Athletics by level vs FORT & REF defense by CR

General Discussion

Shadow Lodge

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From the work of Reddit user BlackBacon, I created a spreadsheet for myself to look at how a Combat Maneuver specialist stacks up.

In the Playtest Bestiary, it appears the REF defense is almost always lower than the FORT defense. All hail trip, our new king of combat maneuvers?

A little hyperbole there, but trip has been given some love in PF2. It works on creatures up to 2 sizes larger than you (up from 1). On a success, a creature is tripped; on a Critical Success, it also takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage--while not much, it does make those Nat 20s or Critical Successes feel good at the table. Another boost is that Trip now inherently works on flying creatures (Prone Condition: “If you’re Climbing or Flying when you would be knocked prone, you fall instead.”) Critical failure, as always, is you falling prone instead. Trip also has substantial weapon support (13 weapons, but half are gated as Uncommon weapons).

Grapple is a mixed bag but definitely has been nerfed from it’s PF1 incarnation. You no longer can grapple creatures much larger than you (2 sizes larger max), but you only need one free hand and suffer no penalty for using just that one hand. You can no longer maintain a grapple and damage at the same (with one monk class feat exception)--in the 3 action economy, it seems like you are expected to Grapple with one action and then Strike on subsequent actions. There is no grappling “flow”--your opponent’s status can fluctuate between Grabbed and Restrained from round-to-round depending on how you roll...with no way to progress from Grabbed to Restrained. Currently, there are no rules for tying up a foe. Finally, Critical Failure is really bad for a grappler now--your opponent can reverse the grapple and give you the grabbed condition or force you to fall prone! Grapple has no weapon support.


Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

My own analysis shows that FORT and REFL are roughly equal on average up to Level 8 (save for Level 6, which has a large number of high-FORT crearures). Then after that, REFL trails by a point or two until a massive 5-point difference at Level 14 and a surprise reversal at Level 15 when REFL saves are higher. At Level 15+ the average FORT save is a few points higher, which may be due to the lower sample size as well.

This bestiary contains a large number of creatures with high FORT saves, for some reason, and while WILL is lower initially it catches up by Level 6 and starts outpacing REFL at Level 12. REFL saves are in fact rather low on average. All hail Trip.

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