Balance issues, Multiattacks and dual fighting


General Discussion


I have just started playing and have noticed a game balance issue between spellcasters and fighter classes.
I have noticed is that spellcaster classes in melee more often than not get to attck once (1 action) and cast a spell (2 actions) without penalty.
Compared to the fighter classes that get 1 attack (1 action) second attack with -5(1 action) and a possible third action with -10 (unless agile -4 and -8).
The spell casters spells also become a lot better in scale compared to fighter classes when it comes to damage input.

It doesnt really feel balanced in the game as it is now.

There is several way to handle this like if you cast a spell you can not make a melee attack the same round.

Another solution to this would be to implement a strike called controlled strike for 1 attack for 2 actions, max 1 per round as frequency. That for multiattack purposes didnt get any penalty.
Then a fighterclass could get to attck once (1 action) and then use controlled strike (2 actions) without penalty.
This could be a feat or a level obtained ability for the fighter classes like barbarian, fighter, monk, paladin, ranger and rogue.
They could also get them at different levels.

But there is possible there is better solutions.

Also I think the dual weapon fighting need be clarified as it is now it is not really clarified and balanced. It just feel difficult and off.

Dual weapon fighting is difficult to get balanced.
I think along the same way how ready shield work would be best to make it dual fighting more streamlined and balanced.

Ready off hand weapon for dual weapon strike 1 action cost.
Dual weapon strike 1 action cost
(Requirment main weapon 1-h and 1 READY off hand weapon that is agile)

You get a extra off hand strike for each strike with your main hand you hit with, this with the same penalties as main hand strike.
If you fail your main hand attack you dont get a off hand attack because then you didnt get a good enough opening.

Only agile weapon could be used for off hand attack to balance the damage output. Something along this line I think could work.

I also think all of fighter, monk, ranger, rogue should have the possibilty to dual fight.
As it is now only fighter and ranger that can use dual and monk but they get a -4 penalty with flurry of blows.
Rogues need to multiclass for this something that seem strange to me.

What do you all think of my thoughts?


That iterative hit penalty for martial characters is an ugly remnant of the early 3.x era, created by the system's original creators for some (probably nefarious) reason. Oddly, unlike common perception, it seems you have to blame one or both of the remaining two other than Monte Cook (who as far as I know doesn't care that much about nerfing martials, instead spending his time on drugging up wizard-esque characters).


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

If the caster's spell has at attack role it still suffers the penalty.


Lucas Yew wrote:
That iterative hit penalty for martial characters is an ugly remnant of the early 3.x era, created by the system's original creators for some (probably nefarious) reason. Oddly, unlike common perception, it seems you have to blame one or both of the remaining two other than Monte Cook (who as far as I know doesn't care that much about nerfing martials, instead spending his time on drugging up wizard-esque characters).

Yeah, I was a bit surprised they retained the descending extra attacks deal, I was hoping 3rd Ed/PF1 was the last we saw of it.


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I was surprised as well, but keeping the penalty makes sense to me. If characters could make every attack at their full bonus, they'd rarely use any of the other actions.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like it because it makes characters have to make choices about their actions rather than just attack over and over. Recall knowledge, Point out, move, or any other class feat activity are all probably better options than going for that -10 attack.


Lucas Yew wrote:
That iterative hit penalty for martial characters is an ugly remnant of the early 3.x era, created by the system's original creators for some (probably nefarious) reason.

My understanding is that it was meant to extend the range of d20. For instance, if you have +25 attack versus AC of 24, you hit on anything but a natural 1. However, your -5 iterative would have an 85% chance to hit, and your -10 iterative would have a 60% chance to hit. This meant gave a bit more flex in how far AC and attack bonus could diverge, since that 24 AC could still provide some protection against the iterative attacks of the +25 to hit character.

In PF2 that sort of divergence isn't really allowed, but the reason for MAP is probably much simpler: deadliness. For instance, without MAP the level 0 goblin shooting its shortbow at a 1st level PC with 15 AC averages 7.65 DPR. With slightly above average rolls, an encounter of four 0th level goblins could wipe out half the party in a single round. Removing MAP would cause damage to go through the roof and make the game ultra-deadly.


NielsenE wrote:
If the caster's spell has at attack role it still suffers the penalty.

To be more precise, the spell must have the Attack trait. Several cantrips and some actual spells have this, but a spell like Harm does not. (Bad touch clerics are probably the most destructive nova class in the game.)


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
NielsenE wrote:
If the caster's spell has at attack role it still suffers the penalty.
To be more precise, the spell must have the Attack trait. Several cantrips and some actual spells have this, but a spell like Harm does not. (Bad touch clerics are probably the most destructive nova class in the game.)
Striding and Striking sidebar, page 304 wrote:
Striking multiple times has diminishing returns. The multiple attack penalty applies to attacks after the first, whether those attacks are Strikes, special attacks like the grapple use of the Athletics skill, or attacks from spells.

Emphasis mine.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
To be more precise, the spell must have the Attack trait. Several cantrips and some actual spells have this, but a spell like Harm does not. (Bad touch clerics are probably the most destructive nova class in the game.)

Try multiclassing Sorcerer for Magical Striker. Preferably on a Cleric of Gorum so you can Emblazon Symbol to wield a greatsword. 2-action channel to harm followed by a magical striker greatsword attack without MAP. Absolutely brutal.

The only annoying part is that the requirement for 16 Cha at 1st level means you need to leave your Wisdom and Strength slightly lower than you'd like (human is the only ancestry that works for this build currently, so you're stuck with a 16/16/14/12 array), but by 10th that's all patched up and you're in business.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
NielsenE wrote:
If the caster's spell has at attack role it still suffers the penalty.
To be more precise, the spell must have the Attack trait. Several cantrips and some actual spells have this, but a spell like Harm does not. (Bad touch clerics are probably the most destructive nova class in the game.)

We've been told that an offensive touch Harm/Heal gains the attack trait.


Thanks for your comments but they wasnt really in tune of my post.

I was mainly talking about the current balance between a spellcaster with 1 melee strike and 1 spell cast versus a melee class that makes 3 strikes. I find the melee class rather weak in compare.

As it is a spellcaster in reach can make a melee attack without penalty and also make a spell attack without penalty. The spells also get increaingly better with higher level due to heightened spells.

A melee class on the other hand can make three melee attacks, one strike without penaly, the second strike with a -5 penalty and a third strike with a -10 penalty.

I dont really see the balance in how it works now.
The melee classes need a strong increase in this, maybe like a extra strike for theirs first attack when they reach level 11.

Also the dual weapon fighing needs to be clarified, I havent seen any about this. Any good thread I could read in this topic?


worg64 wrote:

Thanks for your comments but they wasnt really in tune of my post.

I was mainly talking about the current balance between a spellcaster with 1 melee strike and 1 spell cast versus a melee class that makes 3 strikes. I find the melee class rather weak in compare.

As it is a spellcaster in reach can make a melee attack without penalty and also make a spell attack without penalty. The spells also get increaingly better with higher level due to heightened spells.

A melee class on the other hand can make three melee attacks, one strike without penaly, the second strike with a -5 penalty and a third strike with a -10 penalty.

I dont really see the balance in how it works now.
The melee classes need a strong increase in this, maybe like a extra strike for theirs first attack when they reach level 11.

Also the dual weapon fighing needs to be clarified, I havent seen any about this. Any good thread I could read in this topic?

* Heightening doesn't widen the gap. Attacks get better too. Heightening just allows the spells to maintain their relative effectiveness (better than an attack for top slots, similar for mid slots, utility only for low slots).

* A melee class isn't going to just be making 'attack/attack-5/attack-10'. They'll be using feats, special actions, etc, to do more, or reduce penalties, etc. PF2 as a system is not built to judge balance of combat styles outside of the classes that use them. This might be a flaw of the system.

* Haste-style effects frequently gives extra attacks, that gishes can use okay, fighty types use great, and full casters can't use much at all.

* A spellcaster gets... maybe 6 rounds of their good spells? Before falling back to little utility tricks and weak (but better than PF1) cantrips.

I've seen no major issues from pure melee types. Bow users seem very strong, pure casters feel a bit weak, gishes seem the hot thing.


Dasrak wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
To be more precise, the spell must have the Attack trait. Several cantrips and some actual spells have this, but a spell like Harm does not. (Bad touch clerics are probably the most destructive nova class in the game.)

Try multiclassing Sorcerer for Magical Striker. Preferably on a Cleric of Gorum so you can Emblazon Symbol to wield a greatsword. 2-action channel to harm followed by a magical striker greatsword attack without MAP. Absolutely brutal.

The only annoying part is that the requirement for 16 Cha at 1st level means you need to leave your Wisdom and Strength slightly lower than you'd like (human is the only ancestry that works for this build currently, so you're stuck with a 16/16/14/12 array), but by 10th that's all patched up and you're in business.

To add on to this, Half-Orc and Half-Elf might work too. (Half-Orc Cleric of Gorum sounds pretty sweet and very flavorful, but the mechanics of Half-Elf being an Elf+ is much more solid for play; running around at 25-30 feet per action in Full Plate is pretty huge for closing the gap on light-armored characters, and building up Dexterity for Mithril Full Plate later down the road isn't a bad idea either, assuming the GM okays it.)

The downside is not having Full Plate right away to properly emulate Gorum's M.O., though a General Feat for proficiency should be more than enough to fix that by 3rd level.

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