Dante Doom wrote:
I'm not sure I'm hugely into his newer style either, although for me it's more that the values are kind of flat. Which... could contribute to characters looking wider, now that I think of it.
I do like the brighter colors and the pants, though. Also, even though it's still structurally the same, her headscarf seems more evocative of a hijab now, which IIRC was always the intent? So that's a nice touch.
Awesome to hear. I'm hoping polymorph rules will get looked at as I've had some pretty disappointing experiences with it.
One of our players went for a Wild druid for Heroes of Undarin and has independently registered basically all of these complaints, so I second this.
I have an animal order druid (w/ bear companion) as my primary character for the playtest, and honestly I've quite liked the action economy for pets.
My concerns with companions right now, having played at 1 and 9, are the low AC & saves, the lack of scaling, and the mount tag.
The AC issue I think could be easily solved by allowing magic barding to exist.
The scaling... it hasn't been an issue yet, but I'm concerned that at higher levels the animal companion will lag further and further behind, since the stat boosts beyond Savage/Nimble are fairly small (and unless you're an animal order druid, you can only have 1 specialization). I feel like damage, in particular, is going to feel increasingly weak starting about level 12, when players are starting to get +3, +4, +5 weapons and animal companions continue to be stuck with 3 dice (unless you shell out 2 actions for Magic Fang at the start of every combat).
And the mount trait... I hate the mount trait with a burning passion. It's arbitrary, it restricts a lot of fun fantasy ideas (and especially smarts given that small characters could take a wolf mount in PF1, an option now restricted to a goblin ancestry feat). Of course, if you're a druid or a ranger, you can ride your pet without the tag - but paladins and cavaliers flat out can't select non-mount pet options, and regardless, it causes problems with exploration mode. Just go back to the "one size category larger" situation and call it a day.
Also, as Freagarthach mentioned, it's currently unclear whether animal companions simply die at 0 or follow PC dying rules; we've been running it as the latter, but it's a really significant question to leave up to GM fiat.
Playtest so far - Round Two! Three things you Love, Three things you Hate, and Three Houserules you'd Make.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
we're removing the concept of signature skills from the game.
Also very glad to see that animal totem barbarian can use weapons outside of rage now, as that was some of the feedback I was going to give once I finish Pale Mountain (I was actually just gonna ask for ranged weapons or even just alchemical bombs, but I'll take it!).
Also THANK YOU for the black & white character sheet. Those colorful ones may have matched the aesthetic but they were not great for something that's going to be repeatedly erased.
I think the playtest is moving at WAAY too fast a clip.
I'm in 3 groups for Pale Mountain; GMing 1 and playing 2 others. The one I'm GMing hasn't even had a chance to meet yet due to scheduling issues. Both of the groups I'm playing in (1 4-player, 1 5-player) only got to the entrance by the end of their first sessions (both about 4 hours long). The 4-player group met again today, short a member, and made it through one pair of elementals before nearly TPKing on the water/earth team and calling the session for time.
I understand that the scheduling is based on when the book needs to go to print, but I'm honestly expecting that more and more groups will fall behind and the last few scenarios will have significantly fewer testers than the first ones.
Just noticed this issue and was really frustrated by it. Sorcerer seemed like a good candidate for a Magus type, what with the various bloodline powers that grant melee attacks and the feats to make it easier to cast in melee - but they have so few feats, there's not a lot of room to go into Fighter MC.
I guess the whole "bloodline power = feat" thing makes sense... but it's a bizarre design decision given that the other full casters all have similar abilities tied to a level 1 choice (cleric domain, druid order, wizard school), but they're given the freedom of whether or not to take them. Maybe they're going off the idea that it's inborn and inescapable, but it's an odd direction given how much PF2 has done to get rid of prepackaged suites of abilities.
The mount trait isn't necessary to ride an animal as a mount. The only thing I can find it affects is whether or not you can use an animal companion's "work together" ability while someone is mounted on it. If it doesn't have the mount trait, you can't use "work together" while it's mounted. If it does have the mount trait, you can.
Yes, but it *is* required if you want to take the animal as a mount via the Paladin class feat or the Cavalier archetype (barring GM intervention). And currently, the only animal companion with the mount tag is Horse.
It's just kind of bizarre that there are these specific mount-granting class features, plus a mount-based ancestry feat that specifically calls out two particular creatures, but said creatures aren't designed to be mounts (and thus make subpar options for such).
I noticed this problem in Starfinder, too, although with lower damage numbers. Gave me a good laugh as someone who grew up in SoCal, where it's rarely below 90 in the daytime in summer and easily hits 110+ during the worst months.
The cold numbers are fine (can verify, currently live in Minnesota), but the heat numbers could use a bit of tweaking.
I actually quite like the concept of signature skills - they remind me of the old Might & Magic games a bit. I'm cool with everyone not being able to be the best at all things all the time.
That said, I do feel like people should get to add a little bit more customization to their signature skill choices.
My thought was maybe adding a signature skill or two to the backgrounds in addition to the lore skill, which would serve a second purpose of making the backgrounds feel more significant and essential to the character. Perhaps do it like the stat boosts, with 1 free and 1 choice of 2?
For example, the Criminal background could offer a free sig skill, plus a choice between Thievery and Intimidate.
(Given the glossary, this seems like it might have been considered and then dropped for some reason? But it's worth giving a second look, IMO)
I hate being the person who cries realism but yeah, speaking as a former competitive archer (didn't shoot longbow but knew people who did), this makes no sense. It'd be better, both from a believability standpoint and a fun standpoint, to just try and make shortbows more appealing rather than arbitrarily nerf longbows.
I definitely got stuck for quite a while trying to figure out what, if any, Lore skills I could take. There will need to be a list for PFS anyway, I'm sure; might as well put it in the book (or at least example categories).
I'd also really appreciate a space on the character sheet to write what Lore I have, the way the PF1 sheet has a blank after Craft/Perform/Profession.
This is a concern I have as well. I was severely disappointed when I got around to looking at the Feats section and found only a handful of non-skill feats - and even more so when I realized that almost all of them were the boring flat boost feats I made a point of avoiding in PF1. I have a feeling the list is far from complete, but I'd hoped we'd get more varied options to play with during testing.
I was also struck by how necessary the Fighter multiclass felt to most martial-based builds. I'd been planning on doing a Ranger/Fighter already, but I found myself adding the Fighter archetype to my Paladin and Druid as well, because so many basic attack options were bound up in Fighter feats.
Honestly, I'm not sure how to go about fixing this, short of a) cutting general feats entirely and leaving non-skill customization to class feats, or b) transferring a lot of combat options into general feats and significantly reworking the fighter's options. I suppose option (a) could mesh with your idea; simply redistribute class feats (and possibly more ancestry feats?) into the void left by general feats and provide lots of archetypes to encourage using at least one.
I really don't understand why we need a feat for sign language, and agree with Smaugnolia's points about sign language not directly corresponding to the associated verbal language. It's overcomplicated, indicates a lack of understanding of how sign languages work, and makes it unnecessarily difficult for a hearing party to communicate with a Deaf party member.
Just add sign languages to the language list with the same availabilities as their associated spoken languages. It worked fine in Starfinder.
I'm excited to see multiclassing being shaken up, but I'll have to see it in action in the playtest before I know whether or not this is an improvement.
I do like that the whole VMC concept is being iterated on. It was a nice idea that was painfully underpowered aside from like 4 very strong options, and even those usually had at least one level that was incredibly "meh." By working in the new archetype system where you can stop and start as you please, it's eliminated the "man, I really want the level 7 ability, but the level 3 and 11 ones are absolutely not worth a feat" problem.
Not sure I'm a fan of the stat requirements? Brings me back to the earliest editions, and not in a great way.
Really wish we could get MCs for all the classes in the core, but oh well.
WRT the whole 1 action to get 2 thing, it seems like an understandable balance thing? Because the whole problem with ACs/eidolons/etc before was essentially doubling your action economy.
That said, it'd also be cool to have higher-level abilities that increase the granted actions and/or remove the action cost (maybe just for specific actions?), to represent you bonding more closely with your companion.
Ooh! Still hate prepared casters, but the animal druid is calling my name...
Animal companions look great. I really like the Work Together ability - negates the old "welp, my animal companion can't hit/damage this thing" problem in an elegant way. Bear hug looks fun too.
Leaf druid seems neat, but I really wish that metamorphosis entry was a little more clearly broken up into "passive" and "active" sections. It took me like 3 readings of it to process that half of it was a permanent transformation and half of it was an active ability (and I'm still not 100% on how it works?).
Wild druid... I know people who will love that. Would have appreciated knowing more about how polymorph spells work (hopefully lessons were learned from the Shifter...), but maybe that'll be on Friday?
Storm druid seemed the least exciting, but still a flavorful option to have. That power seems cool! I see room for player/GM arguments about the anathema, though - it's a bit rough having all kinds of storm/weather powers but having a fairly vague anathema about their use.
I can't say I'm super excited about Leyline Conduit. It's like that one sorcerer ability, except more limited, which feels bad for the druid and also makes the sorcerer's ability feel less special. But we'll have to see it in play.
I'm confused about the attack mod on Ezren's Acid Splash. I thought I'd read somewhere that PF2 was moving to the 5E style of applying your caster stat to spell attack rolls instead of Str/Dex. Was this (a) changed at some point, (b) only for some spells/classes, or (c) just something I'm completely misremembering?
Wow, bards look great! I like that performing is more active now, and that Countersong works on visual effects too! Agree that the Lingering Composition wording is weird, though, and that status effects like quick should probably be capitalized or something to set them off.
I also notice, between this and the character sheets being released at ENWorld, that most buff effects seem to be conditional bonuses now? Which presumably means they don't stack. Bless in particular is looking kinda sad next to Inspire Courage! (Sure, it lasts longer, but it doesn't affect damage, lost its bonus on saving throws against fear, had its AoE reduced, AND still eats a spell slot while IC now consumes no resources besides actions...) As someone who's been playing a support oracle in RoW, I can appreciate not having to spend multiple rounds casting nearly-identical buffs like Bless and Prayer (I hope the former scales into the latter, now?), but it would still be nice if different classes' support abilities played well together.
Also, if we're renaming the occultist somewhere down the line (please do bring him back! he was a cool concept, if over-complicated), my vote is for "ritualist." And that's only 60% because I spent all my teen years playing one in Guild Wars...
This looks like a reasonable enough system. I'm already mentally mapping out the assignments for various ancestries/classes/etc in my own (much-neglected) setting, so it's definitely a great tool for GMs.
On the other hand, as with everything that starts repeatedly mentioning "talk to your GM," I immediately start worrying about PFS. I know this was brought up upthread but it is definitely something I wanted to highlight because it's something I run into frequently!
One big thing I'd hope for is a character option for "regional origin" - independent of ancestry - that helps determine rarity and languages. In PF1, a lot of this is tied up in racial traits, which causes issues when you're creating a character from a non-Avistani region that isn't a member of a race or ethnicity unique to/dominant in that region. To draw on the example from the article, in first editon, Tien humans and half-elves, as well as tengu, can start with proficiency in the katana, but a tiefling (even if they were born to Tien parents) cannot. Or, for a more mundane example, ethnic languages are only available as bonus starting languages to humans and half-humans, meaning that a halfling born into slavery in Qadira must invest a point in Linguistics to speak Kelish. This is easily fixed in a home game, of course, but in PFS it can prove frustrating. With fixed lists of what is common, uncommon, etc in each region, it seems like PFS2 could easily remedy the problem with such an option.
The more I've been thinking about a solution to the whole heightening problem, the more I agree with this. When games grind to a halt in my group, it's because people are digging through their inventories (or chronicle sheets) for some kind of half-forgotten consumable that could turn a situation around.
Are some players gonna get hung up on their spellcasting? Yes. They're also probably gonna get hung up even if they have 3 spells. In my experience, people who take slow turns take slow turns, regardless of how complicated their character actually is.
I also think that there's a weird conflation of systems mastery situations here - generally newer players have one or two tactics that they are comfortable with and aren't going to be hunting for the "best" spell solution, while experienced/high-optimization players probably mathed it all out while they were still level 2. I understand having balance concerns, but the idea that the majority of players are going to be freaking out at the table trying to find the "optimal" use of their casts seems unlikely.
I keep going back to 5e. 5e uses spontaneous heightening, yet to my understanding it's been successful as a system almost entirely because of how accessible it is to newcomers. If anything, the proposed PF2 system seems to sacrifice clarity in favor of reduced at-the-table decisionmaking, which seems off to me.
Funny, because at least 2 women in this thread have pointed out it sure didn't feel like a power fantasy. [insert that Shortpacked! false equivalence comic here.]
Also, 1e Seoni looked like she was about to fall on her dang face.
It is also just a better drawing, yes. She looks significantly more proportionate now (I always thought her original art looked oddly serpentine), and she's got a more assertive stance. Overall just a lot more like an adventurer, and someone I'd actually feel comfortable playing.
It's more of an actual dress and less of a "piece of fabric with a neck slit and a belt." She's at far less risk of a wardrobe malfunction now.
I'd be okay with either of those options. I definitely agree that having to prepare anything at the start of the day feels counter-intuitive and un-thematic for the sorcerer.
I was just thinking this. Arcanist-style preparation would have helped solve this problem (and also it's just good and no I'm not going to let this go ever).
That would be cool, and would kind of make up for the loss of arcana.
Heck, even just having spontaneous heightening at will on all bloodline spells (and bloodline spells only) would be a better fit, I think.
Part of what's putting me off, at least, is having this weird daily preparation thing on a character whose abilities aren't supposed to stem from daily preparation but are just part of who they *are*.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Is a demonic sorcerer allowed to take slow as a 6th level spell known? Are bloodline spells from other lists treated as being added to your class spell list in addition to being added to your spells known at the given level? If so, that's something that could be clarified in the blog post.
Mark Seifter wrote:
But again, say there's a new sorcerer with the spells you listed and the demonic bloodline. She's probably going to want to use her SH on Slow and Disintegrate, since she's otherwise incapable of heightening them (unless I missed something with bloodline spells?). But when she gets 7th, 8th, 9th level spells, she probably still wants her Dispel Magic and Summon Monster to be good, right? So she'll still need to take those when she gains the new slots, meaning yes, she has more spells she can cast at her highest level, but she's still not going to be taking anything *new*. And unlike the undercaster, she doesn't even necessarily get to pick new lower level spells to replace them, since presumably she still wants to be able to cast them at a lower level, and thus has to keep them as spells known at that level.
I mean, I still feel like being able to spontaneously heighten at will is the best option (or at least one that should be playtested externally), but undercasting still feels like a more intuitive and elegant alternative if that's completely out of the picture. I guess we'll see come August how it plays out.
Gregg Reece wrote:
Or possibly the Imperious human-only bloodline? Though Seoni *was* Arcane before.
I assumed the name change was mostly just because more than one bloodline will grant the arcane spell list and they wanted to avoid confusion.
Sorcerers are looking great. Well, 90% great, at least? Bloodline powers look solid (that bite looks better than most of the old level 1 powers), love getting spell lists from the bloodline... kinda wish the arcana was still a thing, but it did make dipping a bit too strong.
That spontaneous heightening thing is the most hideously kludgy mess I've seen in a while, though. If you do have to actually take a spell as a spell known at every level you want to be able to cast it (assuming you're not selecting it for SH), that's going to be horrifically unintuitive and I'm dreading explaining it to new players. Also, as one of my current players pointed out, if some bloodline spells are still from other lists beyond the one you have access to, you're basically going to end up having to use spontaneous heightening on those spells only, since you actually can't learn them in other slots.
I think Mark's explanation of the flaws of undercasting is fair, but it's still less awful than this system (where you will STILL have to blow your top level spells known on existing spells if you want to be able to heighten them and are using SH for something else). Alternately, I have trouble seeing how unlimited spontaneous heightening caused that much of a balance problem vs wizards, given that sorcs and wizards still have the same number of spells per day. Wouldn't it just help close the versatility gap between the two?
Also, this is a less immediately pressing quibble, but I sincerely hope the ability to be a divine sorcerer isn't meant to replace the oracle. Oracles were never just divine sorcerers.
Fair. I don't think it needs to return in its current iteration, necessarily, but I'll be disappointed if rangers don't have any real terrain mastery stuff. Maybe instead of selecting from a list, just a feat that gives different thematic bonuses in different terrain types? I feel like I remember 5e doing something like that for rangers or druids, although I don't have the book on hand to check.
I do agree that spell point casting for rangers should be an option in core. I don't know if I'd use it, but enough other people like it and it's got enough of a legacy that tacking it on in a later book feels awkward.
Also, I can't believe I'd completely forgotten Favored Terrain. That one *does* seem weird to lose, as it's much more thematic with the archetypal ranger, and (unlike Favored Enemy) outside of PFS it was fairly easy to pick a terrain that you'd be in for the majority of an AP or module. Really hope there are class feats to bring back some semblance of that.
Agree with the suggestion upthread that Hunt Target should provide some bonuses while actually *hunting* the target, in addition to in combat. Dunno if it should be baseline, or a feat, but I love the concept of being able to use Hunt Target just from a footprint or a fallen feather or a stool or what have you, and get bonuses to track it/the ability to make knowledge checks in advance without penalty.
Wonder if we'll get an animal companion post next? Seems about time...
But again, it's only attacks against that one target, only their first attack against that target, and only on a *critical* success on the knowledge check (AND you have to be able to share the information, so good luck if you're silenced/underwater/100 feet away sniping). In PF1, that would be, at best, a trait (and probably a derided one). Again, it's just a problem of being way too conditional. Loosen up one of the conditions, and it's a much more worthwhile feat.
I'd personally lean towards keeping it on a critical success - encouraging pumping your monster ID skills, and feeling more exciting when it procs - but have it last for more attacks, ideally for the duration of your Hunt Target but if that's too powerful, maybe just for a number of rounds equal to your ranger level.
Yay, a blog post that's not giving my Resonance anxiety headaches!
That said, kind of a mixed bag here...
We are about to start a home game of Daughters of Fury which my GM will be reporting for PFS credit. We've done some campaign mode games before, but they were all APs, not modules, and I've always applied the chronicle sheets to characters below the level of the adventure.
This time, I have a level 3 PFS character that I'd like to apply credit to, so she is in tier as this is a 3-6 module (although the chronicle sheets are 2-4, 3-5, 4-6). This poses a couple of questions I haven't been able to answer:
1) As per the Guide and the rules printed for the module, I receive credit as if playing a pregen, which I think would mean I would have to wait until she reaches 4th level to apply credit for the adventures? Most of my searching has turned up threads quoting Mike Brock circa 2012 saying it's actually applied like GM credit, but I wasn't sure if that still holds given he's not coordinator anymore and it's been almost 6 years.
2) The rules for campaign mode of the module describe "afterward receiving credit for playing the sanctioned portions of the adventure" - If I'm reading this correctly, then credit is not assigned as we complete each section (as it would be in an AP) but at the end of the module in its entirety. Is this the correct interpretation?
I agree with those people (it's repetitive and doesn't make for engaging gameplay), but this is not a good fix. 5E's short rest system (or SF's, for that matter) was a much better way of handling healing everybody up after a fight, and if they don't like that either - well, a better solution would be writing adventures that don't require everyone to be at full HP every combat.
I have a strong feeling Resonance is gonna see a lot of changes in the playtest. Or at least I hope so, because wow is it a mess.
This isn't making things less complicated. It's making them MORE complicated. We still have uses/day items, apparently, but now we also have to play a resource management minigame with them AND with half our always active items.
Now, admittedly, I obviously haven't played the game yet, and maybe it's just that the flow of everything is super different, but I'm having trouble seeing how people have not been blowing through RP in the internal playtest. Consider for example a level 5 fighter with Cha 12 (pretty reasonable, given the system doesn't really encourage dumping but it's still supposed to be a low priority stat for her). She has 6 RP, if I'm understanding correctly? Now maybe she has 1 invested magic item, a cool special-effect uses/day item, some of those new trinkets, and some healing potions. And she has... 5 RP to split between those last 3, over the course of an entire day.
Didn't we want to try and *eliminate* the 15-minute adventuring day? Because this is going to exacerbate it a lot. And I see it being especially problematic in PFS, where players tend to rely heavily on consumables since there's no set party composition.
I understand CLW spam is boring and bad, but there have to be better ways of doing things. We already have action economy and silver economy (which looks to be somewhat rebalanced from PF1's gold), and apparently also carrying capacity (sure, a potion is only bulk L, but those add up!) to regulate consumable use; we don't need a 4th system.
So, uh, here's hoping that by the end of the playtest Resonance will look more like rainzax & Dudemeister's suggestions.
It just adds them to your class feat pool, it doesn't preclude taking regular class feats.
(I will note it did take me a read and a half to get that, though. Could be more clearly worded in the article.)
Turning Prestige Classes into Prestige Archetypes is a fantastic choice, IMO. Carries on the spirit of my very favorite PrC, the Evangelist!
I'm a little surprised by the decision to lead with a seafaring archetype, given how poorly ocean-bound class options tended to be received in PF1 (with good reason). Would really have liked to see an example that would actually come into play in more than like 15% of adventures. That said, I do really like this implementation of archetypes - much more flexible than PF or SF!
Looks like a lot of lessons were taken from the Unchained monk, which is good. This is a class where the modularity of PF2 really works in its favor. I know probably a lot of people will love ki being optional, while I'm very happy that I never have to care about Stunning Fist again. I'm also thrilled that Pummeling Style is a baseline part of Flurry of Blows!
I'm very curious about alignment - it's not called out that the restriction is gone, as it was in the barbarian article, but it's also not mentioned that it's present, as in the paladin one - and I notice the monk's unarmed strikes doesn't bypass DR/lawful anymore.
My one concern is why on Golarion the adamantine strike got pushed BACK a level? At 16th level in PF1 it was already far too late to be of much use. Especially if the alignment strike is gone entirely, wouldn't it make more sense to bring it up to 10-11, or even earlier? Otherwise, unless DR/adamantine is going to be much less common in PF2, pretty much every monk is going end up dropping a feat on Monastic Weaponry to deal with constructs...
Finally, I’d like to echo concerns that visually impaired players may have trouble with symbols. I hope there is a solution to keep the game inclusive for all gamers.
I'm concerned about this too. It was a bit worrisome to see another blog post hyping up those icons. I might be remembering wrong (can't seem to find the posts), but wasn't this issue first brought up (and addressed positively by the devs) a few weeks ago?
I like the consolidation of abilities by when they'd fall in the encounter.
That said, the main thing I'm taking away from the statblocks is that the new action names do look ridiculous in context. I assume going for things like Stride and Strike instead of move and attack is to prevent confusion, but honestly it - and I hate to say this because it gets bandied around so much here for ridiculous reasons - feels deeply gamey and immersion-breaking. I don't think it would be that much harder to process just marking in the action rules that an attack is always one action except when described otherwise, and then just have the action count in parentheses for things like Power Attack. Same for movement. "I move twice, to here, and then attack once" just flows better, IMO. (Also now that I'm looking at it, there's still room for confusion in the Stride/Strike setup, because the Redcap's entry describes it Striding half its speed, which means the Stride action is not always moving up to your speed, so there's absolutely no reason to give it a special name.)
I also have a minor quibble about the spells re: "Anything that doesn't come in a level entry is cast at its lowest level unless a level appears in parentheses." It might be helpful to list the base spell level in addition to the upcast level, if any, just to reduce the amount of spell list searching GMs have to do for creatures with unfamiliar spells. (Also, does this mean that spells are at the same level on every spell list now?)