. Hello Excalibur +1!"

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The Dragonlance is a powerful magic weapon whose design is meant to fell powerful beasts known as Dragons.

Why can't this item just do more damage to dragons? Why does it have to make you super powerful in the process?

Valor, a mystical suit of armor worn by Arkaine, a hero of light, entombed so that a true successor may carry on the legacy.

I'm unfamiliar with the powers of this item, but it could easily just have a flavorful ability that is useful, but doesn't make your character statistically better. Perhaps X times per day, it heals your wounds, or it nullifies a hit/crit?

The Holy Avenger is a consecrated blade of penultimate divinity (although not so much in this edition), wielded by paragons of law and good.

Why not just have the sword deal extra damage to evil things? Why have it grant a general bonus to all attacks and damage?

I like that the Advanced and Greater Bloodline Powers are optional.

Now if we can get the first one optional too, I can finally play a sorcerer that isn't a freak of nature.

RizzotheRat wrote:

I’ve been playing 3/3.5/Pathfinder since the 3rd Edition came out. I started with 1st Ed aged 6. I guess this makes me old! Played my first Playtest chapter today. Initial impressions -

I liked:

* the three action economy. No more swift/move/standard is a huge improvement

* New skills list. More than enough.

* AOO isn’t automatic. This frees up the “board” a lot.

* AC increases as level increases. Your BAB does, why shouldn’t your ability not to get hit?

Things to work out:

* the transition from exploratory to encounter mode is not clear. Not surprise round!

* Resonance wasn’t well understood when I was playing

* spell points seems like the wrong name for this counter

Overall, really enjoyed it and it still felt like Pathfinder to me.

Is it weird that I feel almost the complete opposite way?

I dislike the new action economy, mainly because "Free Actions" are now Actions.

In PF1, you could drop both items you are holding, draw two weapons, take a 5 foot step, and attack 7 times in one turn.

In PF2, that would take 12 actions, or 4 turns.

I'm on board with the skills, but the proficiency system doesn't put enough weight on your character's talent or training, than it does their level.

I LIKE AOO. I LIKE that you can get punished for doing stupid stuff in game, and that getting cornered means you are in trouble. I think it's dumb that an enemy can drink a potion next to the cleric, and he can't do anything about it, because he lacks the skill to thunk him with his mace.

I dislike +level to everything. BAB only equaled your level if you were a full BAB class, it was a coincidence.

I LIKE Resonance, I just think it needs some tweaks.

Spell Points could use a new name. Something like Resonance! Because you shouldn't have to manage 3 different pools of supernatural power.

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Voss wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
For Potions, sure. For Wands and Scrolls though?
I see no problem with insisting magic takes a physical toll on you when it comes from outside of oneself.
It seems an inherent contradiction to me. If it comes from outside, there isn't any reason for it not to be free. Nothing suggests the user is powering the scroll or the potion in any way at all.

Nothing says the opposite either. Potions could be alchemical substances that react with Resonance/Life Force to produce an effect. Scrolls could be 99% complete spells that need a little more energy from you to work. Wands could be magical devices that turn Resonance/Life Force into spell effects.

It makes as much sense as insisting someone has to internally create calories to gain calories from drinking a soda.

I suppose you'll say that you can drink 1000 sodas in one sitting. I mean, it's not like you have to burn calories to take in calories, there should be nothing stopping you from drinking 1000 sodas.

Or maybe it's the idea that your body can only take so much outside food/power/etc. before your body says "no more", or it doesn't do you any good, or it starts causing complications.

It's a two prong issue. Mechanically, without something like Resonance, it is too easy to for a mid level character to buy a bunch of low level wands/potions/etc. and never have to worry about getting hurt, so long as you don't die before you get to your magic first aid kit.

In game, people have preconceived notions that these items supply their own energy and just work.

The easy solution is to clarify, "no, potions/scrolls/wands don't just work. You have to supply outside energy to make them work."

This would explain why there isn't universal magical healthcare in Golarion and why adventurers supposedly actually die.

There isn't a single swords and sorcery fantasy genre, where the heroes run around with a keg of healing potion and a dozen wands of healing. (Before you say DnD/Pathfinder, note that in the books written in those settings, characters don't do this. This ONLY happens in the TTRPG, which means it is likely a bug and not a feature.)

Granted, I'm all for potions running off of a different pool of energy than what wands and scrolls run off of. I think Resonance makes perfect sense for wands, scrolls, and magic items, but I think potions should run off of something CON based.

RazarTuk wrote:
Not a fan. The problem isn't specifically using resonance. It's the concept that a potion can not work at all.

This could be fixed by doing away with Resonance Checks.

You run out of Resonance? You're done. At least you KNOW that your potions won't do anything.

Alternatively, have potions be "toxic" like in The Witcher, and deal CON damage whenever you drink one. Your potions will always work, but eventually, they'll kill you if pop them like candy.

Greylurker wrote:

I want to track less fiddly stat numbers not more

So far we've got

Hit Points
Spell Points
Resonance Points
Hero Points

and you want to add on another one?

I want Resonance and Spell Points to be the same thing.

I also want Hero Points to die in a fire.

Besides, the alternative to Resonance is X times per day, tied to however many magic items you want.

I'd rather keep track of Resonance than the daily uses of each of my magic items.

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I guess I'm the only one, but I'm kinda sad to see Resonance being completely stripped from consumables. It needed tweaking, not the axe.

I guess I have to go back to tracking every single magic item's charges separately, or, what I usually did, avoid charged magic items like the plague. (And throw dice at anyone who "forgets" to track their charges.)

Seriously, it makes sense that you should have to supply some magical energy to use a magic item.

As for potions, I can understand Resonance being annoying. I like implementing a toxicity system, like in The Witcher, where popping potions like a drug-addict eventually kills you.

I just want a game where my PCs can't stock up on half a dozen wands of cure X wounds and trivialize any encounter that isn't potentially lethal. I'm tired of having to throw CR = APL +2-4 JUST to have an exciting fight, then feeling bad when there is a TPK.

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I, personally, would not be opposed to a "classless" game.

Assuming class features are balanced appropriately for their level, and prerequisites prevent people from grabbing multiple top tier powers, what would be the harm?

I kinda wanted PF2 classes to work like Dark Souls classes. Your class is a starting point. What you build it into is completely up to you.

For example, a fighter could theoretically learn to cast almost as good as a wizard, but he would have to give up most of his fighter stuff after level 1 to do so.

Likewise, for a few feats, the wizard could cast in heavy armor and use weapons effectively, but he might miss out on his best spells to do so.

Both characters end up fairly similar, but they got there in different ways.

This change doesn't make any one character outright better than another just because they pick from multiple classes, and it lets PLAYERS choose what feats they want for their character concept.

If such a situation DOES occur where a certain combination of feats from multiple classes ends up being notably better than just sticking to the class' base feats, then the problem feats need tweaking.

On the topic of "niche protection", there is literally nothing I want less than to play a stereotypical member of X class. That's all niche protection does: enforce class stereotypes.

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I guess I'll chime in:


1) Resonance as an idea, but not as implemented. I feel like it should be more intertwined in all things magical, and probably shouldn't apply to potions(I like implementing the Witcher's toxicity system for those), but characters should have more of it to go around. (3 + CHA + Level?)

2) Everything is a feat. The only problem here is that we still have trap feats, feat taxes, and certain feats are gated behind class walls that really shouldn't be. Just open it up and make PF2 a classless system.

3) It's medieval swords and sorcery. That's my favorite genre.


1) Action economy.

a) I don't like how EVERYTHING is an action, to the point that there isn't any room for improvising. You either have access to the particular action you wish to take, or you can't do it.

b) Some things cost actions that really shouldn't, like changing your grip and taking a deep breath. It sucks when you have to waste your whole turn to prepare to do something cool next turn, when PF1 would let you get straight into the action.

c) Animal companions and familiars don't actually give you more actions, because you have to spend actions to make them do stuff. Even then, they get less actions than everything else. One of the devs said that animal companions only get 2 actions because they aren't "trained for combat", yet wild animals DO get 3 actions, and they DEFINITELY aren't trained for combat.

2) The way spells are handled.

a) Sorcerers should be able to freely up and down cast all of their spells, a la DnD 5e.

b) While spellcasters DID need a nerf (and some of the spells did too) I don't like that they nerfed spellcasters by making spells weaker. Many of the high level spells only feel worth casting if you know the target has a high likelihood of critically failing its save. I wanted my casters to be limited by some mechanic that enforces the in-lore idea that magic is dangerous.

3) The progression system.

a) + Level to everything feels bad. I get that it makes balancing stuff easier, but it doesn't make sense that half of a character's skill at anything is based entirely on how much stuff they have killed. Skill Proficiencies should matter more and level should matter less.

b) The game STILL requires high level characters to be walking magic item museums. Magic items should grant extra powers or some utility. They shouldn't effect your stats, damage, or success rates in such a way that not having them means you lose.

c) Stat Generation feels bad. Characters are, IMO, too powerful at level 1 and, in most cases, there are only 1 or 2 viable stat arrays for a character to take. I feel like I have to pick my stats for mechanical reasons more than RP reasons in PF2. The game might as well just determine your stats for you at every level.

One solution would be to just have post-battle recovery. If you heal up to full between every fight, then healing items are only useful in battle, which means stronger ones are better.

I personally like Resonance, even though it needs some tweaks.

I like the idea that the heroes can't just open up their magical first aid kit and top off after every battle. It forces me as a GM to make all encounters potentially lethal, or else they just waste time.

Heck, my groups don't even buy wands of CLW and I STILL have to throw CR = APL+2 at them to give them a challenge in 3.P.

In my custom system, everyone has a source of mystical energy (you can call it Ki, or Mana, or Mojo, or whatever) that powers your supernatural abilities and your use of magic items.

It's just like Resonance, except that it applies to all of your magical stuff, and there isn't a check to overspend. If you don't have enough to use a particular ability, you're just SOL.

If you COMPLETELY run out of this energy, you pass out, being spiritually spent.

My proposed solution would be to merge Resonance, Spell Points, and all other magic related pools into a single resource pool.

Using a wand/staff/scroll/or use activated magic item. uses up one point of this pool. Use activated magic items are just "magical machines" that turn innate magical energy (which all living creatures have) into spell effects.

Attuning a magic item with a passive effect uses up one point of this pool per passive effect of the item. Passive magic items need your innate magical energy to function.

When you are out of this pool, you can't activate magic items or attune any new items. (No Resonance Check, you're just done.)

Casters can burn spell slots to grant more uses of this pool and vice-versa. (Probably at an inefficient rate both ways.)

NOTHING has uses per day.

Potions do not use up this pool, but are slightly toxic instead. Whenever you drink a potion, you take one point of CON damage(not drain).

Tweak how much Resonance people get until it "feels good".

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As I have said previously many times, I'd like for the Wizard/Cleric/Druid/etc. to prepare a short list of spells from a large list of known spells and be able to cast those spontaneously and heighten them spontaneously.

I want the Sorcerer/Bard/etc. to have a short list of spells known, and be able to cast them all spontaneously and heighten them spontaneously.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
That may be, but plenty of folks play Pathfinder but don’t use Golarion as thier campaign setting, so that should not be relevant. Plus, the Pathfinder rule set is not the same as the Golarion setting, so Golarion-specific rules really should not be baked into the core Pathfinder rules in any case

I believe one of the major changes for Pathfinder 2nd edition is that the core rules are no longer setting neutral. So things like "Clerics of philosophies" are right out. If you want to run a game in a setting which is not the default one, you will need to change some things.

But since the bestiary will almost surely have rules for building all sorts of nasty things using PC rules (for major antagonists who happen to be a specific type of thing), it'll be easy to lift those for PC rules without giving explicit PC support.

If Golarion Lore is a requirement for this system, then that's something that needs to change.

I'm fine with using your lore to give examples and design your APs, but it should not be automatically assumed that you are using Golarion lore when you play PF2.

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Remy P Gilbeau wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
thflame wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
dnoisette wrote:
thflame wrote:

Why weren't Drow an option for a future race? That would have been my number one pick, as my favorite character is a drow.

This, I kept looking for Drow and couldn't even believe it wasn't available when I could not even remember what some of the races on offer actually were.

Isn't the Golarion canon that Drow are inherently evil in that they have been tainted by Rovagug and in case they somehow get over being evil and are cleansed of the aforementioned taint, they cease to be Drow?

Doesn't really seem appropriate for a PC option.

I disagree. ANYTHING should be an appropriate option for a PC. (Maybe with level adjustment.)

Not anything -- being a full deity (at the high end) or a creature with an intelligence score less than 3 or even non-existent (at the low end) probably would not be appropriate. Towards the middle, deep one hybrids are a "player" race with a crippling weakness that would make them unsuitable for nearly all campaigns.

But drow? Why not?

Well, because Drow isn't a race. There's not going to be a Race of Drow, because Drow is a Heritage. Unless Heritage feats get ripped from the game in their entirety (which I don't want to see, because I'm excited to see what Human Heritage feats for the different ethnicities like Ulfen and Varisian look like) then when you want to play a Drow, you'll take the Drow Heritage feat on an Elf.

Heritage Feats are bad.

Here! Let's tax you a feat just to play the race you want to play!

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Another question, not on the survey:

What do you think of Sorcerer's limited spontaneous heightening?

Answer: It shouldn't be limited, or else the wizard should have to learn every spell he wants for every level individually.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
dnoisette wrote:
thflame wrote:

Why weren't Drow an option for a future race? That would have been my number one pick, as my favorite character is a drow.

This, I kept looking for Drow and couldn't even believe it wasn't available when I could not even remember what some of the races on offer actually were.

Isn't the Golarion canon that Drow are inherently evil in that they have been tainted by Rovagug and in case they somehow get over being evil and are cleansed of the aforementioned taint, they cease to be Drow?

Doesn't really seem appropriate for a PC option.

I disagree. ANYTHING should be an appropriate option for a PC. (Maybe with level adjustment.)

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Why weren't Drow an option for a future race? That would have been my number one pick, as my favorite character is a drow.

Also, a lot of questions didn't have the answer I wanted.

For example, asking what I thought about racial features, the desired answer I wanted to give was:

"Some of these features should be given to the Ancestry automatically, but some should be optional. For instance, any racial feature tied to genetics should be granted to the race for free, but any that could be described as 'racial stereotypes' should be optional."

I'd like a system where the "stereotypes" are just a pile of traits that a character can pick from at level 1. (Who says your Elf wasn't raised by Dwarves?)

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Mekkis wrote:

- Spell Points or Mana has issues where it feels video gamey, and causes all the "psychic nova" that was so prevalent with 3.5e psionics.

This could have been easily fixed by having Spell Points regenerate like HP during natural healing.

Yeah, you can totally burn ALL of your mana on those two or three spells. You won't be casting for a few days though.

shroudb wrote:

From the top of mind:

A) Intimidation needs to be Str based. Period.

A hulking fighter or barbarian should be more intimidating than a scrawny bard/sorc

What's more intimidating?

1) The fighter flexes his muscles and threatens to break your legs with his warhammer.

2) The wizard threatens to turn you into a newt so he can use your eyes as material components.


I do have a "common sense" rule for NPCs in my campaigns, though.

Just because an intimidation check fails, doesn't mean you can't convince someone to do something.

The wise king has nerves of steel, but when the hulking barbarian cuts his elite champion in half in one swing, he agrees to bow to his demands, as he knows he will die if he doesn't. The king isn't "intimidated" but the barbarian still gets what he wants.

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Definitely still want my Sorcerer as a class, but even DnD drug Vancian magic behind the barn and shot it.

Let Sorcerers cast spontaneously and spontaneously heighten any spell, at the cost of knowing fewer spells, and let wizards cast like Arcanists, who can theoretically learn every spell.

If you want a powerful specialist caster, play a Sorcerer. If you want a generalist caster with a lot of utility, play a Wizard.

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pauljathome wrote:

That said, I have no problem with Wuxia monks who can leap incredible distances, Xena throwers who can bounce an object 12 times, Samson like strongmen who can tear down temples.

But no one martial should be able to do ALL of those.

Another off topic point, but I feel the same way about casters in general.

Casters should be able to call down meteors, conjure monsters, bring people back from the dead, turn into dragons, etc.

But no one caster should be able to do all or even most of those things.

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
I think extra damage dice should come from level and that magic weapons should be about properties rather than pluses. They won't get rid of pluses because legacy but do it in a more interesting way. Maybe what a +3 sword does is it lets you reroll an attack roll and take the better result 3 times a day; that'd still be awesome and useful but not mandatory.

Kinda off topic, but I had this idea that magic weapons imbue their owner with martial arts knowledge, increasing their Proficiency.

Something like Excalibur would have the spirit of a legendary swordsman in it that imparts his knowledge to the current wielder granting them Legendary Proficiency with that weapon. (Or perhaps just increases your Proficiency by one step. Just because you have a Legendary warrior giving you tips in your head, doesn't mean you can react to their advice.)

For characters that already have Legendary Proficiency, the sword could give them a bonus because they effectively have two legendary warriors' experience and training to pull from. Perhaps a morale/circumstance bonus?

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I pose this question to the community, but I ask that we not answer it with, "to be on par with casters", as I think that is the general consensus.

What I'd like to see is what kinds of characters in fiction (or real life) that we would give as an example of a level 20 fighter/ranger/barbarian/etc.

Is a level 20 fighter Alexander the Great? Hawkeye? Captain America? Hercules? Kratos? Cloud?

Do these level 20 fighters have magic-like abilities (anime/wuxia)or are they capped at plausible real world physics (and if the latter, how do we reconcile that with powerful casters)?

Do we want high level martials to be reliant on magic items or do we want them to stand on their own.

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Laegrim wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I look at it like a bell curve 10 is suppose to be an average int. that means like 58% of the population can't cast a 1st level spell cause their not smart enough. a character with a 18 int is probably like 1% if not .1% of the population. then you have to have the want and have the opportunity to be a wizard.

Even cantrips and first level spells dramatically change your way of life - there's plenty of incentive to learn a bit of useful everyday magic with a primary casting stat of 11.

PCs are exceptional, but that doesn't preclude a lot of unexceptional people from doing the things necessary to live a better life.

I agree. If anyone of average intelligence can learn how to cast cantrips, and there is no risk in casting spells, then a large number of people would know how to cast cantrips.

Heck, a sufficient portion of the population would be smart enough to learn mid tier magic and craft magic items, to the point that supply and demand would make having wands of low level spells trivial for all but the poorest of peasants. Owning a wand of Fireball would be like owning a gun. There would be "pharmacies" with potions and wands of CLW.

You HAVE to make assumptions about the qualities of magic, and handwave numerous mechanical "plot holes" in how magic works to justify half the peasantry not having access to basic spells.

DnD has a setting called Ebberon where they took the implications of the magic system of 3.5 and made a world based on the logical conclusions of that system.

Basically magic = technology. It's effectively fantasy sci-fi.

As much as I don't care for that setting, I can respect it for pointing out the fundamental flaw in 3.P's magic system.

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The Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Few people actually want caster nerfs, most just want martials to have good options for out of combat contribution.
The problem being that no one agrees on what those options should be.

It's another "have your cake and eat it too" issue. People want martials to compete with casters, but they want martials to be mundane.

When you start suggesting stuff on the level of Beowulf, Hercules, or virtually any anime character, people complain that those changes would break their immersion or make martials too magical.

PMárk wrote:
You're missing my point. Countless games tried that "powerfull, but dangerous" route and in those, magic still trumps everything.

Just because other systems haven't gotten it right doesn't mean that it isn't possible to get it right.

Magic is just more flexible than mundane tools. Even with the toning down of spellcasting, like D&D 5e did and PF2 aims for, even with penalizing mecahnics like CoC, even with risk-management mechanics, like Mage and SR, magic is stronger.

If magic has downsides, it SHOULD be stronger. It's a risk-reward system, where being able to incinerate an army comes at the cost that you may accidentally spontaneously combust instead.

You make everyone "magical..."

This is already a thing. Everyone is expected to use magic items and most classes have magical options attached to them. I'd personally like to see this scaled back to the point where magic items are entirely optional if you want to be an effective character. (It would also be nice to not have to spend 15 minutes rewriting all of your bonuses if you happen to wind up in an anti-magic field.)

...or you penalize magic to the point of being unfun to play...

Not "unfun", but just enough to make the caster think twice about whether or not he wants to risk magical backlash to solve a given problem with magic.

To expand on this, I want casters to be able to cast a few spells per day with little to no risk of backlash. At certain levels, I want a caster's lower level spells to be free of risk too. I just don't want every encounter or obstacle to be instantly solved with magic because the caster can.


I would have every spell have a version at every spell level from cantrip to level 10. Once you learn a spell, you can cast it at any level, but you must be able to make a check to successfully cast.

For example, the caster rolls d20 + level + Mod. + Proficiency vs DC 10 + 3 x Spell Level + Backlash Modifier.

Success: Spell is cast and Backlash Modifier increases by 1.
Critical Success: Spell is cast.
Failure: Spell fails and backlash Modifier increases by 1.
Critical Failure: Spell fails, backlash modifier increases by 1 and backlash occurs.

Backlashes are a list of random effects that scale based on how large your backlash modifier is. You roll randomly on a table for the base effect, which can be anything from taking damage, to being cursed, to being polymorphed into a harmless creature.

Your backlash modifier decreases by a number equal to your level each night after 8 hours of rest.

...or nerf it to not feeling awesome.

I actually don't want this. I want magic to be powerful, but dangerous. Unfortunately, if the community is dead set on magic being perfectly safe to use, as common as flies on a dead orc, and balanced with non-magical mechanics, it really needs to be toned down to the point that it isn't automatically better than mundane solutions. I would much rather see the community give ground on magic being perfectly safe to use.

Otherwise it'll trump mundane, just on the basis of being infinitely more versatile and the allowance for non-linear, non-conservative problem solving.

Magical solutions SHOULD trump non-magical solutions. There should just be a downside to CONSTANTLY relying on magical solutions.

For example, the party comes to a canyon that they need to cross. They could climb down, walk across the bottom, and climb back up, or the wizard could cast fly or teleport to get them across. If the wizard chooses to cast a spell, it has a small risk of causing a backlash, or it causes later casts to have a higher risk of backlash, depending on how many spells he has cast so far that day.

If the party is in a hurry, or they think the climb is more dangerous than the expected backlash, or if they aren't worried about needing reliable magic later, they'll ask the wizard to cast the spell.

If they are worried about the backlash, or they think they will need reliable magic later, or the climb isn't that much of a hindrance to them, they get out the rope and pitons and get to work.

As for magic being dangerous in PF (aka, on Golarion), I never took it as magic itself being dangerous in the sense of being inherently corrupting, or health-wrecking, It's just dangerous, because power corrupts and all the trafficking with otherworldly creatures and such.

Golarion lore references Arcane Universities where 1/4th of the students die before they graduate because a spell backfires/misfires, or they accidentally summon a creature that they can't control.

It also references young sorcerers that accidentally kill their family and burn their village to the ground because they can't control their magic.

Magic IS dangerous in Golarion Lore, it just isn't in Pathfinder, because people would cry if they had to roll for a backfire every time they wanted to go nova.

This is really an instance where, in general, Pathfinder players want balance between Casters and Martials, but they don't want to implement any of the necessary solutions to solve the problem.

The difference between getting a STEM degree and learning to cast magic, is that getting a STEM degree doesn't give you skills that make supernatural tasks mundane.

Heck, unless you get a job in your field, most of that information is useless to you. An unemployed wizard can still cast spells.

Not to mention that the difference between the Average Joe and a STEM degree holder is NOTHING compared to the average peasant and a Wizard.

It also doesn't take 7 years to learn how to cast magic. Any fighter can go raid a tough dungeon and be able to cast spells shortly afterward, without ever having to have studied magic at all. (Yes, I know the lore says otherwise, but the game mechanics say no.)

At least in PF2 you have to have training in Arcana and 16 INT (though a fresh wizard can have a 10 in INT).

Regardless, game mechanics could definitely reflect the lore of Golarion better. A LOT better.

Granted, nobody would want to play a wizard if it took 10 levels to be able to cast cantrips without risking death or dismemberment.

Knight Magenta wrote:
So we shouldn't pay doctors because they are just good guys?

That analogy doesn't work at all. Medicine has real world costs and doctors don't get their ability to practice medicine from a deity that desires that they perform good deeds.

Yeah, your cleric has to eat too, but that's what "create food and water" is for.

Knight Magenta wrote:
Its just basic economics. Why would I cast a cure spell on a peasant for 1 gp when I can have a knight pay me 10 gp? I have to eat too.

Because you're a good guy? (Not always, but MOST clerics known for casting healing spells are of good alignment.)

Quite honestly, if a PC had a "good" aligned character of a good deity in my game and they asked to be paid to cast a healing spell on a guy in need, I'd probably have him lose favor in his deity.

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Makarion wrote:
The OP's post is irrelevant, frankly. It has nothing at all to do with the playtest (which they havenot participated in, by their own words!), but it's a genre discussion, and one with faulty premises at that. I suggest you take it to another forum, where it may have more merit.

How is discussing how magic works thematically not a valid point of discussion in a playtest for a game where mechanics can change?

Also, as has been pointed out in numerous other threads numerous times, one does not have to have played the game to have valid criticisms of the game.

PMárk wrote:

1. Magic in those games is still stronger than anything else. In WoD, everyone treats mages as the most OP, given time for preparation. Shadowrun fans are whining about "magicrun". CoC is, well, CoC.

You have played Pathfinder, right? A wizard, given "time for preparation" is easily the most powerful class in the game.

The issue comes from creating a balanced system. I have heard that magic needs to be costly/dangerous, rare, or trivially weak if you don't want it to completely run your setting.

"Rare" doesn't work well in a TTRPG, because the best way to make magic "rare" is to ban PCs from using it. You COULD let one of your PCs be one of the few casters in the world, but everyone else is going to play second fiddle to them, unless the WHOLE party is casters.

People don't seem to like magic being trivially weak or costly/dangerous because everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too.

I personally love the idea that magic is powerful, but that it is dangerous to cast. Pathfinder lore implies that this is the case, yet we have zero mechanics to represent this.

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My problem with the Red Dragon example is that a Red Dragon beats commoners because it's a colossal flying lizard that breathes fire and casts spells, not because it is a higher level. High level heroes stand a chance against dragons because they have supernatural abilities and resilience that makes up for the dragon's physical and magical properties.

Level should play a role in how effective you are, but not more than the abilities/training/attributes you have combined.

I like the idea of a system where experience, training, talent, and equipment all have about the same weight for how effective you are.

Instead we have a system where:

experience varies from 1 to 20
training varies from -2 to +3
talent varies from -1 to +7 (with magic)
(I haven't looked at tools yet)

1) It's a balance issue. People who craft a lot of stuff in PF1 have more loot.

On your number 2, I partially agree.

I like the idea of Initiative being the lesser of DEX and WIS.

You may be fast enough to react, but if you aren't perceptive, you don't know to act.

Likewise, you may see the threat coming, but you still have to get moving.

3) Animal handling rules are asinine. They don't want PCs getting 6 actions a round by using an animal companion for fear of being OP. This results in wild animals being more effective in combat than trained pets.

4) Skills are more general now. We might see such feats in the future, but they would likely be so situational as to not be worth spending feats on.

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Having potential spell backfires could also help.

Who wants to spam a CLW wand 50 times to heal the party when a nat 1 causes a backfire that could range from turning someone purple, to transforming them into a newt? (Perhaps the wand explodes, severly injuring the user?)

Of course this shouldn't happen ALL the time, but perhaps a number of failed attempts causes a backfire? Something reasonable, like 3 or 5.

Granted, people probably wouldn't like this, because they want the power of magic without the in-lore drawbacks associated with it.

What percentage of arcane students die in college due to failed casting attempts?

The only thing that will stop the 15 minute adventuring day is narrative pressure.

If it doesn't matter whether I clear this dungeon in an hour or a month, there is nothing stopping me from nuking every room and taking an 8 hour power nap to recover my nukes.

Realistically, why would anyone risk their lives more than necessary to accomplish a goal in the first place? If all I want is the loot from the dungeon, then taking it nice and slow makes perfect sense.

The problem with this is that some people don't like being forced to finish a dungeon in one day. It sucks when you have to rescue the "damsel in distress" before the dragon eats her, and you realize that you don't have the resources left to do it. Either you drop the hero act and let the damsel die, sacrifice yourselves in vain, or have the GM deus ex machina some reason why the dragon doesn't eat her, or that you miraculously get some of your resources back.

Then you have the people who have been spoiled by the 15 minute adventuring day and complain when they can't enter the boss fight with a full load out.

One thing I am trying to implement in my home system is a mana system where magic regenerates like hit points do. It takes a few days to heal wounds naturally, so it makes sense that it takes a few days to regenerate spells naturally. If you "go nova" you can't just rest for 8 hours and be ready to go the next day. You may have to camp out for a week, in which time there is plenty of narrative freedom to have all manner of beasts assail the party.

Lastly, the Resonance Point system is intended to eliminate or at least severely limit the bookkeeping involved in those X-uses-per-day and X-rounds-per-day items. Instead of tracking a bunch of little point pools, Resonance Points can do the job in most, if not all, cases, with the rest limited to once per day. Admittedly, this aspect was not as thoroughly implemented as it could have been in the playtest rules.

This is the biggest issue for me. I thought Resonance was replacing X times per day items AND abilities, like a psuedo mana system.

What I think Resonance needs is a in-lore explanation as to why consumables cost Resonance.

I reasoned that potions are substances that react to your Resonance to create an effect.

If people don't like this, then I suggest implementing a harsher penalty for overusing items.

In the Witcher games, potions are basically poisonous to normal people, such that only Witchers can drink them safely, and only a certain number of them before they start to suffer ill effects.

I'm not saying it should be THAT extreme, but some sort of a "spell plague" downside to popping potions like a drug addict should exist. Apply it to spellcasting in general and give us back powerful spells, and you can kill two birds with one stone.

As far as wands and scrolls, it makes sense that you have to supply magical energy to activate these items.

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Zorae wrote:

No level 20 character should be unable to swim.

First of all, what gives you the right to tell people what their characters can and can't do?

Secondly, while level 20 characters should probably be able to tread water, I don't think EVERY SINGLE level 20 character should be able to swim in stormy seas.

The character I had in mind was a wizard that never learned how to swim, because he can cast spells to walk on water, or fly over it, or teleport past it, and thus doesn't NEED to know how to swim(or climb, or jump, or any other use of Athletics).

They're practically a demigod.

This is probably my personal bias for 3.5, but I have the book on Deities and Demigods. A level 20 character is a joke compared to them. You don't even qualify for godhood until level 40. They're superheroes, not demigods.

Even if you want to claim a difference between Golarion Lore and Faerun Lore, most of us play in worlds of our own making, and are thus not limited by the lore of the system. If level 20s are demigods in your games, then so be it, but they aren't in mine and nobody should be forced to play in a particular way.

It was always so dumb that my practical avatar of Iomedae Cleric could be thwarted by a little bit of water.

Because your Avatar of Iomedae couldn't cast a single spell to bypass that puddle? I find that hard to believe.

Or my Halfling Monk capable of jumping 15 feet straight up being worried about climbing an unknotted rope.

Well, in this new system, climbing ropes and Jumping are the same skill, so that's a moot point, but I can imagine that pole-vaulters aren't necessarily mountain climbers.

And there are plenty of cases where smart people know way too many things and then can't remember a relatively simple detail about their field of expertise because of it.

A literal priest of a deity not knowing a basic tenant of their faith and being schooled by a complete layman? According to the person who shared the story, his cleric didn't even roll that low, and the Alchemist didn't roll that high.


In PF1 there were tons of times the 20 Str fighter tried to break down a door, rolled a 4, and then the 8 str gnome wizard rolled a 17 and did it. Or the +10 perception ranger rolls a 3 while the bumbling paladin rolls a 15 and finds the very obvious loot. That sort of thing is always going to be around if the rolls decide so.

Ability Checks are notorious for not reflecting a character's true capabilities. A 20 STR character is, supposedly, 4 times as strong as a 10 STR character, yet only has a 25% greater chance of succeeding at a given STR check.

Your +10 perception Ranger vs a +0 Paladin truly does illustrate the point.

On a given Perception Check, the Paladin can only expect to beat the Ranger 11% of the time. A 1/10 chance that the Paladin catches a detail that the Ranger missed is acceptable.

In PF2, a Legendary character has a +5 over an Untrained Character, which yields a 26% chance that the Untrained Character beats the Legendary character at a given task.

The guy with no idea what he is doing has a 1/4 chance of out performing the guy who is so good at this particular task, that his exploits are considered legendary. There shouldn't even be a competition.

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Here's the issue:

In PF1, the ONLY stuff that was +1 to level was BAB for a few classes, and Skills that players CHOSE to max out.

In PF2, EVERYTHING is +1/level. Saves, BAB, Spellcasting, etc. You don't have a choice.

It causes 2 problems.

1) Players that want to have weaknesses can't have weaknesses. A level 20 character that wants to role play being unable to swim has a +17 to Athletics.

2) Characters that narratively have no reason attempting a particular skill check, still attempt such skill checks, because the difference between them and the party expert is +3.

In a different thread, someone mentioned a Goblin Alchemist that was untrained in Religion knowing more about a particular deity than a Cleric of that deity, just because they rolled better. This shouldn't happen outside of nat 1s or nat 20s.

The problem that +1/level is supposed to solve is letting everyone contribute, but I have yet to find ANY story involving a group of people working together, where everyone is able to "contribute" to everything.

Interesting characters have strengths and weaknesses. The reason PCs form parties is because they need people to cover weaknesses.

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gwynfrid wrote:
thflame wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Just axe them at this rate. People want to play wahtever they want with nothing to hold them back.

I agree.

Have examples for people who want to play a "class" and just let people pick and choose which feats they want.

I disagree. This solution leads us to the massive feat database of PF1. Very hard to handle without tools for an experienced player, and impossible to navigate for a beginner.

The level gated class feats are what makes character creation relatively fast and easy in PF2. Get back to the giant feat pool, and this is lost.

Then sort feats based on "class" but don't force people to stick to their class.

Compromises exist.

Furthermore, killing the character customization of PF1 will be a death sentence for this game. As it stands, I'd much rather play core 5e over PF2, as the customization is fairly similar, and a heck of a lot easier to play.

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MerlinCross wrote:
Just axe them at this rate. People want to play wahtever they want with nothing to hold them back.

I agree.

Have examples for people who want to play a "class" and just let people pick and choose which feats they want.

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CommanderCoyler wrote:
thflame wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
The major problem I can see with that is it still keeps the issue of the rest of the party twiddling their thumbs while the Rogue goes on a solo adventure, possibly even worse than PF1e had it. Granted, that problem still does exist to a certain extent in the playtest (mostly because monster skills are so inflated that it's detrimental to do things without being optimized), but that's a tuning thing and not a basic systemic issue.

Part of this could be fixed by giving out enough resources for learning skills that players that WANT to be able to contribute can spec into it without hindering their character.

It's one thing when you have to sit on the sidelines because the game doesn't give you enough resources to be able to contribute. It's a completely different feeling when you COULD have reasonably invested into a particular skill, but chose not to in favor of something else.

Skill feats every other level (every level for rogues) aren't enough?

That's what skill feats are for, they're more like what specalisations would be in other games.

Yeah. In PF2, everyone is good at everything. There is zero room for "I want to be bad at X", which is a perfectly reasonable character trope. This also has the issue that, outside of gated skill uses, having a higher proficiency is almost meaningless. Everyone attempts every skill check, because the resident expert has only a +3 over the Average Joe.

I have also never heard of ANY story where a group of allies all have approximately the same godly levels of proficiency in every task they try to complete. I mean, the point of forming a party is that no one individual is good at everything, and therefore needs allies who can cover his weaknesses.

On the other hand, in PF1, anyone with 2+INT skill points per level was basically told to go sit in the corner outside of combat. (Wizards had spells, but you get the idea.) You couldn't be good at more than a couple things, and you often had to completely avoid skills you wanted to invest in, because other skills were more important and you didn't have enough Skill Points to go around.

The biggest issue, IMO, with 3.P's skills, is that I don't think it was intended for EVERYONE to max out skills. I think WotC wanted players to spread out Skill Points and have a general competency in a wider variety of skills. Instead, everyone hyper specializes in a few skills and are complete dunces for everything else.

Of course players should be allowed to max out skills, but I think that was intended to be the exception, rather than the rule. It just happens to be more mechanically beneficial (or we all feel that it is) to have a almost guaranteed success at one or two things, than a decent probability of success at a wider variety of things.

A system where you have to option of being good/bad at skills based on the character you have in mind would be better IMO.

Alchemaic wrote:
The major problem I can see with that is it still keeps the issue of the rest of the party twiddling their thumbs while the Rogue goes on a solo adventure, possibly even worse than PF1e had it. Granted, that problem still does exist to a certain extent in the playtest (mostly because monster skills are so inflated that it's detrimental to do things without being optimized), but that's a tuning thing and not a basic systemic issue.

Part of this could be fixed by giving out enough resources for learning skills that players that WANT to be able to contribute can spec into it without hindering their character.

It's one thing when you have to sit on the sidelines because the game doesn't give you enough resources to be able to contribute. It's a completely different feeling when you COULD have reasonably invested into a particular skill, but chose not to in favor of something else.

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