Paladin Playtest Feedback


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I’ve played the Paladin class in every available senario of the playtest up to the second half of “The Mirrored Moon.” So my experience extends up to level 9.

That being said, I’ve enjoyed playing the Paladin class a lot in the playtest. I am also a habitual Paladin player in Pathfinder 1. While initially disappointed with the class upon reading the playtest rules (loss of innate immunities, smite evil) I found in actual play I got a lot of gratification from playing the (essentially complete new) class.

Retributive Strike is a fun addition and it is extremely satisfying when you crit an enemy and stop them from striking down the Wizard besides you. Also shouting ‘Retributive Strike!’ when an enemy lands hit is kind of awesome. I do however think Retributive Strike should proc with ranged weapons because there are many cases where the reaction becomes a complete non-factor.

I’ve tested all three Righteous Ally variations. In my opinion the mount is the most useful, while the blade ally is the low-key MVP, being able to hit ghosts when needed or using a returning weapon when you know you’ll be fighting a flying creature is very useful and fun.
Shield Ally is underwhelming because while I always raise my shield I never use my reaction to block when I’d rather Retributive Strike or Attack of Opportunity. Because Lay on Hands is extremely good in the playtest Paladins rarely need to deflect damage and can afford to eat a critical or two and remain safe.

On to the complaining:

For “The Mirrored Moon” I built a level 9 Paladin with the hopes of smiting evil. I took Vengeful Oath, Hospice Knight, and Sense Evil with the idea of detecting evil creatures and giving them the hand. I even to took the Alertness feat to increase my chances of detecting evil successfully.

Long story short, Sense Evil is useless and was never successful against any creature (and even my own party member who was evil! Thank goodness?) There are several reasons for this.

Firstly, the scenario has the PCs fighting higher level creatures and so the Deception vs Perception check is great weighted toward the enemy. And as a Paladin it’s hard to increase the Perception stat to be more reliable. This ability is literally the only reason to add points to Wisdom as a Paladin.

Second, the “sensed” creature is bolstered to the effect after one try. RP wise it seems ridiculous to be facing a large, obviously evil, enemy and fail to sense it’s powerful evil aura after even a long confrontation.

Thirdly, the player cannot gain the bonuses of Vengeful Oath without being sure the enemy creature is evil. This level 2 feat cannot reasonably be used until level 8.

In my opinion Sense Evil should automatically sense strong evil auras. It is a level 8 feat and should be powerful and reliable and worth taking. In its current form it should be a level 1 or 2 feat taken BEFORE Vengeful Oath.

Other issues:
I’ve been staring at a few Paladin feats for a while and continually failed to understand them. First among them “Loyal Warhorse.”

LOYAL WARHORSE

FEAT 6

Prerequisites retributive strike, righteous ally (steed)

You and your mount have grown closer, and your loyalty to each other is unbreakable. The mount you gained through the righteous ally class feature is now treated as a full-grown animal companion (see page 284). In addition, your mount never attacks you, even if it is magically compelled to do so. Finally, you can make a Retributive Strike against anyone who hits your mount with a Strike, even if the attack was not a critical hit.

What in the world does that last sentence mean?

First let’s discuss the first half of the sentence:

“Finally, you can make a Retributive Strike against anyone who hits your mount with a Strike”

What? Can I make a Retributive Strike against ranged attackers? Probably not because that’s absurd. But how is it not already to true that you can Retributive Strike when your Steed is attacked? The trigger for Retributive Strike is: “Trigger: A creature within your reach hits an ally or friendly creature.” Your mount is obviously already a friendly creature, what is the world does sentence mean?

Now the second half of the sentence!

“even if the attack was not a critical hit.”

What? Critical hits arn’t mentioned in the text regarding Retributive Strike. Does this mean Retributive Strike doesn’t normally proc on Critical hits? If that’s true that sucks! But why would anyone read the description of Retributive Strike and think that? A hit is a hit, a critical hit is a hit.

I’ve got a call it here, thank you reading this post. Shout out to “Blade of Justice” for being the weakest most trash feat I’ve ever seen.

P.S. I love the Playtest and I love the Paladin.


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I was wondering how sense evil worked. Going from a free lvl 1 ability to a lvl 8 feat that doesn't even work is pretty rough.


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A couple other problems I see with the playtest paladin :

1. No ranged option. I know it's been brought up before, but I was a big fan of divine hunters, and Erastil is a main deity on Golarion.

2. Too many reactions. Somebody hits my ally so I want to retributive strike. An enemy sees this and fires a longbow at me. I'd like to shield block, but I already used my reaction. Then the enemy wizard casts at me. No divine grace because again, it's a reaction.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The mount retributive strike wording is left over from and old version, thr alpha build if you will. You find things like that turning up in weird places.


It feels like approach to these Reaction abilities will change somewhat,
if only having conditional free Reaction usable only for Paladin Reactions,
leaving standard Reaction for other Reactions or Paladin-specific Reactions.
At the least, that seems like something you might gain with high level Paladin Reaction Feats.
(not as entire Feat, but coming along with new Paladin Reaction, but there could be different ones which grant same 'free Reaction slot')


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Reactions equal to charisma!!!

Vengeful oath through a weapon.

Done.


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not interested in a glorified baby sitter///

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Smite is a dealbreaker. The rest of the class is fantastic (aside from maybe the 20th level options not being particularly unique to the Paladin, especially considering how incredible and overwhelming other 20th level abilities are- my sword has an enchantment I could buy for gold anyway, yay..!); but without Smite, it doesn't have the same appeal. Smite's shtick was to target an enemy of good, make it easier to hit/slay them, and boost your AC, a la legendary hero taking down an enemy of their God. I'm fine with them being a defensive based class, but at least allow for a champion power that does the old Smite thing, lest we homebrew it in ourselves, Paizo!


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master_marshmallow wrote:

Reactions equal to charisma!!!

Vengeful oath through a weapon.

Done.

I'd rather see: Divine grace is constant (not a reaction)

All Level 2 oaths gain LoH "smite" through the weapon by type: dragonslayer smite dragons, fiendsbane smites fiends, shiningoath smites undead, vengeful smites everything evil

And Retributive strike usable on attack against the paladin or any ally.

Done.


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Honestly I agree on constant Divine Grace, it's the benefit for following strictest Anathema & Alignment restriction in the game. I don't care so much about exact form Smite takes, in fact I feel they will be giving the concept multiple forms or implementations.


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Divine Grace should be constant yes and so it doesnt become to overpowered have it gotten at lvl 2 and do half paladin's class level ( min 1) to saves.

its either that or go back to constant cha to throws ( and a paladin of mine's back story could put her saves to overpoweredness)
but atleast the former as the chance to fail throws...


Agreed, except there is need to shift it to Level 2 IMHO, given changes to multi-classing, certainly not with your 1/2 level (min 1) qualification.


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Steelfiredragon wrote:
Divine Grace should be constant yes and so it doesnt become to overpowered have it gotten at lvl 2 and do half paladin's class level ( min 1) to saves.

Quoted without comment...

Paizo Employee

Safetake wrote:


Shield Ally is underwhelming because while I always raise my shield I never use my reaction to block when I’d rather Retributive Strike or Attack of Opportunity. Because Lay on Hands is extremely good in the playtest Paladins rarely need to deflect damage and can afford to eat a critical or two and remain safe.

The shield option for righteous ally gets pretty sweet at 10th level when the Shield of Reckoning feat lets you shield block and retributive strike off of the same reaction. If you use some team tactics and "bodyguard" a squishier teammate, Shield of Reckoning can end up being an awesome defensive tool.


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I feel like I've entered the twilight zone on this thread. I don't understand anything anyone is saying.

Steelfiredragon wrote:
Divine Grace should be constant yes and so it doesnt become to overpowered have it gotten at lvl 2 and do half paladin's class level ( min 1) to saves..
Quandary wrote:
Agreed, except there is need to shift it to Level 2 IMHO, given changes to multi-classing

Divine Grace is already level 2. Level 1 and level 2 feats are equally accessible from the 4th level paladin archetype feat Basic Benediction. I'm not sure how the change to multi-classing has any effect here.

@Steelfiredragon Are you suggesting that level 20 Paladins get +10 to saves from this feat???


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Safetake wrote:

I’ve played the Paladin class in every available senario of the playtest up to the second half of “The Mirrored Moon.” So my experience extends up to level 9.

That being said, I’ve enjoyed playing the Paladin class a lot in the playtest. I am also a habitual Paladin player in Pathfinder 1. While initially disappointed with the class upon reading the playtest rules (loss of innate immunities, smite evil) I found in actual play I got a lot of gratification from playing the (essentially complete new) class.

Retributive Strike is a fun addition and it is extremely satisfying when you crit an enemy and stop them from striking down the Wizard besides you. Also shouting ‘Retributive Strike!’ when an enemy lands hit is kind of awesome. I do however think Retributive Strike should proc with ranged weapons because there are many cases where the reaction becomes a complete non-factor.

I’ve tested all three Righteous Ally variations. In my opinion the mount is the most useful, while the blade ally is the low-key MVP, being able to hit ghosts when needed or using a returning weapon when you know you’ll be fighting a flying creature is very useful and fun.
Shield Ally is underwhelming because while I always raise my shield I never use my reaction to block when I’d rather Retributive Strike or Attack of Opportunity. Because Lay on Hands is extremely good in the playtest Paladins rarely need to deflect damage and can afford to eat a critical or two and remain safe.

On to the complaining:

For “The Mirrored Moon” I built a level 9 Paladin with the hopes of smiting evil. I took Vengeful Oath, Hospice Knight, and Sense Evil with the idea of detecting evil creatures and giving them the hand. I even to took the Alertness feat to increase my chances of detecting evil successfully.

Long story short, Sense Evil is useless and was never successful against any creature (and even my own party member who was evil! Thank goodness?) There are several reasons for this.

Firstly, the scenario has the PCs fighting...

Heck, I would even rule that you are friendly to yourself, and since you are a creature, can use retributive strike to counterattack when you're struck. Unless they release wording to specifically forbid that, seems reasonable to me.


sherlock1701 wrote:
Heck, I would even rule that you are friendly to yourself, and since you are a creature, can use retributive strike to counterattack when you're struck. Unless they release wording to specifically forbid that, seems reasonable to me.

I like this interpretation a lot.


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Snickersnax wrote:

I feel like I've entered the twilight zone on this thread. I don't understand anything anyone is saying.

Steelfiredragon wrote:
Divine Grace should be constant yes and so it doesnt become to overpowered have it gotten at lvl 2 and do half paladin's class level ( min 1) to saves..
Quandary wrote:
Agreed, except there is need to shift it to Level 2 IMHO, given changes to multi-classing

Divine Grace is already level 2. Level 1 and level 2 feats are equally accessible from the 4th level paladin archetype feat Basic Benediction. I'm not sure how the change to multi-classing has any effect here.

@Steelfiredragon Are you suggesting that level 20 Paladins get +10 to saves from this feat???

yes. but mind you that you have to be lvl 20 for it and by then most classes should be potent enough both what they can do both defensively and offensively, and if most modules dont go to lvl 20 anyway the +10 divine bonus to saves wont matter much. Not too mention at lvl 20 your character should be facing threats on both planar and planetary scale. Not too mention off world

even more so IF and only IF PF2 gets a book for lvls 21 up.

so yes constant half paladin lvls min 1 and cap it at 10.

and should we see said aforementioned book, we'll burn that bridge when we are standing on it.


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and no its not overpowered either.

a paladin in pf1/dnd 3.x gets CHA to throws. so a paladin ( outside of talking with DM/GM about unique paladins with interesting bloodlines in its Backstory) with an average CHA of 16 or 18 at lvl 2. so that is a + 3 or +4 to saves both in the now and the later career of said paladin. In both cases said PF1/DnD 3.x paladins would more often than not make their throws without much fear of failing.

a constant half paladin lvls to saving throws over the career still offered the chance of failing a throw.


For those thinking Paladins are can't deal damage, I'd recommend taking a look at the bestiary. Paladins can deal great damage, but it is through the exploitation of weaknesses. Particularly weaknesses to good.

A Paladin with just a nonmagical dagger and a Blade Spirit is going to deal more damage than a Barbarian with a level-appropriate greatsword. Take for instance a Treachery Demon (level 13) vs a level 12 Paladin and Barbarian.

The Paladin's attack deals just 1d4 + 5 (he is still strong). The Barbarian's +3 weapon is dealing 4d12, and he's adding on another 10 while raging. So baseline, the Paladin is dealing 7.5 damage, and the Barbarian 36. In fact, the Barbarian critically hits for 72 damage.

The Paladin spends their turn casting Litany of Wrath (demon fails), and the Blade of Justice. Their last action is to walk to the Barbarian. They do not attack.

They do more damage than the barbarian.

The Treachery Demon Strikes at the Barbarian for critically hitting it. The Paladin responds with a Retributive Strike. It hits. The demon now takes:

1d6 + 12 from Holy (Blade Spirit) = 15.5
6d6 + 12 from Litany of Wrath = 33
1 + 12 from Aura of Faith = 13
1 + 12 from Blade of Justice = 13
4 + 12 from Holy Smite = 16

So with one tiny swing, the Paladin deals 98 damage.

This is something that really isn't apparent just from reading the rulebook. Skimming through it, you'd expect the Paladin's abilities to top out at adding around 10 damage. But weaknesses really matter. In more normal scenarios, being able to get an extra weapon property or using Lay on Hands against the undead is a good way to compete or beat even min-maxed martials against the right foes.

Paizo Employee Designer

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manbearscientist wrote:

For those thinking Paladins are can't deal damage, I'd recommend taking a look at the bestiary. Paladins can deal great damage, but it is through the exploitation of weaknesses. Particularly weaknesses to good.

A Paladin with just a nonmagical dagger and a Blade Spirit is going to deal more damage than a Barbarian with a level-appropriate greatsword. Take for instance a Treachery Demon (level 13) vs a level 12 Paladin and Barbarian.

The Paladin's attack deals just 1d4 + 5 (he is still strong). The Barbarian's +3 weapon is dealing 4d12, and he's adding on another 10 while raging. So baseline, the Paladin is dealing 7.5 damage, and the Barbarian 36. In fact, the Barbarian critically hits for 72 damage.

The Paladin spends their turn casting Litany of Wrath (demon fails), and the Blade of Justice. Their last action is to walk to the Barbarian. They do not attack.

They do more damage than the barbarian.

The Treachery Demon Strikes at the Barbarian for critically hitting it. The Paladin responds with a Retributive Strike. It hits. The demon now takes:

1d6 + 12 from Holy (Blade Spirit) = 15.5
6d6 + 12 from Litany of Wrath = 33
1 + 12 from Aura of Faith = 13
1 + 12 from Blade of Justice = 13
4 + 12 from Holy Smite = 16

So with one tiny swing, the Paladin deals 98 damage.

This is something that really isn't apparent just from reading the rulebook. Skimming through it, you'd expect the Paladin's abilities to top out at adding around 10 damage. But weaknesses really matter. In more normal scenarios, being able to get an extra weapon property or using Lay on Hands against the undead is a good way to compete or beat even min-maxed martials against the right foes.

I think two of those weaknesses don't stack because they come from the same hit, but even if so, that's still 74 damage and your point still stands (imagine if the paladin used a more legit weapon!). Plus that 16 damage from Holy Smite is persistent damage the demon is taking each turn until it can get rid of it (very unlikely without spending actions to help).


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
manbearscientist wrote:

For those thinking Paladins are can't deal damage, I'd recommend taking a look at the bestiary. Paladins can deal great damage, but it is through the exploitation of weaknesses. Particularly weaknesses to good.

A Paladin with just a nonmagical dagger and a Blade Spirit is going to deal more damage than a Barbarian with a level-appropriate greatsword. Take for instance a Treachery Demon (level 13) vs a level 12 Paladin and Barbarian.

The Paladin's attack deals just 1d4 + 5 (he is still strong). The Barbarian's +3 weapon is dealing 4d12, and he's adding on another 10 while raging. So baseline, the Paladin is dealing 7.5 damage, and the Barbarian 36. In fact, the Barbarian critically hits for 72 damage.

The Paladin spends their turn casting Litany of Wrath (demon fails), and the Blade of Justice. Their last action is to walk to the Barbarian. They do not attack.

They do more damage than the barbarian.

The Treachery Demon Strikes at the Barbarian for critically hitting it. The Paladin responds with a Retributive Strike. It hits. The demon now takes:

1d6 + 12 from Holy (Blade Spirit) = 15.5
6d6 + 12 from Litany of Wrath = 33
1 + 12 from Aura of Faith = 13
1 + 12 from Blade of Justice = 13
4 + 12 from Holy Smite = 16

So with one tiny swing, the Paladin deals 98 damage.

This is something that really isn't apparent just from reading the rulebook. Skimming through it, you'd expect the Paladin's abilities to top out at adding around 10 damage. But weaknesses really matter. In more normal scenarios, being able to get an extra weapon property or using Lay on Hands against the undead is a good way to compete or beat even min-maxed martials against the right foes.

I think two of those weaknesses don't stack because they come from the same hit, but even if so, that's still 74 damage and your point still stands (imagine if the paladin used a more legit weapon!). Plus that 16 damage from Holy Smite is persistent damage...

doesn't stop retributive strike feeling incredibly passive amd meh, Paladins are not 'tanks', or any other MMO based filth infecting table top, they are the bloody handed wrath of god, and they don't feel like it right now, they feel like a walking trip hazard.


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and the paladin's so called smite is tied up in trash that is Ret STrike.

my version of DG

and a good smite evil...

time for bed..... gnight


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Steelfiredragon wrote:

and the paladin's so called smite is tied up in trash that is Ret STrike.

my version of DG

and a good smite evil...

time for bed..... gnight

I too hope Ret Strike gets some attention soon. I just kinda get the feeling that we're on the back burner until the survey regarding alignment gets back.

That is a day I can honestly say is filling me with absolute dread and pure anxiety. I don't get this anxious about my medical test results.

Ret Strike really needs help and Heavy Armor needs some love. Currently heavy armor being higher level armor for potency reasons is just weird.


So i have to ask as before manbearscientist and mark's response to his offensive paladin example, i thought instances of damage didn't stack for sake of weaknesses.

So i'm curious what does stack with eachother for sake of triggering instances of weakness?

Holy rune (Radiant blade spirit or weapon rune)
Aura of faith
Holy Smite
Blade of justice

I assumed litany against wrath would be its own thing in his example in any case.

What if you also have flaming or axiomatic on your weapon and have a creature that is weak to fire in addition to good, would that trigger in addition to the good weakness trigger(s)?


HWalsh wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:

and the paladin's so called smite is tied up in trash that is Ret STrike.

my version of DG

and a good smite evil...

time for bed..... gnight

I too hope Ret Strike gets some attention soon. I just kinda get the feeling that we're on the back burner until the survey regarding alignment gets back.

That is a day I can honestly say is filling me with absolute dread and pure anxiety. I don't get this anxious about my medical test results.

Ret Strike really needs help and Heavy Armor needs some love. Currently heavy armor being higher level armor for potency reasons is just weird.

what happens happens.

dont stress too much on it as it is not good for you... or anyone for that matter.

funny thing... we both could end up leaving.....


Dreamtime2k9 wrote:

So i have to ask as before manbearscientist and mark's response to his offensive paladin example, i thought instances of damage didn't stack for sake of weaknesses.

So i'm curious what does stack with eachother for sake of triggering instances of weakness?

Holy rune (Radiant blade spirit or weapon rune)
Aura of faith
Holy Smite
Blade of justice

I assumed litany against wrath would be its own thing in his example in any case.

What if you also have flaming or axiomatic on your weapon and have a creature that is weak to fire in addition to good, would that trigger in addition to the good weakness trigger(s)?

From what Mark posted, I assume Holy/Flaming are procs. Separate sources of damage.

Aura of Faith and Blade of Justice both add good damage to your swing. They don't both trigger weakness, because they are a part of the same attack (they deal 5 good damage for a Paladin with 4 Charisma, not 1 + 4).

Holy Smite adds persistent good damage, its own thing.

Litany of Righteousness is its own thing.

So a Holy/Flaming Weapon with all the above vs a creature with weakness 10 to both Good and Fire would trigger:

Fire - Once, Flaming
Good - Four times, Litany + (Aura of Faith + Blade of Justice) + Holy Smite + Holy

For a total of 50 damage from weaknesses, plus the Xd6 + Y the effects and attack would actually deal.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Dreamtime2k9 wrote:

So i have to ask as before manbearscientist and mark's response to his offensive paladin example, i thought instances of damage didn't stack for sake of weaknesses.

So i'm curious what does stack with eachother for sake of triggering instances of weakness?

Holy rune (Radiant blade spirit or weapon rune)
Aura of faith
Holy Smite
Blade of justice

I assumed litany against wrath would be its own thing in his example in any case.

What if you also have flaming or axiomatic on your weapon and have a creature that is weak to fire in addition to good, would that trigger in addition to the good weakness trigger(s)?

Litany of Wrath is its own thing, as you predict. Holy Smite is persistent damage that happens on the monster's turn each turn. The other three would not stack because it's all at once on that attack.


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So i assumed manbearscientists latest post was correct after reading Mark's first post which is what i wanted to clarify, but with Mark's new one... i'm unsure again. Sorry guys, i still massively appreciate you taking your time to explain it.

It does seem odd to me from a design point of view to have all of these abilities tied to paladins when they aren't stacking, two of which are based around the blade ally or am i just missing something entirely?

Although one is admittedly a rune choice where you could take an alternative rather so than going with holy.

Back on topic;

So assuming a +x weapon that has a holy rune in it and blade ally is used for flaming against a demon with weakness 10 for both good and fire. The paladin has aura of faith for his party to make use of.

Would it be fair to say this would be the result?

Strike;
- Weapon damage as per normal
- ("Trigger") Holy rune -> +1d6(rune base)+10(from weakness to good)
- ("Trigger") Flaming rune -> +1d6(rune base)+10(from weakness to fire)
- 1 extra (good) damage from aura of faith (weakness already applied after all from the holy rune, or would that be another weakness trigger?)

Do both runes trigger(each applying weakness) or does it just trigger one of the runes and morph the base damage of the swing into either fire, good or weapon type(or does it have all 3 types?)?

Or would weakness only apply once regardless of an attack fulfilling multiple criteria?

Those parts are essentially pretty unclear to me at least.

On retributive strike
- Weapon damage as per normal
- Holy smite in charisma + 10 (weakness to good) as persistent damage
- Holy rune rune will trigger the damage from the rune but not the weakness considering holy smite already made use weakness mechanics.
- Flaming rune will trigger the damage (and i assume also the weakness?)
- 1 extra (good) damage from aura of faith (weakness already applied after all)

My guess is that its players choice to have holy smite function instead of holy rune properties in that case as persistent is typically more disirable over the static damage?

Can the holy (healing) effect also trigger when it isn't your turn or can it only be activated on your turn?

Litany of wrath;
- Just deals its normal damage unaffiliated with anything else but would apply weakness in addition to its regular effect.

Paizo Employee Designer

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So everything still happens, but AoF, BoJ, HS on the same hit are combining the good damage, so weakness only applies once. To help think about this, consider an example without good damage.

I'm attacking a monster weak 10 to piercing with my piercing weapon that normally deals 1d4. So I'd roll 1d4 piercing damage, then add 10 for weakness. But suppose a bard gives me +1 piercing damage with inspire courage. Then it's 1d4+1 piercing damage, plus 10 for weakness. I don't do the weakness twice, I just add it all together. But suppose I had an ability to when I deal piercing damage, a piece of metal is lodged in their body and they take 2 persistent piercing damage. Then each time that happened, it would be 12!


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Mark is there design space for adding PF1 style Smite Evil in PF2?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hmm, an idea for reintroducing Smite Evil how about they ignore their level in Resistances against Evil opponents?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When does a paladin become best at AC?

It's not at level 4.

Where the Paladin who focuses on heavy armor probably has an AC of 21 (23 with shield raised)
(10 + 4 (level) + 6 Full-Plate + 1 Dex Cap) = 21

A ranger wearing Scale Mail can have 21
(10 + 4 (level) + 3 (Scale Mail) + 4 (Dex Cap) = 21)


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Silas Hawkwinter wrote:
Mark is there design space for adding PF1 style Smite Evil in PF2?

My theory is they "offloaded" smite damage to the monster.

Instead of the paladin doing a fixed or predictable amount, that amount is now controlled by the GM behind the screen--it's tied invisibly to the monster statistic.

I suspect this was done because of some complaints in PFS of the paladin smite being strong versus BBEGs.

Mind, this does remove player agency. :/

The weakness to Good in the Bestiary stats, then, is effectively the new smite. The GM in PF2 sets how effective they want the paladin to be per creature or challenge.


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Yet more feedback.

In completing Mirrored Moon and getting ready to create a level 12 Paladin I'm feeling more and more that the Paladin class is a support class, meant to guard and tank for other PCs and not a class that goes forth and battles evil.

I understand that the Paladin can give creatures weakness to evil and then attack that weakness but that doesn't exist till level 14. That's very late in the game.

For my level 12 character I'm considering going the Mercy route and embracing my babysitting nature, but then I'm spending 3-4 feats to have the complete Mercy set which would be powerful and probably handy but feels like a lot to invest.

There's something psychologically unfun about picking a bunch of feats that buff another feat and give you no offensive power or options. It gives the sensation of just treading water, merely updating the Mercy ability for the current CR lvl and never getting ahead or actually growing in power.

This is probably a result of offloading much of what every class used to get as a natural part of leveling up and making them optional feats.

Even after the updates I think Blade of Justice seems incredibly weak until much later levels.


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Silas Hawkwinter wrote:
Mark is there design space for adding PF1 style Smite Evil in PF2?

I'm not Mark, obviously... but the answer is no.

Scaling damage on each of a possible 3 attacks* would greatly increase the Paladin's expected damage per round and put them out of balance by a wide margin. It would potentially trivialize content, even with hitting just 1 or 2 times in a round.

But the bigger issue is the attack bonus. As it is, game designers don't actually want you triggering the 10-over crit. The attack bonus of +Cha would push your crit range, and so it is outright not allowed in this system. Consider a Paladin against a BBEG that is +2 levels on the party. He'd have roughly a 40% chance to hit and 5% chance to crit. With the +4 from Cha that the Paladin could have rather early in his career, he jumps to a 60% chance to hit and a bump to 10% crit. ((It's early and I'm sick, if my numbers are a step off, I apologize))

*3 hits is a joke of a metric, though. There's no reason to consider it. If you're capable of hitting with a 50% reduction to hit chance, the minion was already grossly beneath your level and not at all a threat. Against a viable minion of anything within level - 2 or better, the reduction in hit chance straight rules them out from being hit with it. It's either a non-factor or a wasted action.


Safetake wrote:


Retributive Strike is a fun addition and it is extremely satisfying when you crit an enemy and stop them from striking down the Wizard besides you. Also shouting ‘Retributive Strike!’ when an enemy lands hit is kind of awesome. I do however think Retributive Strike should proc with ranged weapons because there are many cases where the reaction becomes a complete non-factor.

I found Retributive Strike to be unsatisfying because of the problems of reach. Most of the time - because they are trying to get a flanking bonus - the enemy spreads out and the Paladin simply does not have the reach to land a Retributive strike. Our Paladin got it in only once per session. Mechanically it only seems to work in a 10ft wide corridor. Its very much weaker than the Fighters Attack of Oppourtunity.

It leads to the situation where the most offensive Paladin option is to fight with a reach weapon. Ugly.

Flavour wise ranged weapons on Paladins doesn't do it for me either. Paladins should be heavy armour/lances/sword & board.

Please think about strengthening Retributive Stike to allow a Step as part of the Reaction. Maybe as a level 2 feat.


Gortle wrote:
Safetake wrote:


Retributive Strike is a fun addition and it is extremely satisfying when you crit an enemy and stop them from striking down the Wizard besides you. Also shouting ‘Retributive Strike!’ when an enemy lands hit is kind of awesome. I do however think Retributive Strike should proc with ranged weapons because there are many cases where the reaction becomes a complete non-factor.

I found Retributive Strike to be unsatisfying because of the problems of reach. Most of the time - because they are trying to get a flanking bonus - the enemy spreads out and the Paladin simply does not have the reach to land a Retributive strike. Our Paladin got it in only once per session. Mechanically it only seems to work in a 10ft wide corridor. Its very much weaker than the Fighters Attack of Oppourtunity.

It leads to the situation where the most offensive Paladin option is to fight with a reach weapon. Ugly.

Flavour wise ranged weapons on Paladins doesn't do it for me either. Paladins should be heavy armour/lances/sword & board.

Please think about strengthening Retributive Stike to allow a Step as part of the Reaction. Maybe as a level 2 feat.

Tactically, the best way I found to get off a retributive strike was to move to a position either adjacent to the party fighter (when holding off an enemy from the casters) or to the rogue (when the rogue was flanking with the fighter.) I still would prefer an actual smite effect, even if it was additional damage without the bonus to hit to avoid having extra critical hits.


Mark,

Maybe we could get Blade of Justice upgraded to a +1d6 or maybe make it a stance so it doesnt have to be reactivated each turn?

I know you guys don't want to speculate, but the current Ret Strike and lack of Smite is causing a lot of anxiety for a lot of long-time Paladin players.


they could do Smite evil like this:

does character lvl in holy damage against evil.

and gives a possibility of a Smite line of feats

like
improved Smite evil
Adds your main stat mod (min 1) to smite evil on top of the class level.....

still Ret STrike needs to go to a feat to chose


BoJ did get an upgrade that relies entirely on the DM.

It now lasts until the end of the enemies turn if they attack someone other than you, seemingly to make it work with RS.

No one asked for this though.


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Yes, I’m very disappointed in the way that Paizo went with the Paladin. The Paladin is now more of a holy defender. It is similar to 5es Cavalier. Who’s main job is to get the enemy to attack them and if they don’t they get to hit them.


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I disagree that Paladin should be forced into the Protector role.

Like Rogues, who get special attention to not have to be finesse strikers, Paladins should have the option to go on the offensive against evil.

They got their options and now we want ours.


HWalsh wrote:

I disagree that Paladin should be forced into the Protector role.

Like Rogues, who get special attention to not have to be finesse strikers, Paladins should have the option to go on the offensive against evil.

They got their options and now we want ours.

Exactly. If you want examples in fiction, Paksenarrion (Elizabeth Moon) was more of a protection paladin. Bahzell and Kaeritha (David Weber) were more inclined to go against evil alone or with one or two allies, and had powers suited for it.


Greg.Everham wrote:
Silas Hawkwinter wrote:
Mark is there design space for adding PF1 style Smite Evil in PF2?

I'm not Mark, obviously... but the answer is no.

Gortle wrote:

I found Retributive Strike to be unsatisfying because of the problems of reach. Most of the time - because they are trying to get a flanking bonus - the enemy spreads out and the Paladin simply does not have the reach to land a Retributive strike. Our Paladin got it in only once per session. Mechanically it only seems to work in a 10ft wide corridor. Its very much weaker than the Fighters Attack of Oppourtunity.

It leads to the situation where the most offensive Paladin option is to fight with a reach weapon. Ugly.

If there is no room for smite evil (I think there may be for LoH smites either in the Oath paths or in upgrades to the Oath paths),

then a simple fix that solves the paladin reach problem and also solves the limited protector role is to have retributive strike also work if the paladin is himself is hit.


I don't disagree with the notion of making RetStrike a feat (I still want it to be an option, but probably not nearly as core to the class as it is now), but I'm wondering how smite would work in 2e, with bonus stacking. Bonus stacking tells me it can't be an always on, or almost always on, ability, because it couldn't grant much, which would likely make it get obsoleted by even level 1 buff spells. Also, any solution that makes it useless against non-evil entities I don't think would work for me, though I could see Oath feats making it better vs the target of their Oaths. At the risk of making Lay on Hands compete with it, having it as a spell point ability might work alright, giving a better effect than most area-target buff spells, so as to not become obsoleted them.


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Tholomyes wrote:
I don't disagree with the notion of making RetStrike a feat (I still want it to be an option, but probably not nearly as core to the class as it is now), but I'm wondering how smite would work in 2e, with bonus stacking. Bonus stacking tells me it can't be an always on, or almost always on, ability, because it couldn't grant much, which would likely make it get obsoleted by even level 1 buff spells. Also, any solution that makes it useless against non-evil entities I don't think would work for me, though I could see Oath feats making it better vs the target of their Oaths. At the risk of making Lay on Hands compete with it, having it as a spell point ability might work alright, giving a better effect than most area-target buff spells, so as to not become obsoleted them.

I could see something like:

Smite Evil
(Free Action)
Spend 1 Spell Point, until the start of the Paladin's next turn they gain +1 Conditional Bonus to Attack Rolls and +1d6 Good Damage to damage rolls vs targets who possess an Evil alignment, (Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Evil) in addition the Paladin ignores Damage Resistance vs any target with the Evil subtype.


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HWalsh wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
I don't disagree with the notion of making RetStrike a feat (I still want it to be an option, but probably not nearly as core to the class as it is now), but I'm wondering how smite would work in 2e, with bonus stacking. Bonus stacking tells me it can't be an always on, or almost always on, ability, because it couldn't grant much, which would likely make it get obsoleted by even level 1 buff spells. Also, any solution that makes it useless against non-evil entities I don't think would work for me, though I could see Oath feats making it better vs the target of their Oaths. At the risk of making Lay on Hands compete with it, having it as a spell point ability might work alright, giving a better effect than most area-target buff spells, so as to not become obsoleted them.

I could see something like:

Smite Evil
(Free Action)
Spend 1 Spell Point, until the start of the Paladin's next turn they gain +1 Conditional Bonus to Attack Rolls and +1d6 Good Damage to damage rolls vs targets who possess an Evil alignment, (Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Evil) in addition the Paladin ignores Damage Resistance vs any target with the Evil subtype.

I like it. Maybe even make the 1d6 scaleable like a domain power(2d6 L3, 3d6 L5, etc), but in exchange make it cost one action to start smiting. Or maybe this can be an upgrade progression on the "Smite Evil" feat tree.

Sovereign Court

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I don't think Retributive Strike should allow you to punish people for focusing on you instead of your allies; that would remove the whole "take me instead" incentive.

But I do think it needs to be more useful for non-Reach paladins. What about if it allowed you to take a Step or Stride in the direction of the triggering enemy so you can get at them? That would also make the paladin feel a bit more aggressive, because they're constantly moving towards enemies.

---

With regards to the Smite analogs the paladin has right now; the idea seems to be to do a small amount of Good damage that will hopefully trigger a substantial Weakness to Good on the fiendish monster. This isn't a very satisfying mechanic to me though because as a player I'm not reading the monster's statblock so I don't really see the effect I'm having. I'm doing 3-5 damage and hoping the monster takes 10 more behind the screen. But without reading the Bestiary I don't really know if my Smite/BoJ is going to be impressive.


RealAlchemy wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
I don't disagree with the notion of making RetStrike a feat (I still want it to be an option, but probably not nearly as core to the class as it is now), but I'm wondering how smite would work in 2e, with bonus stacking. Bonus stacking tells me it can't be an always on, or almost always on, ability, because it couldn't grant much, which would likely make it get obsoleted by even level 1 buff spells. Also, any solution that makes it useless against non-evil entities I don't think would work for me, though I could see Oath feats making it better vs the target of their Oaths. At the risk of making Lay on Hands compete with it, having it as a spell point ability might work alright, giving a better effect than most area-target buff spells, so as to not become obsoleted them.

I could see something like:

Smite Evil
(Free Action)
Spend 1 Spell Point, until the start of the Paladin's next turn they gain +1 Conditional Bonus to Attack Rolls and +1d6 Good Damage to damage rolls vs targets who possess an Evil alignment, (Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Evil) in addition the Paladin ignores Damage Resistance vs any target with the Evil subtype.

I like it. Maybe even make the 1d6 scaleable like a domain power(2d6 L3, 3d6 L5, etc), but in exchange make it cost one action to start smiting. Or maybe this can be an upgrade progression on the "Smite Evil" feat tree.

and have a feat that allows it to hammer CE even more......

and one to cater to a CG paladin should Any good paladins becomes an option. a hammer LE one...

you know what... nevermind forget I said anything it doesnt sound like a good idea anymore... to have a feat that hammers CE and one to cater to a possible option.
both just sound really dumb...

smite evil with a chance of banishing of evil outsider does sound rather good though

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