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I have a question: how big of a deal are signature skills? On its own, you only get +2 from being legendary over being expert. Some of the feats require master or legendary level, but I'm not sold on how key this is for a combat- or spell-focused character.

I wouldn't say no to a feat that allows you to get an extra signature skill, though. Granted, my first priority would be to push for ways for martials to get extra damage from proficiency as well (i.e. master/legendary increasing weapon dice or just getting a flat damage bonus).

Edit: As for paladins and deities, well, I'm generally a fan of divine classes having to have a divine patron by default. My interpretation is that they wanted to have deity-specific codes by default, rather than having a generic "one size fits all" code and then having to clarify it when aspects of the code seem to clash with the deity's dogma.


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The Shaman wrote:

I have a question: how big of a deal are signature skills? On its own, you only get +2 from being legendary over being expert. Some of the feats require master or legendary level, but I'm not sold on how key this is for a combat- or spell-focused character.

I wouldn't say no to a feat that allows you to get an extra signature skill, though. Granted, my first priority would be to push for ways for martials to get extra damage from proficiency as well (i.e. master/legendary increasing weapon dice or just getting a flat damage bonus).

Edit: As for paladins and deities, well, I'm generally a fan of divine classes having to have a divine patron by default. My interpretation is that they wanted to have deity-specific codes by default, rather than having a generic "one size fits all" code and then having to clarify it when aspects of the code seem to clash with the deity's dogma.

from what i gather, the intent is to make certain things doable only on certain tiers.

but due to complete lack of support, the actual designation of what you can achieve is tied to GM fiat.

so, a GM might decide that you just need trained to sow a field, but you require legendary farmer to grow pineapples in the arctic.

it's just that there's no guidelines in the playtest document (which i hope gets fixed in the release)

i see skill feats more like extraordinary actions you can take, moreso than you can ONLY do that (pickpocketing spells out of spellbooks as an example)


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The Shaman wrote:

I have a question: how big of a deal are signature skills? On its own, you only get +2 from being legendary over being expert. Some of the feats require master or legendary level, but I'm not sold on how key this is for a combat- or spell-focused character.

I wouldn't say no to a feat that allows you to get an extra signature skill, though. Granted, my first priority would be to push for ways for martials to get extra damage from proficiency as well (i.e. master/legendary increasing weapon dice or just getting a flat damage bonus).

Edit: As for paladins and deities, well, I'm generally a fan of divine classes having to have a divine patron by default. My interpretation is that they wanted to have deity-specific codes by default, rather than having a generic "one size fits all" code and then having to clarify it when aspects of the code seem to clash with the deity's dogma.

I was initially going to say that the feats that it locks players out of are the most cool/powerful/interesting feats related to a given skill, but I am starting to think the dislike for signature skills (my own included) is because it's a restriction on skills that didn't exist before, and skills are an important part of giving characters of the same race and class personality, let alone mechanical differences.

in PF1e, class didn't restrict what skill related feats you could take. Sure there were skill unlocks, but even then you could at least get one.


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The Shaman wrote:

I have a question: how big of a deal are signature skills? On its own, you only get +2 from being legendary over being expert. Some of the feats require master or legendary level, but I'm not sold on how key this is for a combat- or spell-focused character.

I wouldn't say no to a feat that allows you to get an extra signature skill, though. Granted, my first priority would be to push for ways for martials to get extra damage from proficiency as well (i.e. master/legendary increasing weapon dice or just getting a flat damage bonus).

Edit: As for paladins and deities, well, I'm generally a fan of divine classes having to have a divine patron by default. My interpretation is that they wanted to have deity-specific codes by default, rather than having a generic "one size fits all" code and then having to clarify it when aspects of the code seem to clash with the deity's dogma.

I don't like that they tell me what my character is allowed to be good at. Don't need them telling me a wizard can't be as good at climbing walls as a fighter without multiclassing (and getting good at some significantly non-wall-climbing related baggage).


How big of a deal is it, though? A wizard can still be an expert in athletics. I wouldn't mind seeing a feat to add to signature skills, but so far I'm not particularly impressed. It would be nice, sure, but that's about it.

It's not like you can't get any mountain climbing experience, or you have to have magic staves and grimoires to cast more spells the way a fighter needs a magic sword to do significantly more damage..


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The Shaman wrote:
How big of a deal is it, though? A wizard can still be an expert in athletics. I wouldn't mind seeing a feat to add to signature skills, but so far I'm not particularly impressed.

Mechanically? Not too bad, like you said earlier it is only a +2. But for creating characters, it is a huge issue for me to know that there are some skills I will not be able to advance in as much as others for no reason other than my class says I can't. It bugs me thematically. Also, it serves as a barrier to cool feats (assuming they later release more and better legendary-only skill feats). And it would be so easy to fix too. Just add a feat, or a few words in every signature skill class description.


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I'm wondering how much of the issue with signature skills could be solved by "letting everybody pick one additional signature skill" at some point in character creation, just to represent what the character is personally talented at irrespective of their acculturation, training, and vocation.

It genuinely seems like people should be able to have tremendous potential in something even though nobody else tried to cultivate it in them.

It feels like letting people pick *one* is going to go a lot further to making their characters less cookie-cutter.

Grand Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm wondering how much of the issue with signature skills could be solved by "letting everybody pick one additional signature skill" at some point in character creation, just to represent what the character is personally talented at irrespective of their acculturation, training, and vocation.

It genuinely seems like people should be able to have tremendous potential in something even though nobody else tried to cultivate it in them.

It feels like letting people pick *one* is going to go a lot further to making their characters less cookie-cutter.

This along with a feat that lets you pick new signature skills that are not class locked or highly restrictive.


I think they are trying to restrict pick one of "any" because the ability to use rituals could be pretty over powered, but having ranges of skills each class could choose from would be nice, and having an extra bonus lore that could go towards something more flavorful would be nice.

Liberty's Edge

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Grapes of Being Tired wrote:
First off, the balance is that it costs a lot. "Wait, but that's not a lot of money!" Well yeah, it ain't, but then if it wasn't the best then why would it be the most expensive? Fact of the matter is that sometimes "nope it's just better" makes sense.

The problem is that by 5th level, it isn't a lot of money. At all. So all PCs wind up wearing it pretty rapidly.

Grapes of Being Tired wrote:
What thematic problems? In the first place, you're straight up worse off wearing full plate than half-plate if you have any sort of Dexterity to speak of - and considering the way that ability scores are off the wall, you most likely do. That's assuming you can wear heavy armor to begin with. It makes perfect sense that frontliners what the best protection available. When was the last time you saw a champion of the realm in scalemail during a duel (except when he was doing it to show off, or when plate armor didn't exist)?

I'm not saying they might not have gone too far, I'm saying that if Plate Armor is flatly better than all other armor, nobody can play a swahbuckler since they'll just lose to the heavily armored people. Which is historically accurate, but not much fun.

Grapes of Being Tired wrote:
There is no game balance. Not everything needs to be balanced if it's something you can get anyway since everyone's going to get it. It'd be like arguing that Prismatic Spheres needs to be balanced with Magnificent Mansion, well MMM is more or less just a way of showcasing that you're damned cool - it doesn't actually do anything, unlike the sphere of screw you you're dead.

Everyone getting Plate Armor is exactly the problem.

tivadar27 wrote:

Just as a note, on a closer reading, I think the ancestries aren't balanced by their base abilities entirely, and strength of their feat lists actually figure in. Halflings, who you've noted look pretty bad on paper, actually have a stronger set of feats to take, and the same can be said for humans. The exception here might be dwarves, who look to both get a good set of abilities as well as a good feat list.

That being said, I don't particularly *like* this way of balancing things. It means that at level 1, certain races will be stronger than others, and at level 20, things will be flipped. That feels like a poor way of doing things.

I actually disagree. Halflings have a pretty good Ancestry Feat selection, but I think Elves probably have the best one in the game and are also very much on the high end for base chassis.

Secret Wizard wrote:

I've mentioned it a million times, but Splint Mail is the best Heavy Armor out there.

If you have 14 DEX, you get:

1. More TAC than Full Plate.

2. Less ACP than Half-Plate.

3. Cheaper than both.

4. Clumsy doesn't matter as long as you have 14 DEX.

I can find nothing to disagree with here. Full Plate is better with lower Dex investment of course, but how valuable being able to invest two points of Dex is in the long run is somewhat ambiguous at the moment.

River of Sticks wrote:

I just want to note that I agree with pretty much everything DMW has said. Signature skills are terrible.

My opinion on Resonance is that it needs to go away or be majorly revamped; right now the design expectation seems to be have only 1 buff/spell/potion/power per combat, or have only 1-2 combats per day. Opening a Bag of Holding requires a point of resonance - an out of combat, non-time bound activity. What? If I want to open it, pull something out, and put it away twice a day thats 4 points of resonance, gone. A 1 minute alchemical elixir requires a point of resonance. Casting a spell from a staff requires a point of resonance. I thought the alchemist feat to dabble would be interesting, liked some of the formulae I saw, and then realized they all needed resonance.

Edit: I also think you should be allowed to spend General feats on archetypes.

I'm not best pleased with the current implementation of Resonance either. The Bag of Holding thing is particularly egregious.

Paradozen wrote:
The Shaman wrote:
How big of a deal is it, though? A wizard can still be an expert in athletics. I wouldn't mind seeing a feat to add to signature skills, but so far I'm not particularly impressed.
Mechanically? Not too bad, like you said earlier it is only a +2. But for creating characters, it is a huge issue for me to know that there are some skills I will not be able to advance in as much as others for no reason other than my class says I can't. It bugs me thematically. Also, it serves as a barrier to cool feats (assuming they later release more and better legendary-only skill feats). And it would be so easy to fix too. Just add a feat, or a few words in every signature skill class description.

This. It's a moderate mechanical problem, and an utterly infuriating flavor one.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm wondering how much of the issue with signature skills could be solved by "letting everybody pick one additional signature skill" at some point in character creation, just to represent what the character is personally talented at irrespective of their acculturation, training, and vocation.

It genuinely seems like people should be able to have tremendous potential in something even though nobody else tried to cultivate it in them.

It feels like letting people pick *one* is going to go a lot further to making their characters less cookie-cutter.

As noted, this and a Skill Feat and I'd be satisfied.


I am curious about the return on investment of boosting Attributes other than primary attack attributes over 18, Vs making sure your basic defenses are all covered at 16+.


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Unicore wrote:
I think they are trying to restrict pick one of "any" because the ability to use rituals could be pretty over powered, but having ranges of skills each class could choose from would be nice, and having an extra bonus lore that could go towards something more flavorful would be nice.

Rituals might be an issue, but it doesn't seem like it's a sufficient reason to keep a monk, whose dextrous movements are among the most precise, controlled, sudden, and efficient of anybody alive from being able to cultivate this talent to also be really sneaky.

Like the "playing a monk" header calls out how stealthy you can be in exploration mode, but there's no easy way to snag "stealth" as a signature skill.


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It's worth mentioning that not being Legendary in the skill you really want to be good at will only get worse and worse through PF2's career as new and better skill feats are printed.


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I really like the tone of this thread and how everyone is keeping feedback above the bar. Think I'm gonna hang here to do some opining...

Does anyone else find the non-arcane sorcerer bloodlines to be weaker option? I'm creating a fey-bloodline sorcerer and my initial impression is that while the primal spell-list is fun, it may not be strong enough to keep the character alive. I think it works well for the druid, because the druid's other options compliment it, and their weapon and armor proficiencies provide additional protection. I don't think the other bloodline spells and powers do much to help keep up.
Also, fey-blooded sorcerers in P1 were masters of enchantment, on par with meamerists even. I don't see that as much now.

Liberty's Edge

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Hey DMW! I dug my nose out of the book for the first time today to check the forums because I was confused on a couple of things, but then promptly decided it wasn’t worth general browsing yet. Did a quick post search on you though figuring you would have some signal over all this noise, and was pleased to see I was right.

Thanks, man. I do try to be informed and informative.

Captain Morgan wrote:

Some considerations on some of your thoughts:

On Ancestry chassis: I agree they seem off. But I think ancestry feats may play a role in the balance. Dwarf ancestry feats leave me feeling rather unimpressed, comparatively, despite having a great chassis. The problem with this of course is that it is a balance point that doesn’t kick in until high levels much of the time, as more ancestry feats are accumulated. Much like some of the benefits of being a half-elf or half-orc. (Edit: tivadar27 hit on this already, I see.)

As mentioned above, my main issue with this is that Elves probably have the best Ancestry Feats (certainly one of the best lists) and likewise have one of the best chassis.

Captain Morgan wrote:
On Bulk: I actually had my eyes peeled about the carrying a party member thing because of your previous complaints about this in Starfinder. Check out page 323 for Petrified. From the text there we can extrapolate that a medium creature is typically 8 bulk, and a small creature is typically 4. (I assume this is includes their gear.) Obviously, this should be an easier fact to find.

That's good information to have (and solves that specific problem, though I agree it could be more easily located), but just adds more confusion to what Bulk means. I mean...8 Bulk for an adult human makes each bulk at least 20 lbs in most cases.

I just have no idea what Bulk actually means.

Captain Morgan wrote:
On Signature Skills: I hadn’t gone through and seen the lack of signature skills yet. Have you CTRL F’ed through the PDF looking for them? It is weird if skill feats can’t grant access to them like I assumed. If so, yeah, I agree with you. Edit: Yeah, looks like nothing. That is bananas. So many previewed feats gave another signature skill I assumed it had to be much easier than this.

Yeah, it seems to be an Archetype only thing. Which is a bit of a problem, IMO.

Captain Morgan wrote:
On martial skills: Yep, that is bizarre. I mean, good for clerics and sorcerers, but why the martials got to lag so far behind?

Yeah, I have no real idea.

Captain Morgan wrote:
On Heavy armor: Has anyone mathed out max dex caps scale with level compared to those heavy armor proficiencies? I haven’t seen anything that can raise the Dex cap like mithral could before, so it looks like the armor bonus +dex cap bonus for everything is +7. So that doesn’t seem like a relevant balance point. HOWEVER… it might have something to do with how stats scale. At a certain point getting 18+ in both dex and strength seems rather easy to accomplish if you want it. And at that point… Why would you take the speed reduction and armor check penalties of heavy armor? (I don’t see anyway other than the Armor Proficiency class talents t reduce movement speed.)

Depends on your priorities. Not having to raise one stat really helps with raising the others, based on the analysis I've done.

Captain Morgan wrote:
On the layout of the feat chapter: Yeah, that leaves much to be desired. I have barely touched it because of how cumbersome it is.

It is very annoying.

Captain Morgan wrote:
So is it possible that while a light or medium armor fighter (or paladin) has comparable performance to their heavy armored counterpart, trading a point of AC for the added mobility? Just a thought. Haven’t ran the numbers yet, but you’ve probably got a better head for that than I do anyway. (Issues that jump out at me though are that ranged paladins seem like they suffer and Armored Fortitude only applying when wearing Heavy armor.)

Probably not. They could just invest in Fleet (the Feat for +5 speed) if they really wanted extra movement, and there's no real way to boost AC equivalently.

Captain Morgan wrote:
On Longbows: I’m still trying to wrap my head around the affordability of having multiple maxed potency weapons. But if it is reasonably affordable for TWF folks, shouldn’t having two bows be reasonable for archers too? Having a solid longbow for picking off ranged targets and then dropping it and drawing a shortbow for when they close doesn’t sound unreasonable. I’m also sort of interested at seeing how this plays with Hunt Target. A Ranger sniping from 200 feet away with Favored Aim seems really deadly, and he can quick draw a short bow or melee weapon if they survive to close.

This is a possibility. I remain a tad skeptical that such a restriction is necessary, however.

Captain Morgan wrote:
All that is to say, the Longbow might wind up back up weapon for folks usually fighting in cramped dungeons, but I think it can murder people just fine when you bust it out. Which strikes me as strictly an improvement over PF1, where there was zero reason to use a shortbow if you could use a longbow.

I dunno. I'm not against there being reasons to use a shortbow at all, but the current penalties on longbow just seem overly harsh to me, YMMV.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Now if I may share a complaint of my own: While I think the sorcerer has gotten some really massive improvements this edition, I am a little perplexed at how much the wizard seems to pull ahead. Quick Preparation as a level 4 feat seems rather broken, and seems to go a long way to offsetting the biggest disadvantage a wizard had. (I suppose it isn’t THAT much different from leaving slots open last edition though.)

Sorcerers do have Spontaneous Heightening of two spells, which is pretty solid. I'd need to delve more deeply into the Wizard/Sorcerer stuff to analyze which is better properly.

Captain Morgan wrote:

Part of this might be I’m still a little fuzzy on the exact mechanics for retraining spells and adding new spells to spellbooks, but if I’m understanding it right the sorcerer has the same cost to retrain a spell as a wizard does to permanently add it to the spellbook. Which seems… Rather unkind. I mean the sorcerer is still better off than they used to be, but I feel like learning a spell should be easier for the sorcerer in exchange for not being able to have as many in reserve.

Maybe I am just a little confused if “learning a spell” only applies for rare spells or if all common spells fall under this umbrella. If it is the latter, clerics seem to have it way nicer than the divine sorcerer, for example.

Sorcerers in no way need to do this. Ever. Of course, Wizards don't need to do it with their 2 free spells per level, either. Those are just free. The only class that currently even references the 'learning a spell' mechanics is Wizards, and it applies to them exclusively.

Sorcerers do also get one free and instant spell retraining whenever they level, which is sufficient for most Sorcerers' needs, IMO.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Joe Hex wrote:
Also, fey-blooded sorcerers in P1 were masters of enchantment, on par with meamerists even. I don't see that as much now.

This, in particular, annoys the heck out of me. I'm really hoping, in the final version, you'll be able to choose between "arcane or (appropriate list)" for those bloodlines. With maybe a little something for those that don't get a choice, or just expanding them to have a choice (so draconic could be arcane or primal, for example).


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

Part of this might be I’m still a little fuzzy on the exact mechanics for retraining spells and adding new spells to spellbooks, but if I’m understanding it right the sorcerer has the same cost to retrain a spell as a wizard does to permanently add it to the spellbook. Which seems… Rather unkind. I mean the sorcerer is still better off than they used to be, but I feel like learning a spell should be easier for the sorcerer in exchange for not being able to have as many in reserve.

Maybe I am just a little confused if “learning a spell” only applies for rare spells or if all common spells fall under this umbrella. If it is the latter, clerics seem to have it way nicer than the divine sorcerer, for example.

Sorcerers in no way need to do this. Ever. Of course, Wizards don't need to do it with their 2 free spells per level, either. Those are just free. The only class that currently even references the 'learning a spell' mechanics is Wizards, and it applies to them exclusively.

Sorcerers do also get one free and instant spell retraining whenever they level, which is sufficient for most Sorcerers' needs, IMO.

The "learn a spell" description under the Arcana skill gave me the impression that it could apply to Sorcerers as well. I will look up the exact wording once I get home, but it seemed to reference making a spell available to be chosen for a spell repertoire. I'd guess that this is for when a Sorcerer picks up a Rare spell?

Bards can also gain a spell book and learn spells as a Wizard (...sort of) with a class feat.

Liberty's Edge

Kalindlara wrote:
Joe Hex wrote:
Also, fey-blooded sorcerers in P1 were masters of enchantment, on par with meamerists even. I don't see that as much now.
This, in particular, annoys the heck out of me. I'm really hoping, in the final version, you'll be able to choose between "arcane or (appropriate list)" for those bloodlines. With maybe a little something for those that don't get a choice, or just expanding them to have a choice (so draconic could be arcane or primal, for example).

This would be a solid option. We'll see how things go.

Thebazilly wrote:
The "learn a spell" description under the Arcana skill gave me the impression that it could apply to Sorcerers as well. I will look up the exact wording once I get home, but it seemed to reference making a spell available to be chosen for a spell repertoire. I'd guess that this is for when a Sorcerer picks up a Rare spell?

Yep. That is the only time a Sorcerer needs to do it.

Thebazilly wrote:
Bards can also gain a spell book and learn spells as a Wizard (...sort of) with a class feat.

This is true. I spaced that for a moment.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Skills:

Now, on to the thing I hate with a fiery passion and want to destroy with fire: Signature Skills. One of the really great things about PF1 was the ability to invest a Trait, or one of a number of readily available Feats (Cosmopolitan leaps to mind) and get new Skills as Class Skills that reflected your character. In my experience, the skills so picked often became the character's primary focus, and much fun was had by all.

In general, I like the new skill system. But I see no upside at all to Signature Skills. Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand, they don't provide any bonuses in skills, but only put a cold cap on how high you can rise in proficiency no matter how much you choose to invest. That's pretty contrary to an edtion of the game that's supposed to be predicated on character options.

Liberty's Edge

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Joe Hex wrote:
In general, I like the new skill system. But I see no upside at all to Signature Skills. Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand, they don't provide any bonuses in skills, but only put a cold cap on how high you can rise in proficiency no matter how much you choose to invest. That's pretty contrary to an edtion of the game that's supposed to be predicated on character options.

This is exactly what they do, and I likewise see no point in them. After GenCon is over and we've got the designers paying attention, I'm gonna start a thread on this issue specifically and see if we can get the folks at Paizo to notice the seeming general dissatisfaction with Signature Skills.

Dark Archive

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I get feeling that this is probably one of those radical test things they'll dial back on on release ._. I mean, skill caps certainly sound radical and not really fun, its okay for classes to have higher bonus to skills, but making it impossible to raise them at all after some point doesn't sound really customizing friendly.


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Joe Hex wrote:
I really like the tone of this thread and how everyone is keeping feedback above the bar. Think I'm gonna hang here to do some opining...

DMW is basically the playtest's patron saint of reading comprehension.


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DMW this is a great thread. Thank you for being a well thought out voice of reason in this sea of "hot takes"


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I have to wonder how intentional the plate armor + proficiency issue is.
With plate armor so easily acquired (via one Dedication Feat) & no arcane spell failure chance, I'm thinking there's a reason plate armor's not that much better and it's hard to acquire Legendary Proficiency.
Ultimately, that proficiency framework might be what makes plate armor the best armor...but only for classes who traditionally wear it.
I'm willing to roll with that (for now), but add me to the list of those thinking those classes should also get the choice of choosing light & medium armors too.
I have to wonder now if a light armor, high Dex Fighter might have too good of an AC if they could choose that, while still keeping up their saves. Then again, can't the Monk mirror that anyway?

I actually like Signature Skills, BUT I want them to be my PC's signature skills, not my class's. I can't recall the last time I used my class as a descriptor of my PC other than one guy w/ a Prestige Class who used that even before acquiring the class. There needs to be more flexibility here.
Example would be that Rogue are niched as thieves, even though they fill the dexterous martial role better than anybody else.

General feats...meh. Toughness & expert saves almost seem to be default choices. I was hoping General Feats would have the most importance (being as there are so few). And none help you build a kingdom...

ETA: Maybe Expert is seen as the standard maximum and Paizo's trying to make Masters Rare among the classes & Legendary (somewhat) Unique?

Once you get a second die of damage (likely via a +1), the longbow is better if you get access to Point Blank Shot.
I don't know why that feat is gated, but I do like the importance of short bows in skirmishing.


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A consequence of Signature Skills, is who can be a primary-caster in rituals. Everything we heard about rituals leading up to the release, is how they can be for any class. But it turns out most of the base skills required for rituals are those baked into the casting classes's signature skills. There are so many cool character concepts for characters like martials who learn to fight, so they can explore and get their hands on these rituals. A character like that should not have to rely on getting a caster to lead the ritual for them.


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Joe Hex wrote:
A consequence of Signature Skills, is who can be a primary-caster in rituals. Everything we heard about rituals leading up to the release, is how they can be for any class. But it turns out most of the base skills required for rituals are those baked into the casting classes's signature skills. There are so many cool character concepts for characters like martials who learn to fight, so they can explore and get their hands on these rituals. A character like that should not have to rely on getting a caster to lead the ritual for them.

I hadn't considered that. If a fighter is willing to invest the feats into the proper skills, I see no reason not to let them try out rituals. It adds a cool mystical vibe to ritual magic that makes it feel powerful and special. And the rituals tend to be difficult enough that a caster who doesnt focus on rituals would at least still feel helpful as a secondary caster.


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I also appreciate the tone of the thread, and it's very informative to read through too. I hadn't really realized there wasn't any way to add signature skills. Agree that that's lame and needs some fixing. Also Halflings need love too. Goblins are hardcore stealing their spotlight.

I haven't finished reading everything yet. Here's a question though, is there anything making the high level weapon and armor proficiencies worthwhile other than the pure numbers? There's skill feats that require higher proficiency, but I haven't seen anything for weapons and armor. Not exactly a deal breaker, except it leaves the monk pretty screwed. Legendary in unarmored is no better than nonproficient in Full Plate for AC purposes. And given you don't even get Legendary until 17th level, seems like monks are gonna have real bad defenses. I was kind of assuming there would be feats based off it that would give them some cool flavorful defensive abilities, so I'm very disappointed on that front.

And am I the only one super disappointed with the multiclass feats? I was very tentatively optimistic about them after the blog post, but they just seem very lackluster, especially the Rogue. I mean, you can get 8th level spells through the Cleric/Wizard feats, but the best you can do as a multiclassed Rogue is 1d6 sneak attack at 6th level? And you can't even get the Dex to damage ability that's core to Rogues? Or really anything except evasion and some skills? I can't see anyone taking a Rogue multiclass unless they desperately want a new signature skill (that also happens to be signature for Rogue.) Actually the Skill Mastery feat is pretty good. Almost worth taking the rest of the multiclass for.

Another thing I haven't been able to find, if you are already trained in something, like armor proficiency, and gain a feat that also gives you trained, is the extra training just wasted? I'm guessing it is, which means that as near as I can tell it's almost impossible for a fighter to get an exotic weapon up to equal with his martial weapons. Granted the list of exotic weapons is almost nil, but still, it sucks for using an exotic weapon to always be at -1 compared to martials with no option I've seen to improve it.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've been sifting through the rules and making characters and I'm coming to the conclusion that some things are just not going to make it to my table. Whether that's with house rules or due to them changing before final print. Here's some:

1. Signature Skills. The skill system feels murky, and it's kind of hard to tell what you're signing up for as you increase your rank in them. Every GM will have a different concept about what's trained, expert, master, etc so it feels risky to play a character who's supposed to be good at something without the capacity to reach legendary eventually. That means you feel totally locked into class ordained skill focuses.

2. Resonance. Bag of holding takes resonance to open and close. At this point, the system just can't be taken seriously. If I do use it, I foresee arguments about reasonableness from day 1. Resonance just clutters up headspace for no benefit.

3. Class locked feats. There are so many class feats that technically anyone should be able to grab, I expect lots of them to become unlocked. At that point it makes more sense to change up multiclassing to specifically target class features rather than feats, too.

4. Sneak attack locked to agile and finesse, and dex only rogues. Sneak attack has always been a fun bit of flavor many character types can utilize, not just cliche gangly knife wielders. I fully expect strength rogues to make a comeback.

5. Heavy armor locked fighters. It's baffling why a class that purportedly can be made dex or strength based is locked into heavy armor progression. I expect any class will progress proficiency in all armors they start proficient in.

6. Backgrounds. These are so generic and cookie cutter it should just be reduced to "You get two free ability boosts, and can select as skill feat and training in a lore skill" and let people flavor it themselves.

7. Recognize Spell Feat. This should be built into the skill.

8. Pickpocket Feat. This should be built into the skill.

9. Forager Feat. This should be built into the skill.


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River of Sticks wrote:


My opinion on Resonance is that it needs to go away or be majorly revamped; right now the design expectation seems to be have only 1 buff/spell/potion/power per combat, or have only 1-2 combats per day. Opening a Bag of Holding requires a point of resonance - an out of combat, non-time bound activity. What? If I want to open it, pull something out, and put it away twice a day thats 4 points of resonance, gone. A 1 minute alchemical elixir requires a point of resonance. Casting a spell from a staff requires a point of resonance. I thought the alchemist feat to dabble would be interesting, liked some of the formulae I saw, and then realized they all needed resonance.

Agreed. Clerics will be back to being healbots similar to the clerics in AD&D e1. Cleric builds will need to max Wisdom and Charisma to provide the party with enough healing. Most of their spell slot will need to be used for healing spells.

It will be back to being a NPC class.


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Rakle wrote:
River of Sticks wrote:


My opinion on Resonance is that it needs to go away or be majorly revamped; right now the design expectation seems to be have only 1 buff/spell/potion/power per combat, or have only 1-2 combats per day. Opening a Bag of Holding requires a point of resonance - an out of combat, non-time bound activity. What? If I want to open it, pull something out, and put it away twice a day thats 4 points of resonance, gone. A 1 minute alchemical elixir requires a point of resonance. Casting a spell from a staff requires a point of resonance. I thought the alchemist feat to dabble would be interesting, liked some of the formulae I saw, and then realized they all needed resonance.

Agreed. Clerics will be back to being healbots similar to the clerics in AD&D e1. Cleric builds will need to max Wisdom and Charisma to provide the party with enough healing. Most of their spell slot will need to be used for healing spells.

It will be back to being a NPC class.

There's plentiful data from the alpha playtesting that this isn't the case. Many classes can play the healer, and even secondary healers have proved sufficient alongside items.

Also, Resonance did not prove an issue at any alpha table (so I've heard). I do not know what the PCs had to balance/rebalance to make that the case though, but there were many tables running.

I agree about the Bag of Holding. If one pays Resonance to attune w/ it, it should be available for the day. Otherwise it's not handy for storing useful things, only for hauling.


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Castilliano wrote:


There's plentiful data from the alpha playtesting that this isn't the case. Many classes can play the healer, and even secondary healers have proved sufficient alongside items.

The rulebook does not back this up.

There is a skill feat that appears to allow you to heal 1d10+wis bonus - unlimited times per day, however it requires a DC 20 medicine check - crit failure causes 1d10 damage.

Now in PF1 you could say 'take 10 out of combat' - there is no take 10 rule in PF2.

So no - at least until you can get to 9 on your medicine skill - which AFAIK requires several levels - there is no 'out of combat healing' for mundane. Also - I suspect this feat is broken or incorrect, as the nature version allows 1d8+wis - but only *once per day* - so one of these feats is very broken compared to the other.

I did a search for the word heal - clerics have it ... lets say over a dozen times, no other class has it more than once - except paladins. Also - Bards use the occult list which has no heal spell, so while the class description for Bards says they are healers, sorcerers (who can use the divine list) make better healers than bards.

*edit* - it's a DC 20 medicine check not heal.


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The medicine feat is once per day per target as well, the two feats just use different means of explaining why for... reasons? Natural Medicine spells out that you can only use it once per creature per day, while Battle Medic says that the target is "bolstered", which means that you can only use the ability on the target once per day.

I honestly have no idea how Paizo even expects us to believe that anyone can heal if they build for it; it's quite clear that only Clerics have the throughput necessary to ensure you aren't limping back to camp after the first time an enemy gets a lucky crit.


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Arachnofiend wrote:

The medicine feat is once per day per target as well, the two feats just use different means of explaining why for... reasons? Natural Medicine spells out that you can only use it once per creature per day, while Battle Medic says that the target is "bolstered", which means that you can only use the ability on the target once per day.

I honestly have no idea how Paizo even expects us to believe that anyone can heal if they build for it; it's quite clear that only Clerics have the throughput necessary to ensure you aren't limping back to camp after the first time an enemy gets a lucky crit.

Wow - ok - first the text doesn't indicate that's a keyword - second that's totally opposite of what I would expect it to mean. However at least the feats seem more in line. With that information - I can't see anything in the book as printed that backs up 'Barbarian kept us healed' - without being a dual class caster.

If the solution to 'no cleric healbots' is that every party has to have a dual class cleric - then I humbly submit that same party *with a cleric* will tell the cleric to heal so they can spend class feats on ... stuff that makes their class better.


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Ckorik wrote:
With that information - I can't see anything in the book as printed that backs up 'Barbarian kept us healed' - without being a dual class caster.

Mark confirmed in the Multiclassing blog post comments that the "healing barbarian" was multiclassed into cleric.


Thebazilly wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
With that information - I can't see anything in the book as printed that backs up 'Barbarian kept us healed' - without being a dual class caster.
Mark confirmed in the Multiclassing blog post comments that the "healing barbarian" was multiclassed into cleric.

He also confirmed the spells were mainly buffs, and items & Medicine did most of the healing. Also Clerics aren't the only ones with healing magic (or healing alchemy), so I wasn't even referencing the Barb MC Cleric or the Medicine skill (which looks great).

Liberty's Edge

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A Ninja Errant wrote:
I also appreciate the tone of the thread, and it's very informative to read through too.

I'm glad people approve of the tone and information. :)

A Ninja Errant wrote:
I hadn't really realized there wasn't any way to add signature skills. Agree that that's lame and needs some fixing. Also Halflings need love too. Goblins are hardcore stealing their spotlight.

I don't feel like Goblins are especially good, I feel like Halflings are especially bad, mechanically speaking.

A Ninja Errant wrote:
I haven't finished reading everything yet. Here's a question though, is there anything making the high level weapon and armor proficiencies worthwhile other than the pure numbers? There's skill feats that require higher proficiency, but I haven't seen anything for weapons and armor.

It does not appear to give anything beyond raw numbers, no.

A Ninja Errant wrote:
Not exactly a deal breaker, except it leaves the monk pretty screwed. Legendary in unarmored is no better than nonproficient in Full Plate for AC purposes. And given you don't even get Legendary until 17th level, seems like monks are gonna have real bad defenses. I was kind of assuming there would be feats based off it that would give them some cool flavorful defensive abilities, so I'm very disappointed on that front.

With high Dex (which a Monk should have), a Monk can wind up with around the highest AC in the game. Their unarmored Proficiency stacks with Bracers of Armor and Dex, which makes for a solid combination.

A Ninja Errant wrote:
And am I the only one super disappointed with the multiclass feats? I was very tentatively optimistic about them after the blog post, but they just seem very lackluster, especially the Rogue. I mean, you can get 8th level spells through the Cleric/Wizard feats, but the best you can do as a multiclassed Rogue is 1d6 sneak attack at 6th level? And you can't even get the Dex to damage ability that's core to Rogues? Or really anything except evasion and some skills? I can't see anyone taking a Rogue multiclass unless they desperately want a new signature skill (that also happens to be signature for Rogue.) Actually the Skill Mastery feat is pretty good. Almost worth taking the rest of the multiclass for.

Yeah, I'm not best pleased with the Rogue Multiclass, Signature Skills aside. The other three all seem to be very solid options, though.

A Ninja Errant wrote:
Another thing I haven't been able to find, if you are already trained in something, like armor proficiency, and gain a feat that also gives you trained, is the extra training just wasted? I'm guessing it is, which means that as near as I can tell it's almost impossible for a fighter to get an exotic weapon up to equal with his martial weapons. Granted the list of exotic weapons is almost nil, but still, it sucks for using an exotic weapon to always be at -1 compared to martials with no option I've seen to improve it.

Yeah, redundant bonuses don't seem to actually give you anything. You can get Ancestry Keyword Exotic Weapons to count as Martial, but that's the only option there seems to be for them proficiency-wise.

Ckorik wrote:

The rulebook does not back this up.

There is a skill feat that appears to allow you to heal 1d10+wis bonus - unlimited times per day, however it requires a DC 20 medicine check - crit failure causes 1d10 damage.

Now in PF1 you could say 'take 10 out of combat' - there is no take 10 rule in PF2.

So no - at least until you can get to 9 on your medicine skill - which AFAIK requires several levels - there is no 'out of combat healing' for mundane. Also - I suspect this feat is broken or incorrect, as the nature version allows 1d8+wis - but only *once per day* - so one of these feats is very broken compared to the other.

With Assurance, you can auto-heal if you're a Master, which you can be at 7th level. As others note, the Medicine Feat is also once per day.

I'm not a huge fan of this as a healing option for various reasons. It's pretty much flatly insufficient to be a primary healer. I think it'd be a good lead-in to a Master level Medicine Feat that allowed more and better healing, but it's not enough all on its own.

Ckorik wrote:
I did a search for the word heal - clerics have it ... lets say over a dozen times, no other class has it more than once - except paladins. Also - Bards use the occult list which has no heal spell, so while the class description for Bards says they are healers, sorcerers (who can use the divine list) make better healers than bards.

Actually, the Occult list does have a healing spell: 'Soothe'. It's not as good as Heal (though it gives a bonus vs. mental effects for the next minute), and lacks an area effect version, but it's an available option, and makes Bards decent, if not exceptional, healers.


The Nature Skill also has natural medicine level 3 feat which does a little healing too. I'd guess the barbarian took that as well as battle medic.

Bards have the spell Soothe, which heals. I think a few more things too, but that is the first that comes to mind (since maestro bards get it automatically). They just don't get the heal spell (though I wish they did).


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Thebazilly wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
With that information - I can't see anything in the book as printed that backs up 'Barbarian kept us healed' - without being a dual class caster.
Mark confirmed in the Multiclassing blog post comments that the "healing barbarian" was multiclassed into cleric.

And yet he also said later that even then he tended to use his Cleric side for self buffs.

No from what I gathered, Mark only kept the party healed through buying items with... whatever gold he saved up. Maybe the skill.

Which means if you want to play healer and Not Cleric, prepared to have your gold go into other peoples bodies.

Liberty's Edge

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Castilliano wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
With that information - I can't see anything in the book as printed that backs up 'Barbarian kept us healed' - without being a dual class caster.
Mark confirmed in the Multiclassing blog post comments that the "healing barbarian" was multiclassed into cleric.
He also confirmed the spells were mainly buffs, and items & Medicine did most of the healing. Also Clerics aren't the only ones with healing magic (or healing alchemy), so I wasn't even referencing the Barb MC Cleric or the Medicine skill (which looks great).

Yeah, what I take this as confirmation of is that item-based healing is perfectly sufficient for the most part. Neither the magic a multiclass Cleric has (if not totally devoted to healing, which it wasn't) nor Battlefield Medic are sufficient, which means the items must be.


The occult spell list has the spell Soothe, which heals the same as a 1 or 2 heal action spell, and gives +1 vs mind effects for a minute. and it cost 2 actions to use. outside of battle, its about as good as heal if you aren't group healing, though not as good as cleric's heal. which should do the main healer job just fine, if not as well as divine healers.

EDIT: Double ninja'd... oh well.

Oh wait, I missed soothing ballad. It does a couple things, but one of them is 7d6+modifer to up to 9 allies and scales up. its POWER 7 though, so... I assume you get it around level 14 making it a bit less useful.


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The more I read, the more I'm convinced that there is simply no way for character creation/progression to be meaningful or even fun without them making a TON of feats universal, rather than class-locked. And, in addition to that, adding in feats that just don't exist for whatever reason. For instance, why is Double Slice locked behind only Ranger and Fighter? Why, as a Ranger, can I not take feats to improve two-handed weapons without multiclassing? Why, as a fighter, can I not improve light armor? Why, as anything, am I limited in which skills I can max out, provided I'm willing to invest so much into them?

It feels like every class has been shoved into a tiny box. And in this tiny box, they've disassembled the classes into feats and called it "freedom of choice." It's totally cool if only rangers and druids can get animal companions, or clerics getting channeling, because these are central themes of the class. What is not cool is that you can't actually deviate from the class, all while being told that the modular system is somehow freeing.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
A Ninja Errant wrote:
Not exactly a deal breaker, except it leaves the monk pretty screwed. Legendary in unarmored is no better than nonproficient in Full Plate for AC purposes. And given you don't even get Legendary until 17th level, seems like monks are gonna have real bad defenses. I was kind of assuming there would be feats based off it that would give them some cool flavorful defensive abilities, so I'm very disappointed on that front.
With high Dex (which a Monk should have), a Monk can wind up with around the highest AC in the game. Their unarmored Proficiency stacks with

Sorry, with what? Looks like you got cut off there? I know Bracers of Armor work, but that only goes to one point better than magic armor bonuses.

Also one of the devs (I think, not sure which one) had commented that a mid-low Dex Str based Monk was working out just fine in their playtest game. Not really seeing how that's possible, unless I'm missing something, or the monsters attacking him had really bad luck.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Thebazilly wrote:
The "learn a spell" description under the Arcana skill gave me the impression that it could apply to Sorcerers as well. I will look up the exact wording once I get home, but it seemed to reference making a spell available to be chosen for a spell repertoire. I'd guess that this is for when a Sorcerer picks up a Rare spell?
Yep. That is the only time a Sorcerer needs to do it.

They need to do it for uncommon spells as well. The class guidance for repertoire only allows them to choose common spells on level up. If you want Teleport you need a scroll, book, or teacher plus some money and a skill check.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

With Assurance, you can auto-heal if you're a Master, which you can be at 7th level. As others note, the Medicine Feat is also once per day.

I'm not a huge fan of this as a healing option for various reasons. It's pretty much flatly insufficient to be a primary healer. I think it'd be a good lead-in to a Master level Medicine Feat that allowed more and better healing, but it's not enough all on its own.

I say this with sincerity, I was really hoping that all the forum chat about 'non-magical healing' were going to be true - and we might finally see some mundane ways that any class could take to 'be the healer'. This was a rather large disapointment

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Actually, the Occult list does have a healing spell: 'Soothe'. It's not as good as Heal (though it gives a bonus vs. mental effects for the next minute), and lacks an area effect version, but it's an available option, and makes Bards decent, if not exceptional, healers.

I missed that - but I'll be honest - I can't frankly fathom why they have to use a different spell - it seems redundant in the extreme - and the 'bonus vs mental effects' isn't enough to justify different for difference sake IMO.

Thebazilly wrote:
Mark confirmed in the Multiclassing blog post comments that the "healing barbarian" was multiclassed into cleric.

I really do like Mark and appreciate his willingness to engage - but man he chose the worst example to use if the 'secret info' was just multiclassed caster. I don't think he appreciates the amount of actual angst in the community over non-magical healing.

Liberty's Edge

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A Ninja Errant wrote:
Sorry, with what? Looks like you got cut off there? I know Bracers of Armor work, but that only goes to one point better than magic armor bonuses.

What I meant to say, and have edited in for future readers, was:

"Their unarmored Proficiency stacks with Bracers of Armor and Dex, which makes for a solid combination."

And +7 Dex combined with +6 from Bracers and a +3 Proficiency bonus you have a total of AC 46 at 20th.

A Paladin maxes out at +7 from Armor plus Dex, +5 from Magic Armor, and +3 Proficiency. That's AC 45 at 20th.

Now, the Paladin can get a shield and hit AC 47...but a Monk can use Crane Style and manage AC 47 as well.

Now, a more typical Monk might have more like Dex 18-20, but that's still on par with everyone but the Fighter in AC, and maybe even on par with the Fighter (the Fighter caps at 44, the same as a Dex 20 Monk).

A Ninja Errant wrote:
Also one of the devs (I think, not sure which one) had commented that a mid-low Dex Str based Monk was working out just fine in their playtest game. Not really seeing how that's possible, unless I'm missing something, or the monsters attacking him had really bad luck.

The character mentioned has been referred to as 'a series of bad decisions that keep working out well' or something to that effect by his player.

I think his survival is mostly a matter of using Monk stuff to hit and run and thus not get targeted a lot.


On the Bulk of a person: I think it might help to think of Bulk less in terms of pounds and more in terms of how hard things are to carry. Looking at 8 bulk on the Encumbered to immobile scale, I can dig it. Carrying a full-grown dead weight person is hard but not impossible. You get the right leverage, like a fireman's carry, and even a moderately strong person can carry them around with strain. But carrying two people (16 Bulk) is gonna be nearly impossible for almost anyone, I think. People aren't just heavy, they are unwieldy.

On Sorcerers swapping spells: what exactly do they need to do to replace a common spell with another common spell when they aren't leveling up?

Liberty's Edge

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Dead Phoenix wrote:
Oh wait, I missed soothing ballad. It does a couple things, but one of them is 7d6+modifer to up to 9 allies and scales up. its POWER 7 though, so... I assume you get it around level 14 making it a bit less useful.

It's a 14th level Class Feat, yeah.

DFAnton wrote:
The more I read, the more I'm convinced that there is simply no way for character creation/progression to be meaningful or even fun without them making a TON of feats universal, rather than class-locked. And, in addition to that, adding in feats that just don't exist for whatever reason. For instance, why is Double Slice locked behind only Ranger and Fighter? Why, as a Ranger, can I not take feats to improve two-handed weapons without multiclassing? Why, as a fighter, can I not improve light armor? Why, as anything, am I limited in which skills I can max out, provided I'm willing to invest so much into them?

My preference would actually be for there to just a be a General Feat that lets you dabble in other Class's stuff. That lets you keep each Class very focused while allowing you to pick up other Class's things without being punitive.

DFAnton wrote:
It feels like every class has been shoved into a tiny box. And in this tiny box, they've disassembled the classes into feats and called it "freedom of choice." It's totally cool if only rangers and druids can get animal companions, or clerics getting channeling, because these are central themes of the class. What is not cool is that you can't actually deviate from the class, all while being told that the modular system is somehow freeing.

More freedom is definitely something I want in the long run, too.

Xenocrat wrote:
They need to do it for uncommon spells as well. The class guidance for repertoire only allows them to choose common spells on level up. If you want Teleport you need a scroll, book, or teacher plus some money and a skill check.

I meant that rarity stuff was the only time, not Rare spells specifically, but I probably should've been clearer.

Ckorik wrote:
I say this with sincerity, I was really hoping that all the forum chat about 'non-magical healing' were going to be true - and we might finally see some mundane ways that any class could take to 'be the healer'. This was a rather large disapointment

I would also very much like to see this.

Ckorik wrote:
I missed that - but I'll be honest - I can't frankly fathom why they have to use a different spell - it seems redundant in the extreme - and the 'bonus vs mental effects' isn't enough to justify different for difference sake IMO.

They have a different, and weaker, spell to make them weaker at healing. Full stop. Every spell list has things that iot's good at and those that it isn't. It was decided that Occult should be able to heal, but not as well as Divine or Primal, which is a perfectly reasonable choice, IMO.

Ckorik wrote:
I really do like Mark and appreciate his willingness to engage - but man he chose the worst example to use if the 'secret info' was just multiclassed caster. I don't think he appreciates the amount of actual angst in the community over non-magical healing.

He mentioned it in passing, and then tried pretty hard to indicate that it was a combination of lots of factors. His hands were sort of tied from giving too much detail, and he couldn't even definitively say 'no mundane healing' because there was a little bit of that.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
A Ninja Errant wrote:
Sorry, with what? Looks like you got cut off there? I know Bracers of Armor work, but that only goes to one point better than magic armor bonuses.

What I meant to say, and have edited in for future readers, was:

"Their unarmored Proficiency stacks with Bracers of Armor and Dex, which makes for a solid combination."

And +7 Dex combined with +6 from Bracers and a +3 Proficiency bonus you have a total of AC 46 at 20th.

A Paladin maxes out at +7 from Armor plus Dex, +5 from Magic Armor, and +3 Proficiency. That's AC 45 at 20th.

Now, the Paladin can get a shield and hit AC 47...but a Monk can use Crane Style and manage AC 47 as well.

Now, a more typical Monk might have more like Dex 18-20, but that's still on par with everyone but the Fighter in AC, and maybe even on par with the Fighter (the Fighter caps at 44, the same as a Dex 20 Monk).

Okay, so it works itself out in high level, but Monk doesn't get Master Unarmored until level 13, and Legendary until 17th. What about the fact that he starts out with a max AC of 15, (16 with Crane) and every other melee class can get 16+ easily, most of them without having to go max dex and sacrifice damage? I'll grant it's not a huge difference, but

A. small differences matter more, and
B. that's a monk specifically optimized for AC (probably sacrificing some damage), vs everybody else who gets their AC just by picking the right option for the dex they wanted.

Rogue has to max dex as well, but the way they stacked Rogue doesn't really sacrifice anything for an 18 dex, since it applies to his damage with most of his weapons.

Liberty's Edge

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Captain Morgan wrote:
On the Bulk of a person: I think it might help to think of Bulk less in terms of pounds and more in terms of how hard things are to carry. Looking at 8 bulk on the Encumbered to immobile scale, I can dig it. Carrying a full-grown dead weight person is hard but not impossible. You get the right leverage, like a fireman's carry, and even a moderately strong person can carry them around with strain. But carrying two people (16 Bulk) is gonna be nearly impossible for almost anyone, I think. People aren't just heavy, they are unwieldy.

This still leaves a profound lack of guidance in regards to other non-listed items. I mean, what about a rolled up carpet? A bed? A 50 lb chunk of adamantine?

Captain Morgan wrote:
On Sorcerers swapping spells: what exactly do they need to do to replace a common spell with another common spell when they aren't leveling up?

By the evidence, the same thing you need to do to swap out any other selectable Class Feature: find a tutor and spend a month or so.

Liberty's Edge

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A Ninja Errant wrote:
Okay, so it works itself out in high level, but Monk doesn't get Master Unarmored until level 13, and Legendary until 17th.

This is true of others who go up in Proficiency as well.

A Ninja Errant wrote:

What about the fact that he starts out with a max AC of 15, (16 with Crane) and every other melee class can get 16+ easily, most of them without having to go max dex and sacrifice damage? I'll grant it's not a huge difference, but

A. small differences matter more, and
B. that's a monk specifically optimized for AC (probably sacrificing some damage), vs everybody else who gets their AC just by picking the right option for the dex they wanted.

Actually, a Monk can start with AC 16 pretty readily (Dex 18, +1 Level, +1 Expert), and can be up to 18 at 2nd level (with those shiny new Bracers). It's not quite on par with heavy armor wearers at low levels, but it's not bad at all.

But yes, I'm concerned with Str Monk AC if they don't also have a serious secondary Dex focus. I'm hopeful for a Class Feat to use Wis instead of Dex for this purpose, that'd be cool and thematic without being broken.

A Ninja Errant wrote:
Rogue has to max dex as well, but the way they stacked Rogue doesn't really sacrifice anything for an 18 dex, since it applies to his damage with most of his weapons.

Rogue AC never really goes up except via level. A Monk can equal them by 2nd level and exceed them over time, and their damage actually winds up much better than a Rogue in the long run unless going Crane (in which case their AC is better real quick), just because the Rogue is stuck with 1d6 weapons, while the Monk can get 1d8 ones easily. Which makes a big difference this edition.

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