Armor Master's Handbook: PFS Legal?


Pathfinder Society

Grand Lodge 1/5

Okay guys, I apologize if this has been asked already. I did a search but couldn't find it if so...

Is the new Armor Master's Handbook PFS legal? Herolab seems to think so, but I don't see it listed on the Additional Resource page yet.

I run a lot of straight fighters so the Advanced Armor Training would make it worth me grabbing the book but being as I primarily play PFS, its kind of useless if it isn't PFS legal.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

Grimruhn wrote:

Okay guys, I apologize if this has been asked already. I did a search but couldn't find it if so...

Is the new Armor Master's Handbook PFS legal? Herolab seems to think so, but I don't see it listed on the Additional Resource page yet.

I run a lot of straight fighters so the Advanced Armor Training would make it worth me grabbing the book but being as I primarily play PFS, its kind of useless if it isn't PFS legal.

Herolab has 0 authority to declare things PFS legal.

I believe John has said he's submitted an Additional Resources update, so wait and find out what's legal once the site updates.

Grand Lodge 1/5

Pirate Rob wrote:


Herolab has 0 authority to declare things PFS legal.

I believe John has said he's submitted an Additional Resources update, so wait and find out what's legal once the site updates.

Correct. Which is why I'm asking :-)

I'm hoping to conform it before Origins which is creeping up fast now!

Paizo Employee 5/5 Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

It should be appearing soon.

Grand Lodge 2/5

Pirate Rob wrote:
Herolab has 0 authority to declare things PFS legal.

Even though the question has obviously been answered already, I just want to reiterate this point.

4/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Now, to decode that "soon" with this advanced understanding of time... OH NOES! I put it in quotes, so it's going to take longer!


As an FYI, while Hero Labs still shows the Armor Master's Handbook as available for PFS characters, it still puts up a notice for each AMH item (text is in red right at the top of info text) saying it's not added to the Additional Resources page yet.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

And here I was hoping it'd be up this week :(

4/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would imagine that the entire office is scrambling with the impending con. I had my hopes up, too.

Grand Lodge 1/5

Okay, finally out. Armor Specialization isnot PFS legal though which is what I was wondering about. It was the only thing that was going to make the book worth getting for me. Oh well, at least I know before Origins this week!


It really sucks that Armor Specialization was banned....they one thing in the book that really stood out and makes fighters start to come up to par with other classes....Banned...Cuz Fighters can't have anything nice.
It's OK to have Superstitous pouncing Barbarians but allow a Fighter to get a little Bump to AC...Verboten!!!!

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

Yeah I'm surprised by some of the stuff they banned. Many of the stuff I can't figure out why it would be banned. Some make sense like the fighter weapon training to get free enhancements. But many items I'm curious why it would be banned


Shielded Brace wasn't banned. A bit surprised at this...guess it doesn't look as good as unhindering shield so they let it slip...

Grand Lodge 1/5

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I guess what always gets me with this is, why even bother putting it in the book in the first place? Yeah, I know for home games, but why not just make it all consistent? That's the stuff that makes me not want to buy more books. We play mostly Society, even in our home sessions, so much of what comes out that might be interesting ends up useless anyway. Frustrating.

Liberty's Edge

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The following is my understanding of things as built up over the last many years of spending way too much time on these boards. I may have some details wrong.

The PFS team has no control over the creative team, or vice versa. They communicate but one team does not have authority over the other.

They are also not are also not a hive mind. What one group feels will work, the other may not.

Additionally, the PFS team takes an approach of waiting to allow things, if they are not sure about it. They can always add things in fairly easily later, but taking things away is always painful.

Lastly, and yes you acknowledged this, the organized play environment is different from any other environment. It has its own needs and pitfalls. What works in home games and short games and what have you does not necessarily work in PFS. Crafting Feats are a perfect example of this.

I would rather have options available for home campaigns that would never be allowed in PFS. Yes, it sucks to see something that would be awesome and/or perfect for a character or concept and have it be banned, but that is the cost of doing business, as it were.

Never forget that you can always start a thread asking for something to be added as legal. A number of options have seen this change in the last several years. So, if you can form a well thought out polite and insightful argument and post it you may see they change you desire occur.

EDIT: added and introductory explanatory paragraph.

Grand Lodge 1/5

Thanks Graywulfe, that does make sense. A little goofy that the teams don't talk but it makes more sense as to why we see what we do when new stuff comes out.

Liberty's Edge

They do talk, as I noted. There is communication. It is simply that they answer to different needs and not each other.

Liberty's Edge

You have to view PFS as a subset of the game. Just like in a home game there are aspects of the game that are not being actively used. In the case of PFS those include evil PCs, No Crafting, etc.

I have GMs who adamantly do not allow things from other settings, I have GMs who don't allow "Asian" classes, every campaign has its allowed and disallowed lists even if they are not as organized and detailed as PFS's. Many campaigns do not even write down and/or codify them but they still have them.

4/5

It's probably also worth noting that some of the authors do get bummed out when their feat/archetype/item is not made PFS legal, since they would like the things they design to be used by as large an audience as possible. So, I think there is a good amount of selective pressure by the designers on themselves to make things that are balanced and reasonable for PFS play.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

That's kinda my confusion though. A fair number of items that I thought would be balanced and reasonable for PFS play were banned. Like it's fine. I'm just surprised that some items were banned that seemed like they should have been okay.

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵

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There's always the chance that some of these items are being held back so that they can be released on a suitable chronicle sheet.

1/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Joe Jungers wrote:
There's always the chance that some of these items are being held back so that they can be released on a suitable chronicle sheet.

Alternatively, a couple of people who were vocal got on the forums and in other lobbying methods and really pushed for a thing, when it wasn't evaluated 'in a play environment' first.

This can lead to confusing and sometimes contradictory rulings, which then prompts requests for FAQs, intelligent open discussion on why a thing should (or should not) be allowed, and hopefully the community grows in insight and wisdom in the process.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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Alex Mack wrote:
Shielded Brace wasn't banned. A bit surprised at this...guess it doesn't look as good as unhindering shield so they let it slip...

I missed a campaign clarification for that. When you use shield brace, you may use a two handed weapon sized appropriately for you from the polearms or spear group as a one-handed weapon ...

This clarification will be included in the next update.


Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:
Alex Mack wrote:
Shielded Brace wasn't banned. A bit surprised at this...guess it doesn't look as good as unhindering shield so they let it slip...

I missed a campaign clarification for that. When you use shield brace, you may use a two handed weapon sized appropriately for you from the polearms or spear group as a one-handed weapon ...

This clarification will be included in the next update.

Dun dun dun!

Well that's a game changer for Shield Brace.

So does that mean it only works for one-handed use + shield use and could benefit from two-weapon fighting? OrOr does that mean one can switch between two-handed polearm + shield use OR one-handed + shield for TWF?

Paizo Employee 5/5 Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

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Protoman wrote:
Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:
Alex Mack wrote:
Shielded Brace wasn't banned. A bit surprised at this...guess it doesn't look as good as unhindering shield so they let it slip...

I missed a campaign clarification for that. When you use shield brace, you may use a two handed weapon sized appropriately for you from the polearms or spear group as a one-handed weapon ...

This clarification will be included in the next update.

Dun dun dun!

Well that's a game changer for Shield Brace.

So does that mean it only works for one-handed use + shield use and could benefit from two-weapon fighting? OrOr does that mean one can switch between two-handed polearm + shield use OR one-handed + shield for TWF?

It means that when calculating how other abilities interact with one's weapon while using Shield Brace (e.g. Strength x 1.5 for damage and the higher rate of return for Power Attack), the polearm behaves as though you were wielding a one-handed weapon. This brings it in line with how the phalanx soldier archetype (Advanced Player's Guide 105) operates.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Protoman wrote:
Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:

I missed a campaign clarification for that. When you use shield brace, you may use a two handed weapon sized appropriately for you from the polearms or spear group as a one-handed weapon ...

This clarification will be included in the next update.
So does that mean it only works for one-handed use + shield use and could benefit from two-weapon fighting? OrOr does that mean one can switch between two-handed polearm + shield use OR one-handed + shield for TWF?

My read is the former. No high-rate Power Attack for Shield Brace characters, but TWF appears to be very much on the table.

Also, thanks to Ms. Zayas-Palmer (EDIT: and Mr. Compton!) for the clarifications. ^_^

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That sounds *really* promising and I'm now curious about doing a 'Hoplite' build.


COOLIO. Polearms held in one hand and shield in the other and no two-handed calculations. Got it! Thanks for the clarifications, Linda and John!

Grand Lodge 1/5

Interesting. I've built a couple high AC shield using fighters recently but have missed having a reach weapon. That might be a good option.


John Compton wrote:
Protoman wrote:
Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:
Alex Mack wrote:
Shielded Brace wasn't banned. A bit surprised at this...guess it doesn't look as good as unhindering shield so they let it slip...

I missed a campaign clarification for that. When you use shield brace, you may use a two handed weapon sized appropriately for you from the polearms or spear group as a one-handed weapon ...

This clarification will be included in the next update.

Dun dun dun!

Well that's a game changer for Shield Brace.

So does that mean it only works for one-handed use + shield use and could benefit from two-weapon fighting? OrOr does that mean one can switch between two-handed polearm + shield use OR one-handed + shield for TWF?

It means that when calculating how other abilities interact with one's weapon while using Shield Brace (e.g. Strength x 1.5 for damage and the higher rate of return for Power Attack), the polearm behaves as though you were wielding a one-handed weapon. This brings it in line with how the phalanx soldier archetype (Advanced Player's Guide 105) operates.

Thanks for pointing this out here...does make me a sad panda however...

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

I finally got some time to look over the book today so I thought I'd play my normal game of "wildly speculating on why things got banned." As always the disclaimer is that I have no inside knowledge and that these are my opinions. They may give a reference point for those who wish to discuss legalizing a particular item. (Or I may be doing it solely for my own amusement.)

It is important to note that there are far more reasons something might not be allowed than simply "it's too powerful." In no particular order and in a non-exhaustive list those include:

-Does not fit in with PFS campaign setting (such as only being found in one particular part of Golarion or requiring evil play)
-Does not work with PFS specific rules (such as crafting)
-Reserved to appear on an adventure chronicle
-Text is confusing/conflicts with established rules (may appear later in Campaign Clarifications document)
-Conflicts with upcoming publication (that we know nothing about - the hardest one to analyze)
-Too powerful/mispriced

Armor Master's Handbook Legality speculations:

Iron Tyrant archetype - easy, it's an antipaladin archetype.

Advancing armor property - I'm not actually sure. It's a useful ability but only in specific situations. The only thing I can see is that it has the rules text problem that several other items/abilities have in that it triggers if you reduce an opponent to 0 or fewer hitpoints. These are problematic when you reduce an opponent to exactly 0 as that doesn't actually cause your opponent to drop. It requires either the GM telling the players hitpoint totals of their enemies or constantly pestering "is he at zero?"

Clockwork Armor - Underpriced. The enhancement bonuses alone on a belt would cost 40,000 GP, which is more than the armor costs.

Djezet Skin Armor - At first glance not particularly powerful (though I'm not sure why it grants a bonus to diplomacy checks if you look like you're made of red metal). It's the equivalent of a +3 armor with no spell failure chance but as a named armor can't be enhanced further. That means that for arcane casters mage armor is the better choice armorwise and will last decently long by the time you could afford this armor. However, Djezet is a skymetal and as such is rare in Golarion. I wouldn't be surprised to see this show up on a chronicle.

Shifting Jerkin - Too powerful. Not the armor itself or disguise self but the secondary ability. Being able to change out any talent for one in which you qualify is VERY powerful. You can get rid of talents that have no pre-requisites for ones that have a level minimum for no cost other than the armor. Probably needs a limiter like "She can't gain a talent that has a level requirement greater than the talent swapped out." Even then the flat cost is far preferable to the prestige costs in PFS.

Spirit-Bonded - I believe the cost is too low for this armor property when worn by a medium. The Spirit Focus feat also increases the Spirit Bonus by 1, but it is a feat and only applies to one legend. This armor property costs a flat 6000 to apply to all legends (and stacks with the feat).

Voidglass - Again, falls under the "rarity" clause. I wouldn't be surprised to see items made of Voidglass show up on a chronicle.

Mobile Stronghold - Confusing and/or too powerful. "You can gain total cover against a single attack made against you as an immediate or swift action." You can't make an attack against a target that has total cover. So if something targets you and then you use this ability...then they can't target you...does the attack fail? Hit the shield? Can the opponent change targets since the first choice wasn't legal? It's a debate for the rules boards but confusing. The 13th level power of the Tower Shield Specialist does roughly the same thing but specifically says it can't interrupt an attack.

Unhindering Shield - Too powerful. For the cost of two feats (3 if you're not proficient with bucklers) you get a (2 + enhancement) shield bonus to AC. See armor specialization for more thoughts.

Protected Limbs - A bit too powerful. Should probably say "+4 bonus to your AC against any attack of opportunity you provoke as a result of attempting a combat maneuver without the Improved maneuver feat (such as Improved Trip)" to avoid debates about what happens when you provoke by moving into position to attempt a maneuver. And the CMD bonus is quite nice. At 11th level you can just use your final iterative to attempt a disarm (or something) with a very low chance of success, but you still get the bonus to CMD. Also, did you notice the odd side effect of this ability? If you grapple someone, you effectively gain a +4 vs. their maneuver attempt to break it.

Armor Specialization - Just a tiny bit too powerful in my opinion. Although the bonus won't get above +2 in normal (1-11) play, that's still more than most feats give you. In general feats shouldn't add more than +1 AC. Armor Focus, Shield Focus, and Dodge are examples.

Master Armorer - A crafting ability and therefore not suitable for PFS.

Spellscribed Armor - again relies on crafting. It would theoretically be possible to allow spells put on by NPCs but it would require a whole slew of clarifications.

So that's my thoughts on Armor Master's Handbook. Hopefully insightful.

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