Fey Foundling vs Toughness


Advice

Silver Crusade

Which feat is better for a stealth-melee inquisitor?

My concept is "green faith assassin". I have room for either Fey Foundling or Toughness, but not both. Fey Foundling actually works with the character backstory and wouldn't be contrived. But maybe Toughness is of more benefit? Starting CON will only be 12. I can spend favoured class bonus on hp, but I'll be human and will be very tempted to get more spells known (especially from level 4 onwards).

I don't intend to tank in any way. The character is essentially a rogue-like sneak attacker.

This will be a PFS character.


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fey foundline is hands down way better especially when being healed by a 7d6 channel energy

Scarab Sages

I'm looking at this comparison as well for a Bloodrager build I'm working on (LINK to thread). I'll likely end up taking both, unless something in the build forces me to replace one of them with a different feat.

I think in the long run, the math on Fey Foundling will work out better in terms of healing efficiency. Scenario to scenario, encounter to encounter, it's going to depend a lot on your party composition. In combat healing is rare in PFS unless you just happen to have a character in the party built to do so. Otherwise, the action economy means it probably won't happen unless someone is very badly hurt. That's why Paladin's get the most use out of the feat, because they can use a large healing effect on themselves as a swift action.

As an Inquisitor, you don't really have that. If you're healing in combat, it's probably taking your standard. Fey Foundling will help in that situation, but it's a situation you want to avoid being in. Toughness will make it less likely you'll need that in combat healing.

Fey Foundling does boost what you'll get out of a wand of CLW, taking it from an average of 5.5 per spell to 6.5 for an extra 50 hit points over the life of the wand. That's a fairly significant 18% increase, on average.

On my Human Sorcerer, I viewed taking Toughness as being the equivalent of getting the Expanded Arcana feat several times over, because I could put my favored class bonus into extra spells known like you're suggesting. If you're going to go that route, then I would definitely say Toughness. With a 12 con, a d8 class, and no favored class bonus, you run the risk of being fragile once anything does target you.

Assuming for levels 1-3 you do use FCB for HP, and for spell from then on, here's a comparison:

No Toughness:

1st: 10
2nd: 17
3rd: 24
4th: 30 * Stop using FCB for HP
5th: 37
6th: 50 * Figure around here you buy a Con boosting item
7th: 57
8th: 64
9th: 71
10th: 78
11th: 85

Toughness:

1st: 13
2nd: 20
3rd: 27
4th: 34 * Stop using FCB for HP
5th: 42
6th: 56 * Figure around here you buy a Con boosting item
7th: 64
8th: 72
9th: 80
10th: 88
11th: 96

Monster by CR:

(Assume Boss monster CR 2 higher than level)
Average Full Round Damage
CR3 1st: 11
CR4 2nd: 14
CR5 3rd: 17.5
CR6 4th: 21.5
CR7 5th: 26
CR8 6th: 30.5
CR9 7th: 35
CR10 8th: 39
CR11 9th: 43.5
CR12 10th: 48
CR13 11th: 52.5

So at 1st level, an average full round (if the monster hits with all of its attacks) will put you negative without Toughness. First level is squishy regardless, but at least with Toughness, you're conscious.

Even at 11th, two full rounds will put you unconscious even with Toughness. But Toughness is the difference between being unconscious at -9 and dead at -20.

I'm not saying you're going to take that kind of damage, and certainly not every fight. But those are the averages between the high and low damage for the CR, so it's possible you'll take more than what's listed as well. With a 12 CON and without Toughness, there's a much greater chance you're going to find yourself retreating from combat early or asking for healing early in the fight.

Now, if your AC is going to be higher than normal, that can offset things considerably, so a lot depends on your build. But I think without a consistent way to heal faster than a standard action, Toughness makes more sense to me.


I'd say it's going to depend on how often you'll be getting access to multiple dice of healing in battle. This is why it's so great on Paladins, since their swift-action self-heals always give lots of dice to get the +2 from fey foundling.

On a PFS character, you can't really be sure about what'll be in your party beyond what you bring yourself. Ergo, unless you're bringing some multiple-dice self-heals that you can deploy pretty regularly, you can't be sure you'll get much out of Fey Foundling.

In light of that, unless you've got something like Lay on Hands/Channel Energy, I'd lean towards toughness on a PFS character.


Fey foundling only comes ahead when you can have dedicated resources to high end healing. This usually comes in two forms: paladins (who have a major mechanic that lets them heal in combat with little loss) and heal bot clerics.

If you are playing a paladin, it is a no brainer- you have control over whether or not you get healing effects with a lot of dice.

Clerics... are dicey. I specifically said 'heal bot' for a reason: to get the most out of fey foundling, you need to have effects with a lot of healing dice. Which means you are going to have to use actual healing spells with decent spell levels.

'Heal bot' is kind of a derogatory term though, born from the resentment where cleric players just feel like they are only there to spam a few heal spells. If the cleric is meant to be something other than a chore, then you usually see people forgoing healing duties (mostly relegating it to CLW wands after the fight) and the cleric does other things that are arguably more useful, such as summoning or buffing, which reduces the need for in combat healing in the first place (since they raise defenses or kill things faster).

Another note- yes, clerics can also channel energy... but that is a non scaling use per day scaling with a stat that clerics would otherwise dump. So you usually only see that on a few builds... and a lot of those are heal bots. You are more likely to see CHA dumped, and the cleric only has 1-2 uses of channel energy- nice a couple of times, but not much overall. Even at best, you are likely to only see this 3 times in a day. And some clerics prefer to keep this on reserve in the event of seeing undead or the whole party is near TPK- so you might not even see 1 time per day, and that is after battles for free top offs.

There are of course advantages to having fey foundling, even without these considerations... but it mostly comes down to 'you spend less on wands of CLW out of combat', which is the least exciting thing and does little in combat. Toughness, which is also boring, but it lets you not die as quick, which usually helps in most fights.

Anyway, to the main question: you are not a paladin, you don't have similar intense healing mechanics, and you can't rely on having a high end healer in PFS. So fey foundling probably won't do much for you.

Silver Crusade

All good advice folks, thanks :)

Toughness does look the better choice here.

Scarab Sages

This thread has me wondering if I should bother taking Fey Foundling at all for my Bloodrager. I'd have limited swift healing (from Spelleater), but it'll be 1 or 2 dice for the most part, so we're taking 2 or 4 extra hit points once or twice a scenario (in combat). Hmm...


Ferious Thune wrote:
This thread has me wondering if I should bother taking Fey Foundling at all for my Bloodrager. I'd have limited swift healing (from Spelleater), but it'll be 1 or 2 dice for the most part, so we're taking 2 or 4 extra hit points once or twice a scenario (in combat). Hmm...

It is a swift action, so it actually falls under the same general principles of the paladin- you are improving your in battle self healing mechanics that you can personally decide wasting resources upon.

A paladin gets a more robust and routine usage of fey foundling, but it might be more critical for you- that healing is your 'OH NO OH NO OH NO, I'M GONNA DIE' button.

This is particularly true since your rage gives bonuses to con- the classic barbarian problem of 'my health will drop low enough that I will instantly die if I stop raging right now'. So those 2 or 4 extra HP might be the difference between whether or not you need to spend money or a raise dead.


Another benefit fey foundling has is that it usually takes less charges of your cure light wounds wand to heal you up.

My opinion, toughness is great for levels 1 & 2. Almost worthless for levels 3 - 8, then so-so till about 12+. This is just due to how much damage you can take vs the health you get from it. Still a good feat, just think there's better at the early levels.


Fey Foundling affects all healing not just in combat healing. People seem to be saying that it is worthless for out of combat healing. It’s all about resource management.

The sole purpose of HP is to keep you from dying. All having more HP does is to raise the threshold of when you go unconscious or die. As long as you are not taking enough damage to go unconscious or be killed in a single encounter having more HP is not that important. As long as you remain conscious, and are alive at the end of the battel you have enough hp.

Unless there has been a recent nerf I am not aware of Fey Foundling give you 2 extra HP per die, not 1. That means that the average damage healed from a wand of cure light wounds goes from 5.5 to 7.5. That means a wand of cure light wounds cures an extra 100 HP, not 50. That means you are healing an extra 36% more not 18%. You get a similar boost from almost all healing not just wands.

Other than things like paladins lay on hands the only time in combat healing should be used is in an emergency. When a character is about to be killed or go down is about the only time that it makes tactical sense to use in combat healing. At this point you should be using your best healing available or the situation is probably not dire enough. In this circumstance the increased healing from Fey Foundling is even more important.

What it really comes down to are your HP low enough that the extra HP from toughness are keeping you alive and conscious? If not the extra 36% increase from Fey Foundling is going to be more beneficial to you. The money you save on healing can be spent on other things. It also means that since you require less healing more can be used for the rest of the party. Having the barbarian at full HP because you did not need that last healing spell is going to mean he may be able to survive the combat and will be there for the next encounter.

Scarab Sages

Yeah, that was my mistake on the calculation. Still, that takes the effective cost of a wand of CLW from 750 to 480. Say you buy three wands of CLW over your PFS career. You're saving 810 gold over the regular life of your character. If you're taking Fey Foundling primarily for out of combat healing, you're basically trading a feat for 810 gold. You'll get some more use out of it, obviously, but I think if you could buy and extra feat for 810 gold, or 1,000 or even 5,000, a lot of people would. Toughness isn't the most powerful feat either, but for a melee character with a 12 CON who won't be putting the majority of his favored class bonus into HP, it seems like the better choice here.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Fey Foundling affects all healing not just in combat healing. People seem to be saying that it is worthless for out of combat healing. It’s all about resource management.

Maybe it could have some worth in PFS, where you can't rely on your teammates too much... but in any home campaign, it is fairly close to useless.

Assuming that wands of CLW are the main kind of healing, a normal heal would give you about 4.5 HP per use. So that means you get an extra 50%, which means you spend 2/3 as much as usual (100%/150%).

That sounds good in PFS, because you are spending for you, since you can't rely on your allies to ahve such a wand.

In a homegame, you have a constant party that generally works together, so that means you split the wand costs between all of you. But remember- your friend aren't going to benefit from fey foundling.

So that 2/3 cost suddenly becomes a 11/12 cost in a party of 4. A feat is not worth saving 1/12 on a wand.

Furthermore... craft wand is usually not viewed favorably as a crafting feat... but it lets you craft wands for 1/2 price. So That would make it an even better deal than fey foundling for this same role. And that is why we judge fey foundling on in combat use- where its large addition per dice can actually make a legitimate difference since it can keep you from dying.


I don’t play or run PFS, but in games I run and play you will need a lot more than three wands of cure light wounds over the course you your career. Many of the games I run evolve extensive travel often on other planes, so you can’t just pop back to town to pick up a new wand. Resource management is something that the players have to really plan for. You may go several levels before you are able to reequip. I also go a higher than 12th level so the players HP and amount of damage can be significantly higher. My advice is based on my own play style so may not always fit every game.

Also while wands are an important part of out of combat healing they are not the only thing used. Clerics still have channel energy, and can convert any spell to a cure, paladins have lay on hands. Fey Foundling affects all of those not just wands. Fey Foundling allows the character to be able to be restored to full HP with fewer resources used. These resources than can be used on the rest of the party.

Honestly if it were me I don’t think I would take either of the feats for an inquisitor. But If I had to choose between the two I would go for Fey Foundling. I don’t think that an extra HP per level is worth a feat, especially if you are going to be limited to 12th level. Toughness is kind of unusual that it is front loaded. At first level it can actually be really helpful, because at that level 3 extra HP are a significant increase. But you get nothing for level 2-3 and then only 1 per level after that. If the extra HP were so important he would be taking that as his favored class bonus. I believe that PFS allows a rewrite at before you get to second level. In that case it might be worth taking at first and then swapping it out at second level.


I think toughness is better for a character that only reaches 12th level.

Most of the feat is front loaded.


Take neither. As an Inquisitor, you have access to a Fast Healing Judgement. Just enter a sparring match with a buddy, deal nonlethal damage to each other, and you'll be at full health by the end of it. Plus, there are a TON of feats that are way more useful to an Inquisitor.


in a combat sense for an inquisitor toughness is the better choice.

Scarab Sages

Yeah, Judgement is much better used in combat than twisting it for out of combat healing. Unless you're in a campaign that routinely has fewer than 2 encounters/day, which PFS is not. You're looking at more like 3 or 4 encounters. Which means even at 10th level, you're likely to need all of your Judgements in combat.

What makes me think he'll want Toughness at some point is that he's starting with a 12 CON. I have a couple of melee characters that started with a 12 CON, and by around mid levels I definitely felt the need to take Toughness, because survivability in melee was becoming questionable. And one of those characters is a high AC Monk with Evasion/Improved Evasion, so he avoids a lot of damage. Burst damage when he does run into something tough that can hit him was the issue. Fortunately, I had a useless feat that I could retrain (the Nagaji Spit Venom feat), so it didn't slow down the build.

On top of a 12 CON, he's thinking of not putting all of his favored class bonuses into HP. So working Toughness in at some point is probably a good idea. If he were starting with a 13 CON and planning to bump it at 4th or 8th, that might be different.

@Mysterious Stranger - That all sounds fine for your home campaign. PFS is not resource poor, and there is easy access to wands of CLW, even without spending gold (through spending prestige). I don't think I've had a character yet burn through more than 3 CLW wands over 11 levels, though some of those eventually bought partial wands of cure moderate as well. But even if it goes to 4 or 5, the savings is minor compared to getting an extra feat for your build.

He's also talking about a character that doesn't plan to routinely be the target in combat. So there will be scenarios where he requires minimal healing, or possibly even none. I just played through a scenario at tier 8-9 with a melee character, and because there was a Barbarian next to me with a low AC for most of the scenario, I never got hit. What he should be concerned with is when he suddenly catches the wizards attention and gets a disentegrate sent his way, or when the giant suddenly decides attacking the Fighter is can't hit is no fun and lands a full attack on him. An average damage roll if a Power Attacking Stone Giant (CR8, 2d8+21) hits a level 6 character with both greatclub attacks is 60 points of damage. That puts him at -10 without Toughness. Slightly better than average roll, and he goes from full to dead.

Silver Crusade

Kaouse wrote:
Take neither. As an Inquisitor, you have access to a Fast Healing Judgement. Just enter a sparring match with a buddy, deal nonlethal damage to each other, and you'll be at full health by the end of it. Plus, there are a TON of feats that are way more useful to an Inquisitor.

I won't have Judgement. In fact between two archetypes (Sanctified Slayer and Green Faith Marshal) a lot of the usual Inquisitor stuff is traded away. In its place I have sneak attack (a lot), studied target, and a familiar. I do retain Bane, teamwork feats and Solo Tactics.


Kaouse wrote:
Take neither. As an Inquisitor, you have access to a Fast Healing Judgement. Just enter a sparring match with a buddy, deal nonlethal damage to each other, and you'll be at full health by the end of it. Plus, there are a TON of feats that are way more useful to an Inquisitor.

And your friend now has non lethal damage!

SOLUTIONS!


Nonlethal damage heals much faster and easier than lethal damage. It also heals simultaneously with lethal damage.


Kaouse wrote:
Nonlethal damage heals much faster and easier than lethal damage. It also heals simultaneously with lethal damage.

So the solution for not having to use healing is to make another party member use healing?

SOLUTIONS


Ferious Thune wrote:

@Mysterious Stranger - That all sounds fine for your home campaign. PFS is not resource poor, and there is easy access to wands of CLW, even without spending gold (through spending prestige). I don't think I've had a character yet burn through more than 3 CLW wands over 11 levels, though some of those eventually bought partial wands of cure moderate as well. But even if it goes to 4 or 5, the savings is minor compared to getting an extra feat for your build.

He's also talking about a character that doesn't plan to routinely be the target in combat. So there will be scenarios where he requires minimal healing, or possibly even none. I just played through a scenario at tier 8-9 with a melee character, and because there was a Barbarian next to me with a low AC for most of the scenario, I never got hit. What he should be concerned with is when he suddenly...

He is not talking about getting an extra feat he is talking about taking toughness. There are a lot better choices for feats than toughness. Great Fortitude will give him a +2 on fortitude saves which having only a 12 Con is affecting. Dodge will give him +1 AC and affects touch AC for all those rays and other attacks targeting touch AC. Improve Initiative will increase the chance of him getting to act first and thereby actually being able to use sneak attack. Improved monster lore gives you a bonus of half your level to identify monsters (Very useful for being able to use band).

Toughness is not really all that good of a feat once you are past 1st level. Going from 9 to 12 HP is actually pretty good at first level where one unlucky shot my take you down. After that it quickly loses steam especially since you gain nothing at levels 2-3.

Scarab Sages

Mysterious Stranger wrote:

He is not talking about getting an extra feat he is talking about taking toughness. There are a lot better choices for feats than toughness. Great Fortitude will give him a +2 on fortitude saves which having only a 12 Con is affecting. Dodge will give him +1 AC and affects touch AC for all those rays and other attacks targeting touch AC. Improve Initiative will increase the chance of him getting to act first and thereby actually being able to use sneak attack. Improved monster lore gives you a bonus of half your level to identify monsters (Very useful for being able to use band).

Toughness is not really all that good of a feat once you are past 1st level. Going from 9 to 12 HP is actually pretty good at first level where one unlucky shot my take you down. After that it quickly loses steam especially since you gain nothing at levels 2-3.

Your previous post was presenting Fey Foundling as a better choice than Toughness. I just pointed out why in PFS that might not be the case. There is certainly an argument to be made for any number of other feats over Toughness, depending on his build. That doesn't change my opinion that between Fey Foundling and Toughness, in PFS, Toughness is the better choice unless you have a way to heal yourself in combat faster than a standard action.

EDIT: I guess it was my choice of the words "extra feat for your build" that confused things. In this case, the extra feat would be Toughness (but could be any number of things). Regardless of whether it's Toughness or something else, taking Fey Founding to save 1,000 gold or so over the course of the character's career isn't worth it.


I don't want to seem like a debbie downer here but yes fey foundling doesn't sound right for your build, but also don't get toughness. It's such a boring feat I never actually take it for that reason alone.


Personally I don't like fey foundling because 99% of babies found in the woods have to become Paladins.


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Cavall wrote:
Personally I don't like fey foundling because 99% of babies found in the woods have to become Paladins.

I could get behind a setting that does that.

Fey foundlings that come from a strangely peaceful world, coming to a dim, dull world overflowing with demons, dragons, and cultists. Unable to accept this, they strike out, striking down these vile things.

You could also use a dark view of the nature of the first world as driving people towards the paladin playstyle. First worlders don't really die while on that plane, and just reappear a short while later. So, affected by the first world, fey foundlings do not fear death, and willingly jumping into the enemies' waiting spears and fangs in order to hack away, making them very willing tanks.

Their improved ability to self heal of course makes this less suicidal, but it can make them feel...unnatural. Which plays into the whole 'child of the fey' thing. I mean... 'eldritch' things literally connects linguistically to 'elvish' (and elves were originally fey in old european folklore). Fey weren't always cute fairies- they were alien creatures with strange powers. So having your paladin be more unnatural plays into this.

So overall.... you can get plenty of reasons for why a fey foundling centered order could be formed. Mostly as a way to get the frea....I mean 'special children' grouped together so you can send them somewhere else rather than near you. And the effects of the feat have enough functional effect that you could recognize it and use it as a justification in game.


lemeres wrote:
Cavall wrote:
Personally I don't like fey foundling because 99% of babies found in the woods have to become Paladins.

I could get behind a setting that does that.

Fey foundlings that come from a strangely peaceful world, coming to a dim, dull world overflowing with demons, dragons, and cultists. Unable to accept this, they strike out, striking down these vile things.

You could also use a dark view of the nature of the first world as driving people towards the paladin playstyle. First worlders don't really die while on that plane, and just reappear a short while later. So, affected by the first world, fey foundlings do not fear death, and willingly jumping into the enemies' waiting spears and fangs in order to hack away, making them very willing tanks.

Their improved ability to self heal of course makes this less suicidal, but it can make them feel...unnatural. Which plays into the whole 'child of the fey' thing. I mean... 'eldritch' things literally connects linguistically to 'elvish' (and elves were originally fey in old european folklore). Fey weren't always cute fairies- they were alien creatures with strange powers. So having your paladin be more unnatural plays into this.

So overall.... you can get plenty of reasons for why a fey foundling centered order could be formed. Mostly as a way to get the frea....I mean 'special children' grouped together so you can send them somewhere else rather than near you. And the effects of the feat have enough functional effect that you could recognize it and use it as a justification in game.

Another thing I've seen suggested: the fey have a motive for wanting the abyssal hordes gone. It could be the ongoing battles keep the gods out of the first world, it could be that they're weakening the armies of the multiverse for a takeover, it could be that nobody ever would make cold iron weapons with the demons gone.


Why not both?

Edit: ok I decided for more. I know you said you don't have room for both but that's hard to believe as a melee inquisitor requires practically no feats. Essentially power attack or an equivilant is it. I would also say that if a 14 Con and FCB to HP isn't enough to keep you up when you are not a tank then there are larger issues at play here.

To answer your question , if you are not healing yourself but dependent on someone else for the healing then you take toughness because you can't trust the other guy to act I. Your best interest.


Cavall wrote:
Kaouse wrote:
Nonlethal damage heals much faster and easier than lethal damage. It also heals simultaneously with lethal damage.

So the solution for not having to use healing is to make another party member use healing?

SOLUTIONS

Turning lethal damage into nonlethal damage is basically the same thing as healing it if you have time to wait or are about to rest.

Plus, you know, you don't really have to deal a ton of damage. Or any damage at all. You can purposely miss attacks, so the important thing is just to get Fast Healing working.

I really don't know why you're being so antagonistic to my suggestion.

Silver Crusade

Renegadeshepherd wrote:

Why not both?

Edit: ok I decided for more. I know you said you don't have room for both but that's hard to believe as a melee inquisitor requires practically no feats. Essentially power attack or an equivilant is it. I would also say that if a 14 Con and FCB to HP isn't enough to keep you up when you are not a tank then there are larger issues at play here.

To answer your question , if you are not healing yourself but dependent on someone else for the healing then you take toughness because you can't trust the other guy to act I. Your best interest.

Two-weapon fighting.

I think my plan is sound. There are a lot of ways for the Sanctified Slayer Inquisitor to boost accuracy to offset the 2WF penalties, and a lot of ways to create a flank for sneak attack. I want to try Step Up with Press to the Wall.

I only have room for CON 12 to start, the build is quite MAD. I'll take some fcb's for hp, but there are a lot of spells I want.

Given the variable parties in PFS, I couldn't be sure of benefiting greatly from Fey Foundling. I plan on taking Toughness, and possibly retraining it out later if I find that I have enough hp.


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Kaouse wrote:
Cavall wrote:
Kaouse wrote:
Nonlethal damage heals much faster and easier than lethal damage. It also heals simultaneously with lethal damage.

So the solution for not having to use healing is to make another party member use healing?

SOLUTIONS

Turning lethal damage into nonlethal damage is basically the same thing as healing it if you have time to wait or are about to rest.

Plus, you know, you don't really have to deal a ton of damage. Or any damage at all. You can purposely miss attacks, so the important thing is just to get Fast Healing working.

I really don't know why you're being so antagonistic to my suggestion.

I'm imagining a pair of guys who are untrained in whips flailing these piddly next-to-no-damage things wildly at each other while they're both wearing heavy armor. And their wounds close because of this.

I LOVE IT!


Fair enough. Final tip.... By rules as written a judgement continues until an encounter tee is over. Most GMs take that as to mean when everything is dead so if you can just keep one guy alive but disabled you can complete heal yourself with the healing judgement over a long time.


yeah, if the enemy is disabled I'd be calling off combat then too.


As would I. If combatants aren't able to fight combat ends.


Between Feyfoundling and Toughness, you really should look at your other defenses and how they are. Shoring up a defense instead of something to help with your health might bring a lot more benefit as a feat then either Feyfoundling or Toughness.

While it hasn't been mentioned yet, Feyfoundling works really good with Channeled healing. A healer rolling 5D6 healing channels is a extra 10 health with Feyfoundling. Just need to be grouped up with someone that channel heals. Which can be a problem in PFS.

Shadow Lodge

Kaouse wrote:
I really don't know why you're being so antagonistic to my suggestion.

The metaphysical knows when you're trying to cheese out some rules lawyering and turns off the spigot.

Depending on the game, I'd allow it.

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