To the first, no. To the second, yes.
Wizard needed work regardless of attribute bonus to cantrip thing. After Witch its the caster with that's the most bare bones and its options are pretty underwhelming (even witch gets to steal spells from other traditions). Unless you're univeralist, it requires you to gamble on a spell school that may or may not be helpful and its focus spells aren't spectacular.
That said, the class fantasy of the wizard is 'person who pulls the right trick out at the right time' so yeah, trading lower base damage for a wide array of damage types, variable areas of effect, and built in scaling seems kinda fair.
Also, have they said that all existing spells were getting errata to remove the attribute bonus?
DCs in 1E didn't scale off character level. They scale off spell level. DC was 10+ Spell Level + Ability Mod + Misc.
Without taking some specific options, a level 1 spell's DC don't go up automatically. Without taking feats, they'd only go up with ability score increases. Unless it was a creature's bad save, a level 1 spell would get worse as you leveled up (even before accounting for effects that are HD capped like Color Spray). Damage spells would have some limited scaling, but the DCs were fixed.
In 2E, DCs scale automatically based on character level, proficiency, and ability score. Spell level (or rank shortly) doesn't figure into the DC. Damage dice don't scale, so a level 1 spell is always gonna do mostly the same thing but the DC will scale with you.
I’m not sure why ‘swinging a weapon’ is something considered ‘non-caster’ in PF all the sudden. In 1E every caster either had something early on. Fiction is full of casters who have to use things other than magic. Older TTRPGs all but required weapon use. With cantrips being significantly better, what’s wrong with “I cast electric arc and shoot with my bow” or “I stab them with my spear and cast chill touch?” That’s something a martial cannot do at early levels.
As for how the devs look at casters, I think the same can be said of martial regarding their expectations. They don’t expect a fighter to be using a single club with no backup weapon. Not a ton of monks out there looking for the best armor. There’s some level of optimal play expected. Even early casters can cover a ton more damage types than any martials in exchange for some lower damage. Sure a caster’s average damage is lower, but if something is weak to basic save damage spell even a success is going to hurt.
Deriven Firelion wrote:
The thread is about early level play. A caster dedication isn’t getting access to see invisibility until 6 and heroism til 8 (where some martials get blind fight). I can see 6th level as the end of that early play experience, but 8th level feels firmly past that point. Plus you get a fewer spell slots to make use of. While you could use a consumable, that is expensive and can be done with a skill feat (trick magic item).
That’s all just for buffs and utility stuff. Offensive spells are gonna be less available and less effective as an MC’d martial. Sure a champion/sorc could cast fear, but they can also just demoralize and have the action free. Meanwhile at early levels, a caster can be -1 to hit over non-fighter/slinger martials. I can make up a damage loss with a long spear in most cases if I feel the need to be “bringing the hammer”
Maybe I just look at my casters differently, but I'm not playing any of them (except Magus) based on how much damage I can get out of cantrips. Don't get me wrong, I like electric arc but I'm not playing Druid or Wizard for it. When I look at when full casters do their best work in the tables I'm involved in, its when they bring down a severe encounter to something more manageable.
A fighter can't lock increasingly large giants in grease for the rest of their lives. A Rogue can't do much about invisible enemies. Champions aren't going to heal off a crit mid-fight to keep someone from death spiraling. Sure, its a TTRPG and not a PVP MMORPG so classes don't need to be 100% balanced, but they do need to do different things. A cantrip isn't a replacement for a weapon attack. It's a minor spell in a completely different design space than "Bastard Sword" or "Arquebus."
Casters are high ceiling, low floor classes. It's going to have bad encounters and more bad builds. It also turn fights from 'we are going to die' to 'that was rough.' Yes, that's less than 1E's casters turning fights into '1 slot/encounter easy mode' that you could get to. But everyone spent 20 years complaining about how bad that was.
Guess you can't make everyone happy.
Warwolf Esheraso wrote:
While it's nice to see these ancestries and heritages made available freely, none of them are the one I want to be made available. When do the BEASTKIN get to be used freely in Society play?
The Bad News: It's a Rare Heritage, so the odds of it just become free are low. Simply put, there's just not a lot of Beastkin on Golarion.
The Good News: Tieflings sure get a lot of options like Form of the Fiend, the Beastbrood lineage, and Towering Presence that can give that same flavor with a hint of post-Worldwound flair.
It's been almost a year since Jack helped us rebuild our lodge here in Milwaukee. He recruited a new VC, helped me navigate dealing with players engaged in some pretty heinous behavior. He was in my life for half a dozen emails, but he's touched the lives of a dozen gamers here in MKE by helping to empower us make a safe community.
May many happy stories be told of his time among us.
In addition to phobia accessibility standards, a flat file for some adventures would be a nice option as a GM. Sometimes I find the art gets in the way of the formatting for when I'm running a pre-written adventure. The art is often wonderful and evocative when I'm reading the adventure before hand but when I'm at the table its as much a hinderance as anything else. Even if its not something easily including in the print version, an artless or less-art version in PDF shouldn't be too hard to implement as a bundle in or secondary product.
EDIT: Also in general some content flags for things like that would be handy in the table of context. Put an adorable little leshy next to the page number or something.
I don't currently have any Drow, but a recurring NPC since my Crimson Throne game is Todd, the Drider Wizard. If asked about it I imagine he'll change the answer every time. Though he probably thinks they were changed by whatever caused New Thassilon to be there and that being close to their ruins in and around Korvosa made him a time paradox. Either that or Yeastwarping a wedding cake created some kind of fixed point in time.
To play Asmodean advocate on the 'hunt the enemies of your people' thing. Can ancestries or cultures have 'bad guy' edicts? While it does strike me as being similar to coded language, APs like Blood Lords exist where the edicts you pick are probably going to swing to less than heroic. Hellknight Orders are long-standing PC options and I can't imagine their edicts are all going to be something we'd aspire to be personally. An Asomdean PC (to stay on theme) already has the edict 'torture the weak' among its tenants. If the game is going to have room for villainous PCs, there's going to have to be something that denotes 'PC of less than upstanding ethics' among the options.
I am looking forward to Riventhun stuff hopefully, but also looking at various Dwarven cultures in general and animal friends. One of my favorite things were all the cats in the Dongun Hold art and now I am obsessed with the idea of Dwarves and the pets they might have.
More Dwarf animal friends or we riot (slowly. Not all of us took unburdened iron)
I always felt like you could take anti-Paladin in a different direction from 'the photo negative of a Paladin' to something more weird.
As is, the Paladin and Anti-Paladin are part of the same system. They're warriors for a deity granted powers by that deity sent forth to extoll their beliefs. I feel like to be 'the opposite of a Paladin' you'd need to be outside that divine system. A warrior for justice and order who does so because they belong to an order of warriors who believe gods either endorse injustice or are apathetic to it, would be as much an anti-paladin philosophically as the current anti-paladin.
Though I get that no longer fits the champion class chassis and lacks a certain charm that comes with the schlocky one we have today.
Unless I grossly misread it, you conflated non-agrarian civilizations with being uncivilized. They still are civilizations, just different than agrarian ones.
Just to be clear, modern mongolia as country is a civilization, the yuan dynasty was a civilization. However various nomadic people in the steppe don't have a civilization, but they do have societies. By and large I would say that civilization=good in all cases is the bad ideological assumption, not that calling something uncivilized is the bad thing. Calling something uncivilized makes assumptions about what we should value and that we should value civilization. This isn't to say primitivism is desirable, or that something which isn't a civilization is primitive. I am just pointing to how "civilization" means class society. Rigid social roles like man and woman, black and white, working class and capitalist class, or in feudalism serfs, landlords, priests, and monarchs. Deleuze and Guittari have work responding to another guy, forget the name,...
I think you're conflating civilization with agrarian societies. The people you're calling 'uncivilized' have all the hallmarks of civilization. They've got language, traditions, a system of self-sustenance, social rules, social roles, and a mastery of the technology they use to sustain themselves. They all just look different to someone whose used to conflating agrarian civilizations to non-agrarian ones.
To bring it all the way back to Pathfinder.
I can play a gambler from Korvosa whose a sore loser and who gets into barfights all the time and now adventures to pay off gambling debts and bar tabs. She's from 'civilization' and is mechanically a fury instinct barbarian, but has no ties to the cultures regularly called 'barbarians'
And that's sorta the problem with the name.
Barbarians, as description assigned to groups of people, has nothing to do with with the character class Barbarians save when people play a Barbarian Barbarian.
Without knowing why a player doesn't want to use free archetype I can only offer some broad suggestions.
If they're new the game or just don't want to deal with that many options, just have them play a regular character. While they'll lack in the power that comes from a wider tool-kit, the math all mostly works the same. The power from free archetype is mostly horizontal, so vertical progression stays the same.
If they just don't know what they want to play, I'd sit down with them as a GM to go over ideas and options.
If they feel like their concept doesn't vibe with an archetype, I'd probably point them to whatever the nearest thing that just does what they do. Mauler Barbarian, Blessed One Cleric, Wizard Witch, etc.
Is it?This isn't another game where species does a couple of minor things and then just fades into flavor. Ancestry and heritage involve ongoing choices throughout the game. Adding another always available ancestry adds a dozen or more feats plus heritages that have to be accounted for in the base assumptions of scenarios.
I want more options to be available at base or with lower AcP costs, but some options are more complex mechanically or have story complications that make putting some kind of investment requirement in place. Versatile heritages have definitely confused some of our senior players locally. Odd ancestries like automata have lead to some odd corner questions that ended up on my lap as VA. Having some level of flow control helps make that stuff easier to deal with.
Because PFS has to make accommodations to a wide range of folks and Pathfinder originates in part as a reaction to changes in D&D, the system in place serves as a compromise position. The folks who like your Tolkien ancestries aren't swarmed by all manner of androids, lizardfolk, and geniekin but those who want them do have access to them in a more measured capacity.
I know that restriction of the anthropomorphic options from 1E that were available in 1st ed society has put a damper on our local lodge from folks just played Kitsune (we had a LOT of furries). I also know that a number of our players were annoyed at sitting down with a table full of fox people.
If your local lodge is bringing in a lot of new people, a beginner box day isn't a bad idea to teach people both to play and GM. As a bonus, it gives 2x AcP. GMing is a good way to earn a fair bit of AcP and GMing 2e is remarkably easy compared to a lot of other RPGs.
Finally, last year at Paizocon is when they rolled out the AcP starting grant. If there's going to be changes to PFS options, it'll be there. It's about a month and change away. Idk that we'll see as sizable a change as we did last year but I personally hope some of the older, more iconic options get a points shave.
So can Munitions Crafting make basic firearms ammunition?
So I've got a player starting a gunslinger and we're trying to figure out how many actions it is to load and fire. We've run into a snag.
1. Blackpowder ammo is alchemical and has the activate trait.
So how does this actually work?
Ways I can see it:
1. Alchemical ammo is non-magic ammo, so its an action to activate, an action to load, and remains on standby until fired. 3 actions to fire a Reload 1 firearm.
2. Like the above, but works like Magic Ammunition it has to be activated the same turn you want to shoot it. Same 3 actions to fire.
3. It works more or less like any other ranged weapon. If its reload 1, you spend an action to reload and you're off to the races.
AFAIK there's no Errata for it yet and the discussions I can find either focus only on magic ammunition or treat alchemical ammunition is though its magic despite the alchemical trait saying it specifically isn't magic.
Deriven Firelion wrote:
I want to build off this in a weird direction. In a world with an evil that is a force of nature, a Tiefling could be schmuck bait to lure people to evil through no fault of their own. Create an evil Tiefling, get one evil person. Create a tiefling in a society conditioned to fear things like tieflings, get a whole bunch of people do give into their worst selves and do a bunch of evil. If that Tiefling isn't evil, all the better. People love to dig in when forced to justify their bad actions. Cause more division and discord.
It could be something as simple as social pressures. If everyone expects you to be evil, treats you like you're evil, and does evil to you what's that do your perception of the world. Maybe there's no cosmic call towards evil that tieflings feel just like there's no cosmic influence on an celestial sorcerer. The cross section of nature and nurture are nuanced areas of discussion and nothing says you have to be burdened by a call to evil or goodness b/c of an ancestor getting nasty in the past-y.
For an example:
If I remove class from Pathfinder, the game doesn't run. It's the main tool players use to interface with the game.If I remove alignment from Pathfinder it runs at 98% (with a couple of spells and specific features needing some wiggling). That's less rules modification than PFS.
Nobody disagrees that "fighters get expert martial weapon prof at first level". There's no single piece of the game that has so many incompatible takes as to why it should be a permanent, unchanging feature of two different games for decades than alignment. It is less sensible than saying 'PF2E should have AC go the other way b/c that's how D&D was decades", because that's at least a mechanic that does things rather than some inconsistent narrative device that just starts fights.
This is why I don't like alignment. We've got some folks like you saying its broad and lacks strict definitions. Then there's others saying its something akin to a cosmic constant. With 2E, the rules have a strong alternative framework with the classes tied closest to it that it can be removed. Why not just...remove it? Clerics have their god's edicts. Champions have that plus cause.
Better than reading 'demon-blooded sorcs should be evil b/c evil blood'.
I don't see how it can this immutable, unchanging, cosmic rule when the highest embodiments of it can have incompatible frameworks within the same 'side' of the chart. You can be Lawful Good and follow the Laws of Mortality, be damned to fade out because you're not the 'right' Lawful Good to get sorted at the boneyard. In that regard, deity matters cosmically as much if not more than alignment in your cosmic role. Without a deity, regardless of alignment the same thing happens.
That's all top of a Paladin pile-up of effectively incompatible nominally Lawful Good ideologies from either LG or LG-adjacent gods. All of that is without getting into the other alignment/deity mismatch conflicts. It just makes the whole thing messy, up to varying interpretation, and tied to player power.
As a GM, I've gotten more play out of telling players of characters with required deities to call their own balls and strikes. It puts playing their character back in their hands instead of leaving it up to our different interpretations of what those two words mean. They're more likely to do something that requires breaking it and dealing with the clean-up if we discuss than its used as a red card.
Catching up on this thread has been wild. I think the discourse on Paladins and Lawful Good makes a strong case for why alignment doesn't work. Whose definition of 'Law'? Whose definition of 'Good'? Are those different than the definitions of 'law' or 'good'? Whose definition of Lawful Good? That's not even getting in setting where different Lawful Good gods have different takes on what those are.
For example, Erastil and Ragathiel probably have different takes on what that entails. A god of community is less likely to see every criminal as a place to sheathe your sword in the same way the god of killing evil beings is. A Paladin of Abadar (LN) is going to have a different take on the above conflict than a Paladin of Sheyln (NG). So if I'm a GM using this world, whose version of Lawful, Good, and/or Lawful Good am I supposed to use to mediate the game? It becomes easiest to ignore it, stick to cause and tenants, and get on with life.
It is a mechanic that makes the game worse the more its enforced. What other rule in the game is like that? If my GM thinks lawful good means I do as Gygax would do and purge all the goblins, despite my gods rules saying I shouldn't do that, what makes about alignment is making this game better? We could just skip to "my deity's creed is X,Y,Z" and take out the moral complexity you're so concerned about by binning alignment and going with something less vague than the opinions of the "genocide is good, actually" guy.
Over my years of gaming the biggest thing I've noticed is the more a game enforces D&D Alignments, the more it inhibits gameplay and storytelling. As a brief two-word sum up of a character's morality and ethics its lacking, but fine. As soon as your GM's vision of what those two words mean is different from yours the game grinds to a halt for another episode of 'Whose alignment is it, anyway?'. Then in the games where its not enforced, it doesn't matter outside clerics/champs. So why is so much ink printed into a book for something that is either fetters or meaningless?
Even the cosmic stuff is a little messy. If a demon is always evil, then does it have free will? If yes, why is it always evil? If not, then what makes it different from a robot running eatmortals.exe on repeat? It makes more sense there, but in general you get better stories explaining why something is rather than stating it as fact. Something bestiaries already do pretty well, describing the sorts of souls that end up as type of creature in a way that's more interesting than "Chaotic Evil".
We've already got systems in Pathfinder regarding causes, tenants, and anathema. Even dividing that out of the classes that have them, you can take them to "what motivates you, what do you hold important, and what lines won't you cross" to get a more well-rounded character than "Chaotic good is like Robin Hood. No not that Costner Robin Hood, the Elwes one." and then a 2 hour discussion about which Robin Hood is actually chaotic good.
If they were Hecatoncheires the rules would work the same. No part of reloading the firearm forces you to put it under your arm to do so. No where in the rules does it say reloading a weapon with fatal aim from a two handed position forces it under your arm. We run rules as written. No where is it written its changed. It is written in the property that reloading specifically does change anything. Why overcomplicate it?
All of the mentions of reloading are part of the section on using it 1 handed underarm. You aren't changing to the 1-handed underarm option when reloading if you were using it in two hands.
The reload state has it temporarily in 1 hand while you reload it w/o using an extra action. It is not shifted to the '1 hand underarm state' when you do this.
The state 'underarm' or 'two-handed' is not changed via reloading.
I can't speak for outside my area, but Jezail doesn't even seem to be the most popular gun among the firearms using characters (I think its mostly clan pistols or Arquebus) and there's still a lot more characters with a focus on bows.
As for enforcing the rules:
This seems to the relevant part. If you're using it underarm, all the following applies.
It's a different clause than the "When you wield the weapon in two hands, it gains the fatal trait with the listed damage die."
The layout seems to be
If two handed, then (gain fatal die listed)
If underarm, then (behaves as follows)
If the read the way you say it does, it would be ordered differently. With the reload portion before both the two-handed and underarm descriptions.
It depends on how you look at it. There's a few hurdles, but they aren't insurmountable.
Problem #1 is the problem all large animals have. They just don't fit everywhere. Sometimes that option is just gonna be turned off. It doesn't feel great, but its comparable to someone who focuses on negative damage in a scenario with undead. Have a backup plan.
Problem #2 is what happens when it dies. Companions are nice, but they aren't the most durable things. Area damage and attacks can quickly take them out of action. If it goes down, you're gonna have to use your downtime to get a new one.
Problems out of the way, animals give you access to very powerful action economy and mounts in particular give you a great mobility when you're in the right environment. PF2e seems to have a better range of scenarios than 1E with regards to being in doors. Just expect that sometimes you're gonna have to fight on the ground.
When I'm teaching new players or starting experienced players who are new to PFS, I advise that a character build should have three things.
1 Primary Combat trick. At the end of the day, Pathfinder puts emphasis on combat. Have something you want to be doing that contributes to combat. PF2E is a team sport. Things like demoralize, knocking things prone, and flanking help everyone win. And yes, big damage can be your combat trick.
2 Things to do in skill challenges. Pick which skills you're gonna progress ahead of time. It helps to make them do different things. Diplomacy for social challenges, thievery for exploring. Society for urban adventures, Survival for wilderness. If everyone can safely cover two bases, they're in good shape.
3 Backup plans. Know what you want to do when the things you're good aren't working. Have a ranged option, have some way to heal in combat, know what skills you're fine at. Well designed scenarios will try to kick you in the dump stat, know what you'll do about it.
I like firearms, I think they're just a bit shy of where I'd like them to be power-wise. It feels like they were tuned to compete with crossbows (simple weapons) and not composite bows (martial weapons). I've had the most fun with them on classes where it's part of their kit rather than being focused on a weapon. I've got an investigator and a rogue/druid with firearms and it feels good to mix them in when the time is right. I imagine a gun-wielding Thaumaturge would be pretty cool.
As for gunslinger itself. It's...fine. I like the utility the class brings. I love the crafting feats that give a different sort of feel and access to a wide array of damage types. One handed firearm builds seem to have a high floor to access and a low ceiling. The ways are where I think the class loses it for me. They...are kind of boring and feel underwhelming in play. The drifter and pistolero need extra feats on top of the Way to hit class fantasy. The sniper is one and done. The vanguard exists. The spellshot one is cool, but takes up an extra feat with an ability that conflicts with other things it does. The archetype its supposed to go into uses cha where it uses Int.