Fix combat system so multi armed races are playable for pcs


Prerelease Discussion

Silver Crusade

Would it be possible to make the new combat system viable for multi armed races as player characters.


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You have three actions in a round (and a reaction sometimes). Regardless of how many arms you have, you have three actions, so there you go. You can now play a race with more than two arms, because the new system doesn't care about how many appendages you have.


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Remy P Gilbeau wrote:
You have three actions in a round (and a reaction sometimes). Regardless of how many arms you have, you have three actions, so there you go. You can now play a race with more than two arms, because the new system doesn't care about how many appendages you have.

We'll see how TWF works first...


4 arms can probably be made to be balanced:
* 4 arms must be smaller and weaker, so -4 STR.
* The 4 arms are hard to coordinate, so -4 DEX.
* The complicated skeleton is more fragile, so -2 CON.
* If a caster benefits from extra arms: More of the brain is devoted to arms control, so -2 INT (one less starting skill?).


ChibiNyan wrote:
Remy P Gilbeau wrote:
You have three actions in a round (and a reaction sometimes). Regardless of how many arms you have, you have three actions, so there you go. You can now play a race with more than two arms, because the new system doesn't care about how many appendages you have.
We'll see how TWF works first...

We can look at PF1 Unchained Revised Action Economy:

"Two-Weapon Fighting and Flurry of Blows
When you fight with a second weapon in your off hand or with a double weapon, you can make two attacks with the first attack simple action you take during your turn: one with your primary hand and another with your off hand. You take penalties on these attack rolls as listed on Table: Two-Weapon Fighting Penalties in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. Any other attack simple actions you take during your turn allow only one attack roll, using either the weapon in your primary hand or the one in your off hand.

If you have the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you can make two attack rolls on both the first and second attack simple actions taken during your turn; both of the attacks made on the second attack action are made at a –5 penalty. Further attack simple actions taken during the same turn allow only one attack roll, using either the weapon in your primary hand or the one in your off hand.

If you have the Greater Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you can make two attacks on each of your attack simple actions on your turn, though you take all the normal penalties for two-weapon fighting, as well as the cumulative –5 penalty per attack simple action (all attacks made as part of the same attack action have the same penalty)."


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ChibiNyan wrote:
Remy P Gilbeau wrote:
You have three actions in a round (and a reaction sometimes). Regardless of how many arms you have, you have three actions, so there you go. You can now play a race with more than two arms, because the new system doesn't care about how many appendages you have.
We'll see how TWF works first...

If it works like Starfinder, then it won't matter how many arms you have. TWF doesn't get any extra attacks there. Instead, you take a slightly smaller penalty on full round attacks for using two weapons instead of one.


ChibiNyan wrote:
Remy P Gilbeau wrote:
You have three actions in a round (and a reaction sometimes). Regardless of how many arms you have, you have three actions, so there you go. You can now play a race with more than two arms, because the new system doesn't care about how many appendages you have.
We'll see how TWF works first...

Yup. First TWF, then FWF, then we'll see about SWF and EWF a little bit later :-)

The weapons blog had this tidbit: Twin weapons like the saw-toothed saber deal more damage if you fight with two of them. Conceivably, they could do even more damage if you fight with more than two, but until we know how TWF works, we can't know whether that might make sense.


An extra arm or two will be very useful in PF2 because of the action required to re-grasp a two-handed weapon. It means being a gish and sword-and-board no longer come with damage tradeoffs.


Starfinder doesn't have shields. In PF2, having 4 arms would be a big advantage. Even without rules for 4WF, Greatsword and shield and dagger will kick the butt of someone with just a longsword and shield or rapier and dagger.


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whew wrote:
In PF2, having 4 arms would be a big advantage. Even without rules for 4WF, Greatsword and shield and dagger will kick the butt of someone with just a longsword and shield or rapier and dagger.

If they approach it like the Kasathas in SF, it's not a big deal (increase the number of items held/readied, but does not increase attacks).


Extra arms will almost certainly not translate to extra attacks in PF2, so they should be immediately playable.

That was the real problem with them in PF1, and they big draw as to why most players wanted to play them. They wanted the extra attacks. I suspect with no extra attacks, there will be less draw to play them. They will still have certain advantages, but they wont be overwhelming like extra attacks were.


Remy P Gilbeau wrote:
You have three actions in a round (and a reaction sometimes). Regardless of how many arms you have, you have three actions, so there you go. You can now play a race with more than two arms, because the new system doesn't care about how many appendages you have.

Can we expect the same limitation on NPC's, or are characters and NPC's going to see two separate rules systems.

How do you resolve a polymorph effects that allow the character to assume a form with many natural attacks?

E.g. a dire tiger vs a druid assuming the form of a dire tiger.
E.g. a dragon vs a sorcerer using Form of the Dragon.

Do you arbitrarily restrict the PC, simply because he is a PC, or do dire tigers and dragons have the same restrictions as PCs.

*I am strongly opposed to separate rules systems for PC vs. NPC. for many reasons. This is but one.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Remy P Gilbeau wrote:
You have three actions in a round (and a reaction sometimes). Regardless of how many arms you have, you have three actions, so there you go. You can now play a race with more than two arms, because the new system doesn't care about how many appendages you have.
Can we expect the same limitation on NPC's, or are characters and NPC's going to see two separate rules systems.

There will not be 2 separate base rules systems/action economies in PF2.


Weather Report wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Remy P Gilbeau wrote:
You have three actions in a round (and a reaction sometimes). Regardless of how many arms you have, you have three actions, so there you go. You can now play a race with more than two arms, because the new system doesn't care about how many appendages you have.
Can we expect the same limitation on NPC's, or are characters and NPC's going to see two separate rules systems.
There will not be 2 separate base rules systems/action economies in PF2.

So a dragon with claw/claw/bite/wing bash/wing bash/tail slap will be restricted to three attacks at 0/-5/-10?

This is also poor game design and nerfs a substantial percentage of the bestiary into the ground.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

We don't yet know if there will be any special dispositions for TWF in PF2.0. Personally, I think it would be more logical to get a special reaction or a special parry action than getting extra attacks, but we just don't have any info on TWF yet.

We also don't have any info on how creatures with multiple natural attacks will work. Will a creature with two claws and a bite get something special out of their three actions? What about 12-headed hydras, ksathas and other critters with multiple appendages or attacks?

Perhaps we'll have a blog post about this one of these days.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Remy P Gilbeau wrote:
You have three actions in a round (and a reaction sometimes). Regardless of how many arms you have, you have three actions, so there you go. You can now play a race with more than two arms, because the new system doesn't care about how many appendages you have.
Can we expect the same limitation on NPC's, or are characters and NPC's going to see two separate rules systems.
There will not be 2 separate base rules systems/action economies in PF2.

So a dragon with claw/claw/bite/wing bash/wing bash/tail slap will be restricted to three attacks at 0/-5/-10?

No, if could be like the Unchained RAE, a monster can make all its natural attacks with 3 actions.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

monsters won't necessarily follow the rules of PCs, so I wouldn't be surprised if some monsters get more actions or can do more stuff with a a single action.

It will certainly be true however for all PCs


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Remy P Gilbeau wrote:
You have three actions in a round (and a reaction sometimes). Regardless of how many arms you have, you have three actions, so there you go. You can now play a race with more than two arms, because the new system doesn't care about how many appendages you have.
Can we expect the same limitation on NPC's, or are characters and NPC's going to see two separate rules systems.
There will not be 2 separate base rules systems/action economies in PF2.

So a dragon with claw/claw/bite/wing bash/wing bash/tail slap will be restricted to three attacks at 0/-5/-10?

This is also poor game design and nerfs a substantial percentage of the bestiary into the ground.

Without thinking too hard, there are numerous ways to allow monsters with lots of attacks in PF1 to still make use of their advantages in PF2 without changing the rules of the system. I've seen a couple different ways mentioned over the life of the playtest boards. Here are a handful:

  • Pseudo Two-Weapon Fighting (Exmaple: a kraken makes multiple tentacle attacks per Strike action)
  • Advanced Actions (Example: Costing 2+ actions, a creature with many limbs makes an AOE strike against all creatures within its reach)
  • Pseudo Cleave (Example: monster with extra limbs can keep making attacks until they miss, run out of eligible targets, or run out of limbs)
  • Pseudo Awesome Blow (Example: monster pools multiple potential limbs into one single attack with extra damage and possibly an effect like knock-back or rend)

Any of these can be extraordinary abilities tied to specific monsters. And, if it's a priority to keep them away from PC use, then shape-shifting spells and abilities can be made to exclude them. Or not. Letting PCs sometimes get access to some of these might be fun.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Remy P Gilbeau wrote:
You have three actions in a round (and a reaction sometimes). Regardless of how many arms you have, you have three actions, so there you go. You can now play a race with more than two arms, because the new system doesn't care about how many appendages you have.

Can we expect the same limitation on NPC's, or are characters and NPC's going to see two separate rules systems.

How do you resolve a polymorph effects that allow the character to assume a form with many natural attacks?

E.g. a dire tiger vs a druid assuming the form of a dire tiger.
E.g. a dragon vs a sorcerer using Form of the Dragon.

Do you arbitrarily restrict the PC, simply because he is a PC, or do dire tigers and dragons have the same restrictions as PCs.

*I am strongly opposed to separate rules systems for PC vs. NPC. for many reasons. This is but one.

Devs have noted that even in Pathfinder 1e, monsters use completely different rules than PCs.

Typically, devs would give a monster the go, attack, etc they wanted. Then work backwards on stats, and throw in an extraordinary ability if they needed to make the numbers work.

Pretending they both use the same rules just created a lot more work for DMs and devs.


Lou Diamond wrote:
Would it be possible to make the new combat system viable for multi armed races as player characters.

It is likely as doable as what we see in starfinder where they can have as many arms as you want. Basically extra arms mostly help to hold other weapons so you don't have to draw/shift hands on stuff much. They don't give you any extra attacks so you can basically have an octopus humanoid without messing up balance.

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