How do retraining rules affect our valuation of options?


Prerelease Discussion


In PF1, player options are evaluated without the assumption that retraining is available. Changing your build was done by the grace of GM. This means that niche options are not considered valuable for players. Feats that are only valuable for part of a campaign aren't worth including in your build over more generally applicable options.

This time around rules for retraining your build choices are going to be included in the Core Rulebook. Does having retraining as a defined Downtime activity from the start change how we consider situation feats and abilities?


This seems like an excellent question to test in play, or playtest, if you will.


I suspect moves like "start with a 14 in something, then retrain into the appropriate multiclass dedication at level 5" are going to be pretty common.

My real question is since retraining is free, except for how the time spent retraining your stuff can't also be spent working a job or crafting an item, etc., how big of an opportunity cost is this going to be?

Silver Crusade

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As a game master, my inclination would be to crack down on players who I believe are taking any option with the explicit attempt to retrain it away, barring specific situations like archetypes where you need to hold off on taking it until you meet a prerequisite but then want to be a little bit into it.

Retraining should be away for players, especially newer players, to undo mistakes so that they aren't screwed over by mistakes that they make early on before they really know how the game works. It also means that experimenting is less punished because you can undo decisions that you make that turn out to be bad ones.


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Unicore wrote:
This seems like an excellent question to test in play, or playtest, if you will.

Yes. That's why I raised the question. So you and I can both add it to the list of things to test.

Edited to add: Thinking about things now can help us plan on how to test and what we are looking for in the mechanics.


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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:

As a game master, my inclination would be to crack down on players who I believe are taking any option with the explicit attempt to retrain it away, barring specific situations like archetypes where you need to hold off on taking it until you meet a prerequisite but then want to be a little bit into it.

Retraining should be away for players, especially newer players, to undo mistakes so that they aren't screwed over by mistakes that they make early on before they really know how the game works. It also means that experimenting is less punished because you can undo decisions that you make that turn out to be bad ones.

For many games, this might be true, but I can also see campaigns where it would be fun to run with the idea that the party travels widely and trains to meet the specific challenges they are expecting to face. The integrated rules for retraining enable and encourage this as a campaign option that hasn't really been pushed before.

EDIT: If I were to consider running Strange Aeons in PF2, I think I would inform my players that this more flexible character design would be an element of the campaign.


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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:

As a game master, my inclination would be to crack down on players who I believe are taking any option with the explicit attempt to retrain it away, barring specific situations like archetypes where you need to hold off on taking it until you meet a prerequisite but then want to be a little bit into it.

Retraining should be away for players, especially newer players, to undo mistakes so that they aren't screwed over by mistakes that they make early on before they really know how the game works. It also means that experimenting is less punished because you can undo decisions that you make that turn out to be bad ones.

I'm not sure I share that view. Retraining shouldn't be only for fixing mistakes. Retraining also supports characters going in different directions, or responding to changing situations.

Not every feat is going to be useful for an entire campaign. I think it is a good thing to encourage taking boat feats for the four or five levels of naval skulduggery with the understanding they can be retrained when the campaign transitions to land-based adventures.


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I feel like "retraining some of your feats" might actually be a good way to represent stories like "a fighter discovers magical talent and, while at home after an adventure, delves so deeply into it they forgot to keep practicing and as such their swordfighting skills are somewhat diminished."

I don't think "I'm taking this now but will retrain it later" is any more of a "rules exploit at the expense of telling a story" than "taking a 1 or 2 level dip in a class, just for divine grace or proficiencies or w/e" and that sort of thing was super common.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I don't think "I'm taking this now but will retrain it later" is any more of a "rules exploit at the expense of telling a story" than "taking a 1 or 2 level dip in a class, just for divine grace or proficiencies or w/e" and that sort of thing was super common.

I have the vague recollection that retraining in PF2 would restrict you to replacing feats with another feat you could have picked at that level, rather than the PF1 method of whatever you qualify for now. If so, "taking now to retrain later" would not be a power boost or exploit.

Does anyone know the specifics?

Silver Crusade

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like "retraining some of your feats" might actually be a good way to represent stories like "a fighter discovers magical talent and, while at home after an adventure, delves so deeply into it they forgot to keep practicing and as such their swordfighting skills are somewhat diminished."

I don't think "I'm taking this now but will retrain it later" is any more of a "rules exploit at the expense of telling a story" than "taking a 1 or 2 level dip in a class, just for divine grace or proficiencies or w/e" and that sort of thing was super common.

I wasn't really partial to dips either to be honest.

To be clear, the specific sort of thing I have a problem with would be someone taking a feat because they thought it would be useful in the next dungeon and then retraining it away right afterward. I have this horrible image of my head of some of my players making themselves into perfectly honed killers of Undead because they're going to go into one dungeon where they will be prominent, only to become their old selves again soon they leave.

Perhaps I'll implement a house rule that any given feat slot can only have its contents retrained once without special permission.

Scarab Sages

I'll have to wait and see how its implemented and what all you can retrain.

I generally have an aversion to the idea of retraining, because it feels antithetical to a hero's career of getting better at what makes them a hero.

That being said, if it allows one to maybe retrain into using a bow vs. a sword, or be an exceptional swimmer instead of a climber, I'm all for it. If its purely for metagame reasons like, "Well that feat has been a major part of my build, but its no longer as useful and the rules say I can retrain it into something that will be useful." I hate it.

And it slightly disturbs me to see a designer use "retraining" as an argument for why something isn't really a "feat tax". Retraining, should never be an argument for why a game mechanic is particularly weak but necessary.

Scarab Sages

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like "retraining some of your feats" might actually be a good way to represent stories like "a fighter discovers magical talent and, while at home after an adventure, delves so deeply into it they forgot to keep practicing and as such their swordfighting skills are somewhat diminished."

I don't think "I'm taking this now but will retrain it later" is any more of a "rules exploit at the expense of telling a story" than "taking a 1 or 2 level dip in a class, just for divine grace or proficiencies or w/e" and that sort of thing was super common.

Super common doesn't mean I have to like it.


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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like "retraining some of your feats" might actually be a good way to represent stories like "a fighter discovers magical talent and, while at home after an adventure, delves so deeply into it they forgot to keep practicing and as such their swordfighting skills are somewhat diminished."

I don't think "I'm taking this now but will retrain it later" is any more of a "rules exploit at the expense of telling a story" than "taking a 1 or 2 level dip in a class, just for divine grace or proficiencies or w/e" and that sort of thing was super common.

I wasn't really partial to dips either to be honest.

To be clear, the specific sort of thing I have a problem with would be someone taking a feat because they thought it would be useful in the next dungeon and then retraining it away right afterward. I have this horrible image of my head of some of my players making themselves into perfectly honed killers of Undead because they're going to go into one dungeon where they will be prominent, only to become their old selves again soon they leave.

Perhaps I'll implement a house rule that any given feat slot can only have its contents retrained once without special permission.

I can see that lending itself to abuse, but there are some built-in limitations as well. You can only retrain during downtime; it isn't instant, so those players have an undead-focused build on the way to, and back from the dungeon, as well as against any living creatures that might have found their way into the dungeon as well.

A simple "it's probably not worth retraining for this one" might work. I wouldn't advocate punishing players or defying their expectations repeatedly, but making a supposedly undead-filled dungeon full of plants that mimic undead instead might underscore the importance of the informed part of informed build choices.


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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
I wasn't really partial to dips either to be honest.

I wasn't either, but it was hard to deny their legitimacy in PF1 since they were kind of built into the game. If you wanted to qualify for Eldritch Knight, or Mystic Theurge, or Arcane Trickster ASAP (so at level 6) you needed to split your first 5 levels between two classes. Now this sort of thing is gone but it's hard to say a level 1 fighter dip to qualify for a PRC is legitimate but a level 1 fighter dip for a feat and proficiencies not used to qualify for a PrC is not.


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With retrainable feats, a PC will be able to reshuffle their toolbox of options. So at low levels, a signature move (i.e. Power Attack) might be the best available option for that build, but later on it may be worth swapping out for a higher level 2-action ability now available.

Funnily enough, Power Attack scales in power w/ no further investment, so Paizo may already be accounting for this. There's a reasonable chance that later abilities are those harder to scale down to lower levels, or even that they just expand & combine actions, aiding efficiency rather than damage numbers. If during alpha testing Paizo found that warriors relied on one effective feat which fell behind at higher levels, they'd also be seeing those PCs swapping it out or its absence in high-level builds. I'd think Paizo would adjust for that.

I do wonder how stances & styles will play into this, but even Diablo II had similar early abilities that had their circumstantial value.


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I think the problem of players abusing retraining isn't an entirely player sided problem. If feats and abilities were built more broadly and weren't extremely useful within their niche and nothing outside of it, then players wouldn't have as much of a motive to swap out their abilities for others in order to stay useful. What's the point of having a bunch of undead slaying options if the hypothetical undead slaying build is near useless in non-undead situations?

If PF2 is embracing niche abilities and supporting them by ensuring that players can swap them out when they aren't needed, then I don't think we can call it a player abuse of the system.


It would be cool to have different tier towns offer different levels of training in ways that spell level effected what spells you could purchase at specific locations. Maybe certain feats are only offered by certain trainers or perhaps only certain guilds. Maybe the hermit in the swamp has access to alchemical feats but he is only willing to part with those after you fix the local troglydite problem ect. That's why I like making homebrew campaigns.


ErichAD wrote:

I think the problem of players abusing retraining isn't an entirely player sided problem. If feats and abilities were built more broadly and weren't extremely useful within their niche and nothing outside of it, then players wouldn't have as much of a motive to swap out their abilities for others in order to stay useful. What's the point of having a bunch of undead slaying options if the hypothetical undead slaying build is near useless in non-undead situations?

If PF2 is embracing niche abilities and supporting them by ensuring that players can swap them out when they aren't needed, then I don't think we can call it a player abuse of the system.

I do see it as another tradeoff. How focused on undead do you want to go for this dungeon? How much does that cut into your general effectiveness for the encounters that aren't undead? Do you want to risk not having enough Downtime after the dungeon to train back out of this specialized build?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Greatest advantage I saw in PF1 retraining was to get some new class or archetype (less frequently feat) that fit my concept so much better than what was available when I built my character

I fervently hope this will be less needed in PF2

What I need from retraining in PF2 is the painless possibility to change your class when it becomes apparent that it will not be your character's primary path in his adventuring career


The Raven Black wrote:

Greatest advantage I saw in PF1 retraining was to get some new class or archetype (less frequently feat) that fit my concept so much better than what was available when I built my character

I fervently hope this will be less needed in PF2

What I need from retraining in PF2 is the painless possibility to change your class when it becomes apparent that it will not be your character's primary path in his adventuring career

I'm confused. You wish retraining to enable you to change your entire class? That seems a lot to ask. But if mutliclassing / archetyoes is a feat, should you be able to just drop a multiclass or archetype and become something else? I can see logical reasons to not allow this but I think it is best to allow some flexibility.

I like the option of retraining of skills, feats, maybe even class abilities (no idea if there will be ones like 5 edition class options) assuming a small cost (most likely downtime). I kind of assumed it would be like when you gain a level and can swap a few spells around but now with skills and feats.

Silver Crusade

PossibleCabbage wrote:
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
I wasn't really partial to dips either to be honest.
I wasn't either, but it was hard to deny their legitimacy in PF1 since they were kind of built into the game. If you wanted to qualify for Eldritch Knight, or Mystic Theurge, or Arcane Trickster ASAP (so at level 6) you needed to split your first 5 levels between two classes. Now this sort of thing is gone but it's hard to say a level 1 fighter dip to qualify for a PRC is legitimate but a level 1 fighter dip for a feat and proficiencies not used to qualify for a PrC is not.

I find it quite easy to say that, actually, as I consider open attempts to create an over-powered character to be illegitimate (unless that's the type of game everyone is out to play).

There will be one in a million cases where a single level of fighter fits your concept, and I imagine I'm about to hear about them from other posters, but virtually always, it will be the player compromising role-playing for a mechanical advantage. This is bad, and it is the fault of both the game and the player for incentivizing and going through with it respectively.


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The ability to dip in PF1 did not start out as a major balance concern. It is only with the exponential growth of options with every class and archetype published that things got really out of hand. It's impossible for designers to foresee every powerful combination of abilities, and players as a group have practically infinite more time to find them. This creates tension between giving classes cool things early and keeping a balanced game.

Eliminating the dip in PF2 makes maintaining balance as the system matures much more straightforward.


It will also depend on how much at one time and the length of time of any element that can be retrained.

I doubt a level 20 (or even 10) could swap everything at once.

Also, I view this retraining system as a way to mitigate the level-base versus a purely skills/powers based system.


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Professor Quolorum wrote:

The ability to dip in PF1 did not start out as a major balance concern. It is only with the exponential growth of options with every class and archetype published that things got really out of hand. It's impossible for designers to foresee every powerful combination of abilities, and players as a group have practically infinite more time to find them. This creates tension between giving classes cool things early and keeping a balanced game.

Eliminating the dip in PF2 makes maintaining balance as the system matures much more straightforward.

How's taking 1 or two feats from Multiclassing for just what you want not dipping anymore? Brain storming here but a Barbarian could very well give up 1 feat for Alchemist Dedication and if within reach, Mutagen on their next Feat.

Heck, I still expect some players to come up with busted things for the least amount of feats. And we'll complain about that "Dip" as well. Because as you said, we as players kinda have infinite time.

Silver Crusade

MerlinCross wrote:
Professor Quolorum wrote:

The ability to dip in PF1 did not start out as a major balance concern. It is only with the exponential growth of options with every class and archetype published that things got really out of hand. It's impossible for designers to foresee every powerful combination of abilities, and players as a group have practically infinite more time to find them. This creates tension between giving classes cool things early and keeping a balanced game.

Eliminating the dip in PF2 makes maintaining balance as the system matures much more straightforward.

How's taking 1 or two feats from Multiclassing for just what you want not dipping anymore? Brain storming here but a Barbarian could very well give up 1 feat for Alchemist Dedication and if within reach, Mutagen on their next Feat.

Heck, I still expect some players to come up with busted things for the least amount of feats. And we'll complain about that "Dip" as well. Because as you said, we as players kinda have infinite time.

While this is somewhat true, preventing this is, I think the reason one's ability to take dedications is limited. Supposing we agree that taking three feats (counting the dedication) in an archetype makes it no longer count as dipping, you can only have one dip on a character at any given time, and only four archetypes total if you take none of your own class feats.

The worst abusers of multi-classing were characters like the four way multiclass I mentioned in another post, who had several skill mods in the 25+ range and several more at 20+ at level eight.

Honestly, compared to that, the fighter dip is tame, as much as it disgusts me on an aesthetic level as someone who values role-playing.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
Professor Quolorum wrote:

The ability to dip in PF1 did not start out as a major balance concern. It is only with the exponential growth of options with every class and archetype published that things got really out of hand. It's impossible for designers to foresee every powerful combination of abilities, and players as a group have practically infinite more time to find them. This creates tension between giving classes cool things early and keeping a balanced game.

Eliminating the dip in PF2 makes maintaining balance as the system matures much more straightforward.

How's taking 1 or two feats from Multiclassing for just what you want not dipping anymore? Brain storming here but a Barbarian could very well give up 1 feat for Alchemist Dedication and if within reach, Mutagen on their next Feat.

Heck, I still expect some players to come up with busted things for the least amount of feats. And we'll complain about that "Dip" as well. Because as you said, we as players kinda have infinite time.

It is dipping but it doesn't have the issue of old dipping.

Old dipping: We've given cool new class abilities A,B and C at first level. Oh crap players can now get that on all other classes for one level.

new dipping: We've given cool new class abilities A,B and C at first level. Their dedication gives a partial A and you can use feats to upgrade it or pick up B and C.

The first is all or nothing, the latter is both incremental and strategically (from a designers point of view) limited.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Professor Quolorum wrote:

The ability to dip in PF1 did not start out as a major balance concern. It is only with the exponential growth of options with every class and archetype published that things got really out of hand. It's impossible for designers to foresee every powerful combination of abilities, and players as a group have practically infinite more time to find them. This creates tension between giving classes cool things early and keeping a balanced game.

Eliminating the dip in PF2 makes maintaining balance as the system matures much more straightforward.

How's taking 1 or two feats from Multiclassing for just what you want not dipping anymore? Brain storming here but a Barbarian could very well give up 1 feat for Alchemist Dedication and if within reach, Mutagen on their next Feat.

First off, that barbarian could save the class feats and take the Craft(alchemy) skill.

Secondly, the stat requirements on multiclassing push those options into later levels where they are far less of a dip and much more a character investment.


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Malk_Content wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Professor Quolorum wrote:

The ability to dip in PF1 did not start out as a major balance concern. It is only with the exponential growth of options with every class and archetype published that things got really out of hand. It's impossible for designers to foresee every powerful combination of abilities, and players as a group have practically infinite more time to find them. This creates tension between giving classes cool things early and keeping a balanced game.

Eliminating the dip in PF2 makes maintaining balance as the system matures much more straightforward.

How's taking 1 or two feats from Multiclassing for just what you want not dipping anymore? Brain storming here but a Barbarian could very well give up 1 feat for Alchemist Dedication and if within reach, Mutagen on their next Feat.

Heck, I still expect some players to come up with busted things for the least amount of feats. And we'll complain about that "Dip" as well. Because as you said, we as players kinda have infinite time.

It is dipping but it doesn't have the issue of old dipping.

Old dipping: We've given cool new class abilities A,B and C at first level. Oh crap players can now get that on all other classes for one level.

new dipping: We've given cool new class abilities A,B and C at first level. Their dedication gives a partial A and you can use feats to upgrade it or pick up B and C.

The first is all or nothing, the latter is both incremental and strategically (from a designers point of view) limited.

You can get all that, but aren't you limiting yourself? Oh no, you're delying everything and your character is now garabge because that's how multiclassing works in PF1, you are straight up worse...

Wait why are we worse and stronger at the same time? It drives me nuts that a system is broken in both ways at the same time by the community.


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MerlinCross wrote:
It drives me nuts that a system is broken in both ways at the same time by the community.

That's how you know it's balanced.


One retraining scenario which might happen:

I want to play with a Magus-like character, so I pick a human Wizard at first level, getting proficiency with swords with my beginning feat. On the second level, I take dedication to Fighter feat, but that gives me proficiency with swords, so I retrain my proficiency with swords feat for something that actually does something.

What are thoughts on this sort of retraining?


I'm not sure training should impact our evaluation of feats and abilities. The fact that the option exists and may be easier does not mean that feats and abilities shouldn't stand on their own merits.

Also, even if training is generally available, doesn't mean it is specifically available right now. I'm pretty sure sometimes you will be stuck without being able to retrain, even if it's for a relatively short while.


Meophist wrote:

One retraining scenario which might happen:

I want to play with a Magus-like character, so I pick a human Wizard at first level, getting proficiency with swords with my beginning feat. On the second level, I take dedication to Fighter feat, but that gives me proficiency with swords, so I retrain my proficiency with swords feat for something that actually does something.

What are thoughts on this sort of retraining?

Personally, I go with the PF1 way of doing it which is 2 ways;

- If player has X feat and gains X by way of Class feature/other, allow them to repick(Usually the Feat but sometimes can be the other)
- If player has X and gains Y that also gives X, allow bonus(Usually for say Combat maneuver feats I think)

So in your example I would;

- Let you freely repick your Proficiency Swords feat Or allow the Fighter Proficiency to affect something else(You can pick to have it in Bows). I would probably limit you to the same 'type' of feat though. In PF1 this would mean combat. Maybe.

- Give you a bonus to Sword Proficiency. Extra damage, AC bonus when using Sword, etc etc. Enough to make up for picking it twice, but also not enough to make aimming for that overlap to be powerful.

Oh and finally just let you retrain later on if you want.


dragonhunterq wrote:
Also, even if training is generally available, doesn't mean it is specifically available right now. I'm pretty sure sometimes you will be stuck without being able to retrain, even if it's for a relatively short while.

I think this is an important consideration that could be worked into feat design. Perhaps powerful, niche feats should require more generally applicable prerequisites to ensure characters are not totally locked out of abilities.

Silver Crusade

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Earthfall wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
It drives me nuts that a system is broken in both ways at the same time by the community.
That's how you know it's balanced.

Or wildly inconsistent.

No one has asserted that multi-classing as a whole is simultaneously overpowered and under-powered. Rather, the problem with multi-class builds is that they are wildly off-curve in most cases. Many combinations which sound like cool concepts don't work or are clearly worse than their pure-classed peers, whilst certain combinations, particularly those involving dips, are far ahead of curve because they get the right combinations of abilities, or simply more abilities than their single-classed peers.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Professor Quolorum wrote:

The ability to dip in PF1 did not start out as a major balance concern. It is only with the exponential growth of options with every class and archetype published that things got really out of hand. It's impossible for designers to foresee every powerful combination of abilities, and players as a group have practically infinite more time to find them. This creates tension between giving classes cool things early and keeping a balanced game.

Eliminating the dip in PF2 makes maintaining balance as the system matures much more straightforward.

How's taking 1 or two feats from Multiclassing for just what you want not dipping anymore? Brain storming here but a Barbarian could very well give up 1 feat for Alchemist Dedication and if within reach, Mutagen on their next Feat.

Heck, I still expect some players to come up with busted things for the least amount of feats. And we'll complain about that "Dip" as well. Because as you said, we as players kinda have infinite time.

It is dipping but it doesn't have the issue of old dipping.

Old dipping: We've given cool new class abilities A,B and C at first level. Oh crap players can now get that on all other classes for one level.

new dipping: We've given cool new class abilities A,B and C at first level. Their dedication gives a partial A and you can use feats to upgrade it or pick up B and C.

The first is all or nothing, the latter is both incremental and strategically (from a designers point of view) limited.

You can get all that, but aren't you limiting yourself? Oh no, you're delying everything and your character is now garabge because that's how multiclassing works in PF1, you are straight up worse...

Wait why are we worse and stronger at the same time? It drives me nuts that a system is broken in both ways at the same time by the community.

Its almost like different dips were wildly variable in strength. Which isn't a good thing. Not everything, especially in games as complex as Pathfinder, is a bloomin binary. The two points of view are not contradictory.


dragonhunterq wrote:

I'm not sure training should impact our evaluation of feats and abilities. The fact that the option exists and may be easier does not mean that feats and abilities shouldn't stand on their own merits.

Also, even if training is generally available, doesn't mean it is specifically available right now. I'm pretty sure sometimes you will be stuck without being able to retrain, even if it's for a relatively short while.

I agree with your first statement.

I hope they give this dial to the DM, who can decide between sooner and later as to when a PC can retrain.

Example. Needing to train with an NPC or enroll in an institution, which is not only a function of time and money, but availability.

Perhaps rolling in the common / uncommon / rare metrics?


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Malk_Content wrote:
Its almost like different dips were wildly variable in strength. Which isn't a good thing. Not everything, especially in games as complex as Pathfinder, is a bloomin binary. The two points of view are not contradictory.

You're part right. It shouldn't be binary.

I just wish the community would quit treating everything like it is though. Most things seem either fall into Plus or Minus with no in between.


I wonder. When you retrain, do you retrain the option at your current level of ability or what it was when you took the initial ability. Hard to track, I know, but it would prevent that 'placeholder' ability concern.


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Felinus wrote:
I wonder. When you retrain, do you retrain the option at your current level of ability or what it was when you took the initial ability. Hard to track, I know, but it would prevent that 'placeholder' ability concern.

As I understand it, if you're retraining a feat you took at 2nd level, you can only replace it with feats that are 1st or 2nd level feats. However, if there was a prerequisite for a 2nd level feat you did not meet at 2nd level, but you now meet, you can swap whatever feat you did take at 2nd for the new one.

Like you can't, at 6th level replace a Feat 2 with a Feat 6 (otherwise people would just be constantly retraining to all have the highest level feats), but if your dex was 14 at 2nd level and you increased it at 6th, you can retrain your 2nd level feat to be a Feat 2 which requires 16 dex.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Felinus wrote:
I wonder. When you retrain, do you retrain the option at your current level of ability or what it was when you took the initial ability. Hard to track, I know, but it would prevent that 'placeholder' ability concern.

As I understand it, if you're retraining a feat you took at 2nd level, you can only replace it with feats that are 1st or 2nd level feats. However, if there was a prerequisite for a 2nd level feat you did not meet at 2nd level, but you now meet, you can swap whatever feat you did take at 2nd for the new one.

Like you can't, at 6th level replace a Feat 2 with a Feat 6 (otherwise people would just be constantly retraining to all have the highest level feats), but if your dex was 14 at 2nd level and you increased it at 6th, you can retrain your 2nd level feat to be a Feat 2 which requires 16 dex.

You're correct. This was said explicitly somewhere (I think the "Jason builds a barbarian" stream. On that stream, they also showed the character sheet, which has specific lines for abilities gained at various levels in such a way that it should be pretty straightforward to see what level you got a feat if you want to retrain it. Even if you use a different sheet, it should be clear by looking at the class's advancement table, which is easier when you're not having to worry about which level went with what class or any other weird exceptions to normal advancement tables.


While I’m not too concerned about how it applies to feats, I’m pretty happy that Sorcs have a way to trade spells out at the cost of a lot of time.


A few things:

* As someone whose games did allow retraining, yes it did become an issue where some players would try to take Feat Optional A, with the intent to replace it with Feat Option B.
* How does the above compare to a spellcaster's ability to swap?

Some players went a little wild though, and would try to justify swapping stats and more. For someone new to the system, this would be something workable ("Hey, sorry Grog the Red isn't working out for you. How about sitting down with a GM and working things out?"). For veterans, it could leave a sour taste, you know? Where we finally cracked down on it was asking about declaration of intent. That is, the player would need a story reason.

Just asking it to be tied to the character's development, and then asking why an option hadn't worked out, cut down most abuses.

Since Paizo is trying to abstract things more down to a system (PFS, etc.) though, asking for story would not work. In that case, I'd suggest just finding some sort of reasonable limiter, and tie most swap-outs to this system. Why should a martial feat be different than a sorcerer spell for downtime swappage?

So, provide great choices! Through them, pose a situation of: You can do A, B, or C, but only one at a time.

For example: Suppose "Retrain" is a Downtime Action. If you select Retrain, you may retrain one of a: feat or spell taken in the last 4 levels. It may not be a pre-req for another feat or spell.

Since there are more Downtime Actions, a character who selects the Retrain Option is foregoing other options.

This system would be uniform for all swappable options. Paizo could add other retrainable options to this action over time. Or, GMs could limit the Retrain option to a specific list for their campaign, but the mechanics would remain the same.

Why add more rules?

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