"Correct" Math vs Fun Math


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Everyone, please remember that often opinions and preferences are based in subjective reasoning and different people often have differing, sometimes opposing feelings about various aspects of the game. It's okay to want different things from the game and its okay to discuss those differences, however, please keep in mind, one opinion over another is not objectively correct and its usually not helpful to make assumptions or hyperbolic generalizations of other people's positions or gamestyle.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

A couple of points in response to the general topics addressed here:

Expert Proficiency + Assurance = auto-Aid. Strongly recommended. It helped my party speed through the desert in "In Pale Mountain's Shadow."

I just finished playing a fey sorcerer in "Affair at Sombrefell Hall." I was spec'd for direct elemental damage. I was brutally effective in the first few fights against the low-level mobs, and much less so against the boss, but that was a) okay with me, since it made the boss fight feel like a boss fight, and b) largely because I was enfeebled 5 from the ****ing [redacted]s, and for some super-weird reason enfeebled affects even spell attacks and spell damage. In earlier fights I had switched to ranged touch attacks when an enemy proved adept at saves, but that -5 penalty made that a non-starter, and the -5 damage meant that the damage was already pretty terrible even before the half damage from the save...


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N N 959 wrote:

And Paizo has to know that this perspective is skewed because the playtest consist of people who are mostly familiar with casters from PF1. Of course those people are going to find casters unplayable. Go look at the shapechanging Druids. It's the same thing. They were used to being able to shape change for hours. Now, it's been reduced to a battle at time and they hate it. Duh.

There's no way for Paizo to bring casters down to earth and have those same players remain happy. It isn't going to happen. If I'm Paizo, I'm doing it because I believe that in the long run, it will make for a much better and fairer game.

I mean, if we're talking about skewed perspective, that of someone who so severely and openly despises 1e casters would qualify, I'd think. ;)

Paizo also has to sell 2e to 1e players, at the end of the day. For people who want to play casters, 2e right now is a very hard sell, since the sales pitch is "you get to play something far more complicated that is mechanically less effective."

Yay?


Shisumo wrote:
b) largely because I was enfeebled 5 from the ****ing [redacted]s, and for some super-weird reason enfeebled affects even spell attacks and spell damage. In earlier fights I had switched to ranged touch attacks when an enemy proved adept at saves, but that -5 penalty made that a non-starter, and the -5 damage meant that the damage was already pretty terrible even before the half damage from the save...

Just a minor note, but the -5 penalty should have been a -4 for the attack rolls (according to this citation from Mark Seifter). Granted, your point in general is valid, and maybe this means [redacted] should be changed, as I think the way its effect works can be super penalizing, but I think this is more an area where expected hit rates should probably change, so a -4 to attacks is a major detriment, but not quite as punitive.


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thorin001 wrote:
Except for clerics. If you enjoy the support role then clerics are still viable.

They are, but they get repetitive. The effective loss of buffing as a thing hits pretty hard (because most of the buff spells are so awful as to be not worth casting and some of the ones that are worth casting don't stack with the Bard), and Clerics never get particularly good at hitting things unless you start multiclassing into martial stuff.

As we've been doing higher level stuff, my Cleric feels good when I'm casting Channel Heal or Fireball, and significantly less so when I'm not.

Lycar wrote:
Now Paizo seems to make an effort to get away from both 'the big 6' and from having 'mandatory always-on' buff spells. Instead they seem to be aiming for buff spells that are only situationally useful, but are actually useful in their specific situation. So that casting them makes an actual difference instead of merely maintaining the status quo.

The big 6 and buff spells aren't the same. I have lots of spells and I can take Communal Resist Energy and something else. The big 6 acted toe effectively negate every other item in their slot from existing most of the time.

And I'd argue a lot of the buffs now don't even quality as "situationally" useful. Resist Energy is hilariously terrible now. 2 actions to resist 5 damage on 1 target for a minute? I'm better off killing the thing faster than even bothering with that (or stick Heal there and restore vastly more than 5 HP with the same or fewer actions).

Quote:
The question then is, did they succeed or did they overcompensate? If spells no longer have the staying power to last 'all day', then at least they can no longer define the new default power level. So far so good. Now it will be up to us to figure out if the spells still offer enough of an advantage, situational it may be, that casting them is better, IN THEIR SITUATION, then taking another action.

They overcompensated by a country mile.

The problem with this is that casting effective buffs is fun. Even if the game plans on you casting Blessing of Fervor, casting it still makes all your friends at the table more awesome on their turn, and everybody likes that.

2e's buffs are largely so minor and so situational that they're often not worth casting at all, and they don't have anything resembling a good feeling impact when you do use them. That play style is dead in this edition, and I'm really not sure taking away things support casters can do is a good way to keep people playing support casters. (Although with Treat Wounds, maybe it doesn't matter anymore.)


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Lycar wrote:

Now Paizo seems to make an effort to get away from both 'the big 6' and from having 'mandatory always-on' buff spells. Instead they seem to be aiming for buff spells that are only situationally useful, but are actually useful in their specific situation. So that casting them makes an actual difference instead of merely maintaining the status quo.

The question then is, did they succeed or did they overcompensate? If spells no longer have the staying power to last 'all day', then at least they can no longer define the new default power level. So far so good. Now it will be up to us to figure out if the spells still offer enough of an advantage, situational it may be, that casting them is better, IN THEIR SITUATION, then taking another action.

I love spell casters. Wizard is my favorite class and has been forever (although I always did like the Elven Thief/Mage version best, PF2e seems to make that a real possibility again). Druids are my second favorite. I love me some Merlin, Gwyddien, and other Anglo Saxon/Celtic myths (even if they are mostly bastardized versions).

I could be fully behind the idea that I am no longer able to buff my party defense for hours at a time, IF I am able to quickly buff them for 30 seconds or so when really needed.

The whole idea of making many defensive magics short duration buffs has an appeal to me, mostly due to the fact that fiction often depicts it that way. It is rare to read a book or watch a movie where they cast 12 buff spells that will last many minutes and then dive into the adventure. It is common to have magic users quickly throw up a defensive shield in response to an attack. It is also common for those shields to not last long. It is also common to not be able do it all day without getting too tired to continue doing it (but the author can use that last one narratively as they see fit, it is a bit more complicated when attached to a game).

At high levels I am used to casting 1/3rd to 1/2 of my spells well in advance. I can easily switch to a different paradigm. But then the paradigm needs to switch. No longer am I casting a complicated spell matrix that will attach itself to my targets for possibly hours. Now I am rapidly throwing up the proper defense in response to an enemy action.

If that is the world we want to live in, then while casters no longer have the long term buffing power, then they need to have the flexibility and speed to defend the team.

This means 1 action / Reaction buffs, shields, or other types of defenses. And these things might only last 3 to 6 rounds, not even a full minute. But it also means you likely need to be able to activate them more often throughout an adventuring day.

Current PF2 buffs are not good in either paradigm and I have no idea what game table / scenario they actually fit into or would work well in? Perhaps if all boss fights are heavily telegraphed and all fights vs special enemy effects are foreshadowed and all regular fights are clearly just that? Not sure I want to play in that type of paradigm.


If I'd gotten Resist Energy thrown on me in one of the level 4 fights it would have saved me upwards of 30 HP.

That's more than half my HP was.


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Cyouni wrote:

If I'd gotten Resist Energy thrown on me in one of the level 4 fights it would have saved me upwards of 30 HP.

That's more than half my HP was.

You were hit for that specific kind of energy six times in ten rounds? Hopefully they pick the right person, since it only hits one target. Woe be to the caster who puts it on someone who isn't being attacked that frequently with the right element.


Tridus wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

If I'd gotten Resist Energy thrown on me in one of the level 4 fights it would have saved me upwards of 30 HP.

That's more than half my HP was.

You were hit for that specific kind of energy six times in ten rounds? Hopefully they pick the right person, since it only hits one target. Woe be to the caster who puts it on someone who isn't being attacked that frequently with the right element.

Being set on fire hurts. Actually, I'll amend that to: fire elementals hurt.


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Tridus wrote:
N N 959 wrote:

And Paizo has to know that this perspective is skewed because the playtest consist of people who are mostly familiar with casters from PF1. Of course those people are going to find casters unplayable. Go look at the shapechanging Druids. It's the same thing. They were used to being able to shape change for hours. Now, it's been reduced to a battle at time and they hate it. Duh.

There's no way for Paizo to bring casters down to earth and have those same players remain happy. It isn't going to happen. If I'm Paizo, I'm doing it because I believe that in the long run, it will make for a much better and fairer game.

I mean, if we're talking about skewed perspective, that of someone who so severely and openly despises 1e casters would qualify, I'd think. ;)

Paizo also has to sell 2e to 1e players, at the end of the day. For people who want to play casters, 2e right now is a very hard sell, since the sales pitch is "you get to play something far more complicated that is mechanically less effective."

Yay?

Totally. In my experience, people that like to play casters often want something a bit more complex, and some like more martial types because they want something less complicated (my buddy finds casters to be a pain, what spells to memorise, the right time so use them, etc, finds it intimidating and frustrating).

The Playtest has made casting more complex, but without sufficient gain, and I am not talking about power, I am talking about fun. They could have still cut the power levels down with some spells (I have no problem with that), but there was no need to make it more complicated.
I see very little streamlining in the Playtest, more like an advanced RPG technical guide.

Dark Archive

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Lycar wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:

A whole host of staple preventative spells are now 100% reactionary (if they were even carried over to 2e) including:

- Heroism
- See Invisibility
- Protection from Energy / Communal...

Okay... this is basically the same issue as with the 'big 6' 'must have' magic items. An item that grants you a leg up on the competition is a boon. An item that merely stops you from falling of the treadmill is a tax.

You used to have more spell slots, but many of those got earmarked for all those 'must have' 'all day on' buff spells. This had two effects:

1) It reduced the number of spell slots you had actually free to use as required.

2) Since your buffed stats now became the default, in order to still challenge you, encounters had to be buffed accordingly. So to still maintain the same level of challenge, all the advantages you got from all that pre-buffing were effective made null and void!

In effect, all you did was spend spell slots to... not fall off the treadmill.

Now Paizo seems to make an effort to get away from both 'the big 6' and from having 'mandatory always-on' buff spells. Instead they seem to be aiming for buff spells that are only situationally useful, but are actually useful in their specific situation. So that casting them makes an actual difference instead of merely maintaining the status quo.

The question then is, did they succeed or did they overcompensate? If spells no longer have the staying power to last 'all day', then at least they can no longer define the new default power level. So far so good. Now it will be up to us to figure out if the spells still offer enough of an advantage, situational it may be, that casting them is better, IN THEIR SITUATION, then taking another action.

This, of course, needs to be tested. Playtested.

I think you have made a valuable point with respect to how the meta of the game evolves. When PCs find something powerful (a boon) often times the game designers will react by buffing encounters, thus transitioning a boon to a tax as time goes on. Alternatively, the meta gets nerfed (fare thee well Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier).

However, I think the key difference between the major 6 boons becoming taxes is that those items are good regardless of what you face and no world interaction is required. A +2 cloak is always better than a +1 cloak and the only 'preventative' play that I have with respect to this item is whether I buy the +2 cloak first instead of the +1 weapon. Eventually I will do both. I don't think this describes long term buffs which reward players with stronger than normal options when they interact in a meaningful way with the world.

In the example of a dragon in their den. This requires people to invest in diplomacy/knowledge local to find local rumors of strange going-ons, perhaps it requires disable device/linguistics to open a secret compartment/decipher a journal to uncover that the 'missing' author suspects he is being targeted by a vengeful dragon AND not the local rumors of a cave troll witch. Now knowing that a dragon might be their foe they can search the area carefully for signs of fire, cold, electricity, acid damage via survival/perception. Missing any one of these steps may mean they are not prepared. Perhaps even guessing the wrong energy type to pre-buff leads to the battle becoming quite deadly off a round of bad breath weapon saves (perhaps there was a recent scuffle between a caster and said dragon showing 2 kinds of energy types). Prior to leaving for the dragon's den, they might stock up on potions (fly/resist energy), alchemical items (some mundane resist options), or take a night to re-prepare more appropriate spells. Maybe they end up facing 1-2 encounters in he cave prior to the dragon, maybe they get assaulted mid trek to the dragons den by the dragon itself. Either way, the PCs are incentivized to be well rounded so they can interact meaningfully with the world to become prepared. In doing so they also build the scenario/module narrative so the game isn't just a reactive combat simulator.

These spells give people agency to play a in a more balanced party/way because they provide mechanics that are boons to the party. Say the party has a skill monkey who isn't great in combat, but he makes all those skill checks above. He has now indirectly contributed to combat by potentially saving tons of elemental damage, thanks to the proactive preparations other party members can now make. If you only had a host of murder hobos they won't necessarily be as prepared (no skill checks made, no flying potions so they must use secondary ranged weapons, no energy resist), the cleric might not have prepped the right spell, the cleric may have various dead spell slots like burning hands/fireballs vs. a red dragon, and they likely will have a tougher fight. I think in many ways encounters are not designed with the assumption that PCs will have most of these long term buffs up. The CR rating of monsters is what drives encounter designs and many scenarios (at least in PFS) have provided narrative mechanics to allow PCs to prepare against these threats (even if only to say you are likely to face a dragon, or a harpy, or various oozes) instead of assuming long term buffs.

In terms of wasted spell slots, I think buffs prevent the waste of spell slots by providing a higher probability that the spell will provide some benefit (especially with the previously mentioned world interactions). Heroism will almost certainly by a good slot use on the group tank with bad saves, whereas prepping a control spell like spiked pit is useless against a flying dragon. A pit could be circumstantially better in other situations, but it only lasts 1 combat whereas a buff like heroism likely lasts multiple combats AND makes your party better (i.e., rewards collaborative play instead of selfish play). These are all things I want to support. Other more circumstantial buffs like resist energy may not come up in a specific scenario/module, thus wasting a spell slot, but that is true of all prepared spell slots (removal spells, evocation against enemies who are immune to that energy type, enchantment debuffs on dungeons filled with mindless creatures, etc.).

Right now in 2e I think people look at spell lists to be a support caster and have the following thought process:

1. There are no good buff spells (due to duration and # of targets).
2. There are no good utility spells (due to duration and # of targets).
3. There are some okay debuff spells (the tiered success mechanics makes it hard to parse though).
4. There are some okay control spells (the tiered success mechanics makes it hard to parse though)
5. There are some decent evocation spells.
6. There are some decent SM/SNA options.

However, the math of the system actually means that options 3 to 6 aren't actually 'okay' or 'decent' because anything that requires a save from a monster, which has the monster with a 60-85% success rate, is unlikely to have any mechanical effect. Thanks to the tiered success system, the monster will never see a crit fail (except on a 1) and is ~50% likely to succeed and 20-30% chance to crit succeed. Its even worse for SM/SNA which summons under CR'd monsters and requires one action per turn to concentrate on a monster that has almost no chance of hitting (seeing as they are already CR-1 or CR-2 from PCs when casting off the highest spell slot level and this only gets worse). The monster doesn't even have an AoO so there is no incentive for a GM to even waste an action on it, just walk past to the PCs. So people who playtest casters run through this spell selection process, are driven towards picking mostly evocation spells (maybe some corner cast buffs/utility), likely never cast their corner case spells, and use up all their remaining spell slots with little effect trying to blast a monster to death. It isn't a fun experience.

I think buffs/utility/general debuff spells should be relatively more powerful than save or suck, evocation, or control spells so that you can promote a more positive style of play. Again, it rewards participation/interaction with the world/narrative, it ensures that some spells have a high probability of being value added (avoiding wasted slots), and it still lets you reserve a few slots for damage spells/control or what not so you can throw some things out in combat (i.e, avoid reactive play).


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StratoNexus wrote:

At high levels I am used to casting 1/3rd to 1/2 of my spells well in advance. I can easily switch to a different paradigm. But then the paradigm needs to switch. No longer am I casting a complicated spell matrix that will attach itself to my targets for possibly hours. Now I am rapidly throwing up the proper defense in response to an enemy action.

If that is the world we want to live in, then while casters no longer have the long term buffing power, then they need to have the flexibility and speed to defend the team.

This means 1 action / Reaction buffs, shields, or other types of defenses. And these things might only last 3 to 6 rounds, not even a full minute. But it also means you likely need to be able to activate them more often throughout an adventuring day.

This. Instead of applying 'tax buffs', the quintessential Wizard could be the magical expert that still has (potentially) a spell for every situation, only that these spells no longer win encounters by themselves, but instead provide enough of a boon to make a situation *significantly easier* to deal with.

In PF1, too often did spells make entire classes obsolete. This needed to go. But on the flip side, if certain situations can *only* be dealt with by skilled characters, and not every class can afford to cover those skills, then having the appropriate spells available to help out the unskilled characters (quite possibly the caster himself) is essential.

That, or you provide skilled characters with the means to help out their allies. This, however, does not seem to be the design goal right now (and even if there are feats for that, well, that are still feat slots you have to spend...).

So, buffs need to be short enough in duration to not become the new meta. But they need to be strong enough to matter while they last. Except monsters resist spells too easily and party buffs are 'too little, too short'.

Welp, that's the feedback right there then. I understand the devs being very conservative with spell power though. It is much easier to power them up if they feel to weak then to tune them down if they feel too powerful still. Because one makes people praise the devs for their benevolence, while the other makes people curse them for their cruelty. Damn Machiavelli ;)


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Red Griffyn wrote:
Lycar wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:

A whole host of staple preventative spells are now 100% reactionary (if they were even carried over to 2e) including:

- Heroism
- See Invisibility
- Protection from Energy / Communal...

Okay... this is basically the same issue as with the 'big 6' 'must have' magic items. An item that grants you a leg up on the competition is a boon. An item that merely stops you from falling of the treadmill is a tax.

You used to have more spell slots, but many of those got earmarked for all those 'must have' 'all day on' buff spells. This had two effects:

1) It reduced the number of spell slots you had actually free to use as required.

2) Since your buffed stats now became the default, in order to still challenge you, encounters had to be buffed accordingly. So to still maintain the same level of challenge, all the advantages you got from all that pre-buffing were effective made null and void!

In effect, all you did was spend spell slots to... not fall off the treadmill. ...

I think you have made a valuable point with respect to how the meta of the game evolves. When PCs find something powerful (a boon) often times the game designers will react by buffing encounters, thus transitioning a boon to a tax as time goes on. Alternatively, the meta gets nerfed (fare thee well Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier).

I don't see how Lycar's two statements balance. If buffing the party reduces the number of spells the spellcaster can cast in combat, then the spellcaster is weaker in combat. Thus, the GM does not need to increase the challenge as much. The martials are stronger, the blasting and debuffing spells are weaker, and the combat proceeds as written but in a different style than one with unbuffed martials and a blaster wizard.

Buffing for the day, even a 15-minute workday, is different from the big 6, which don't cost the wizard's spells and don't reduce the wizard's direct impact on combat.

I am also quite accustomed to compensating for high power levels in Pathfinder games. My players, through good tactics and advance information gathering, regularly operate at two levels above their level in Pathfinder 1st Edition. Thus, I routinely increase the challenge of their encounters in the Paizo adventure paths.

But they noticed my behavior and compensated for it, too. They pass up treasure. It is weird to read in these forums how greedy PCs are when my PCs routinely give stolen loot back to its original owners or their heirs and donate to charity. I have to increase the treasure in the adventure paths with magic items more interesting than the big 6 so that they will pick up and keep something.

They also pass up experience points. Side quests matter only if they care in-character about the purpose of the side quest. Mere guards are better sneaked around than fought. They head for the leaders of the enemy armies with surgical precision, even if it means skipping a level up.

They also optimize their characters for concept rather than power.

Because extra loot and another level and min-maxed power don't help them win. If they had it, I would make the challenges harder to attain the right narrative level. Instead, sometimes they skip enough boosts that I increase the challenge of the adventure path encounters by only one level rather than two. That does not matter to them. Their goal is not to dominate a grueling battle. Their goal is to create a good story around their characters, and that means their characters acting like their character concept rather than like powergamers.

Red Griffyn wrote:
Maybe they end up facing 1-2 encounters in he cave prior to the dragon, maybe they get assaulted mid trek to the dragons den by the dragon itself.

So, they started off for the dragon's cave, its treasures for to take,

But halfway there the birds flew off and the ground began to shake,
They heard a roar and a terrible crash and they all turned round to see
The dragon, right behind them, cleaning its nails on a tree.

--fifth stanza of Divine Irregularity by filksinger Tom Smith


Mathmuse wrote:
Mere guards are better sneaked around than fought.

In Pathfinder 1E, you get the same amount of XP in both of those scenarios though?


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Anzyr wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Mere guards are better sneaked around than fought.
In Pathfinder 1E, you get the same amount of XP in both of those scenarios though?

You do.

But if you choose to fight them, you get; a key, their gear, a note to where one of them is stashing some extra coinage, poison that one of them smuggled in, consumable, etc etc.

If you're going to give them EXP for solving the problem without a fight like guards, the least you can do is give them something if they go through the issue of burning resources to fight them. It doesn't have to be big or pay off now, but something would be nice. Even if it's a gut punch. Like say one of the guards had a locket with his love's name engraved on it.


MerlinCross wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Mere guards are better sneaked around than fought.
In Pathfinder 1E, you get the same amount of XP in both of those scenarios though?

You do.

But if you choose to fight them, you get; a key, their gear, a note to where one of them is stashing some extra coinage, poison that one of them smuggled in, consumable, etc etc.

If you're going to give them EXP for solving the problem without a fight like guards, the least you can do is give them something if they go through the issue of burning resources to fight them. It doesn't have to be big or pay off now, but something would be nice. Even if it's a gut punch. Like say one of the guards had a locket with his love's name engraved on it.

Certainly, but I was specifically addressing "They also pass up experience points." section of the post.


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Anzyr wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Mere guards are better sneaked around than fought.
In Pathfinder 1E, you get the same amount of XP in both of those scenarios though?

Sometimes. The xp is awarded for dealing with the challenge. If the challenge is to get to the bad guy's throne room, sneaking past the guards or bluffing the guards works fine and earns the xp for overcoming the obstacle. If the challenge is to defeat the local thieves guild and the guards are part of the thieves' guild, then the xp is delayed. By sneaking past them and defeating the leaders, the party might be able to deal with them later by intimidating them rather than combatting them, but sneaking past them won't earn xp.

For example, in Valley of the Brain Collectors the party entered the valley seaching for a particular mcguffin. If they investigated every corner and cave in the valley, they would earn the full xp for the search. But my players found the mcguffin after exploring only 1/3 of the valley. That was the high-xp section, so they earned 1/2 the xp in the valley instead of 1/3 the xp, but they never got the xp for the caves they never entered. Those caves ceased to be relevant challenges once the mcguffin was obtained. I created a new side quest between modules for the party to earn some of the missing xp before the next module, but even with that side quest, they started the 5th module, for levels 13 & 14, at 12th level.

And in that 5th module, Palace of Fallen Stars, they did not enter the city of Starfall in full hostile mode ready to take on the evil Techic League. No, they had become enemies of the Technic League under false identities, so they scouted out Starfall by simply walking into the city under their real civilian identities (they got to laugh at the error-laden descriptions on the Wanted posters). And they got distracted helping the poor in the slums. I repurposed part A as helping the poor, part B as their first attempt at scouting the Technic League, and part D as the Technic League telling two party members, "Hey, you two are high-temperature smiths from Torch. You are commandeered by the Technic League for a high-temperature project." Parts C, E, F, G, and H were skipped when the party left for the 6th module at 13th level.

The party defeated the Technic League later at 17th level. I suppose they earned the xp for 18th level that way, but the campaign ended, so it didn't matter.

MerlinCross wrote:
If you're going to give them EXP for solving the problem without a fight like guards, the least you can do is give them something if they go through the issue of burning resources to fight them. It doesn't have to be big or pay off now, but something would be nice. Even if it's a gut punch. Like say one of the guards had a locket with his love's name engraved on it.

My wife points out that her character did expend resources to get past the guards without fighting them. She designed her character to be good at sneaking or bluffing or bribery, and that reduced her character's ability to fight in the boss combat. And the other characters also had to sneak or walk in without armor to support the bluff or donate money to the bribe, so they did not get a free ride either.


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Mathmuse wrote:
My wife points out that her character did expend resources to get past the guards without fighting them. She designed her character to be good at sneaking or bluffing or bribery, and that reduced her character's ability to fight in the boss combat. And the other characters also had to sneak or walk in without armor to support the bluff or donate money to the bribe, so they did not get a free ride either.

I’m enjoying a lot of your PF2 commentary/analysis. This in particular really resonated with me. I can’t get my group to see this, so when I build lore heavy characters or high diplomacy characters the DMs inevitably try to stymie my solutions (or let me roll some dice...then have the battle they’d always planned anyhow “after Steve’s Roleplaying”).

It’s really frustrating that reducing one’s combat effectiveness in every battle throughout a campaign “doesn’t count” as spending resources.


Mathmuse wrote:
Hakon007 wrote:
plaidwandering wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
When I sign up for PFS scenarios at level 5 and above, I will sometimes opt out if there are no casters in the group.

Are you serious? In the 200ish tables I've sat at PFS at all levels of play is utterly dominated by weapon combat - maybe not pure martials, but people who "do combat" by hitting things with a weapon.

There's the occasional fast bomber or dragon sorc that do significant damage, but mostly a caster summons something that never hits or does a minor debuff, and then an archer or 2her goes and makes it completely irrelevant by crapping out 120 damage

You know when I have to softball GMing? Parties that do not have a significant weapon damage dealer...

your maths are off because the bonus doesn't change the dice result, both the protagonist and antagonist have the same auto crit chance regardless of dice roll

I think Hakon007 wanted to reply to my comment where I denoted two characters as "protagonist" and "antagonist" and clicked the reply button for the comment below mine.

I admit that I was talking solely about the +/-10 critical system and ignoring the natural 1 and natural 20 criticals that depend on the actual die roll. Yes, the critical hits that rely on the value rolled on the die are not directly affected by the +2 bonus. There can be a small indirect effect, which Pathfinder 1st Edition corrected with the confirmation roll.

But those nat-1 and nat-20 criticals are also not affected by the shape of the probablity curve, so what do they have to do with a discussion about the shape of the probability curve? That is why I ignored them by chosing DC values that put the highest die roll into the +10 crit range regardless. My math is valid.

Instead, my error was when I said, "I suspect that Hakon007 wanting the bell curve of 3d6 or the triangular curve of 2d10 is out of a desire for diminishing returns,...

What I am saying is I would like a 2d10 system, but I understand now you are referring to the double success being a critical of the p2 system, where I was just referring to a generic d20 system.

I would prefer a 2d6/2d8/2d10 system with exploding dice, ie rolling a nat 10 on a d10 allows you to roll an extra d10 and add it on, but rolling a natural 1 means you roll a d10 and deduct it.
this allows for thrills of good rolls.

but I prefer the double success doesn't mean a critical so that bounded accuracy does not change with +1's to much.

as the current incarnation means a +1 to hit increases critical chance


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That feel when you ask why martials can’t be buffed instead of casters getting gutted twice and they ignore it and only focus on the rest of your post largely changing the tone and message of the post.

Seriously every time I ask it’s always ignored it’s like people have this silent belief that in this new edition someone has to be disappointed, I want a game where everyone feels like they matter and during the playtest myself and the rest of my group didn’t feel like our characters mattered, you can say what you want about balance but if balance means punishing people for daring to like one play style over another then we’d rather play a sytem like 1E or 5e D&d where the balance is a little wonky but we have fun playing the classes we want, the 5e sorcerer is probably the second weakest class in 5e yet I had more fun using it than I did in the whole playtest, the PF1 core rogue is one of the weakest classes and I’ve played one from level 1 through to 20 because despite being weaker I felt unique and fun.

I honestly feel like nerfing things because of 1E is a poor decision, instead of tearing down casters martials should be built up, to hell with ‘realism’ it’s a fantasy game where you fight monsters if casters get spells that do amazing things let martials do equally extraordinary physical things, because if the design model moving forward is nerf anything problematic then what happens when martials overshadow casters will third edition make casters gods again while relegating martials to mediocrity again?

Or give martials supernatural effects like what Stygian Slayers had, if a lack of magic is what makes martials terrible give them supernatural abilities not tied to spells like grit points or a ki pool, they not only give martials options but allow for more powerful effects since you’re paying a cost be it grit, ki or any resource the game designers feel to be appropriate.


Tezmick wrote:
That feel when you ask why martials can’t be buffed instead of casters getting gutted twice and they ignore it and only focus on the rest of your post largely changing the tone and message of the post.

Except by any metric, martials were buffed. They don't have to play "I stand there and full attack and wait for casters to solve anything that impedes that". I built a backup martial where the concept sounded interesting (spiked chain swashbuckler) and then threw it aside because I realized that, in the end, it played exactly like the sword-and-shield antipaladin in the same game - it stood there and full attacked. Sure, I might have been able to do it from 15 feet away instead, but nothing really felt different. That, in turn, played pretty much exactly like the android cyborg fighter, or the shield champion brawler, or that daring champion cavalier, or the TWF rogue, etc, etc. And I'm only drawing the comparison to melee characters - it's even easier to draw it for ranged.

For my playtest games, I've put together a Dex goblin paladin and a Dex duelist fighter. Despite the fact that they share a few skill feats, they don't feel anything alike. And neither of them play like the rogue a player built, nor the barbarian, nor the ranger.

(Side note: I want more skill feats like Wall Jump. I love Wall Jump.)


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Cyouni wrote:
Tezmick wrote:
That feel when you ask why martials can’t be buffed instead of casters getting gutted twice and they ignore it and only focus on the rest of your post largely changing the tone and message of the post.

Except by any metric, martials were buffed. They don't have to play "I stand there and full attack and wait for casters to solve anything that impedes that". I built a backup martial where the concept sounded interesting (spiked chain swashbuckler) and then threw it aside because I realized that, in the end, it played exactly like the sword-and-shield antipaladin in the same game - it stood there and full attacked. Sure, I might have been able to do it from 15 feet away instead, but nothing really felt different. That, in turn, played pretty much exactly like the android cyborg fighter, or the shield champion brawler, or that daring champion cavalier, or the TWF rogue, etc, etc. And I'm only drawing the comparison to melee characters - it's even easier to draw it for ranged.

For my playtest games, I've put together a Dex goblin paladin and a Dex duelist fighter. Despite the fact that they share a few skill feats, they don't feel anything alike. And neither of them play like the rogue a player built, nor the barbarian, nor the ranger.

(Side note: I want more skill feats like Wall Jump. I love Wall Jump.)

Move. Swing Once. Swing again if you have nothing else to do.

Feat/Ability to improve Hit or lower AC. Swing. Swing if you have nothing else to do.

Move. Swing. Move. Enemy move, swing move.

Riveting. I'm sorry, the martials feel the same to me because all the more interesting stuff seems to come online so much later than in PF1. I would say this is to prevent Dipping, but they seem to have done away with that anyway. You're either still standing in place to get as many accurate or crit possible swings in, or you're stuck doing some kinda weird shuffle dance as you swing and move back, swing and move back.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Tezmick wrote:
That feel when you ask why martials can’t be buffed instead of casters getting gutted twice and they ignore it and only focus on the rest of your post largely changing the tone and message of the post.

Except by any metric, martials were buffed. They don't have to play "I stand there and full attack and wait for casters to solve anything that impedes that". I built a backup martial where the concept sounded interesting (spiked chain swashbuckler) and then threw it aside because I realized that, in the end, it played exactly like the sword-and-shield antipaladin in the same game - it stood there and full attacked. Sure, I might have been able to do it from 15 feet away instead, but nothing really felt different. That, in turn, played pretty much exactly like the android cyborg fighter, or the shield champion brawler, or that daring champion cavalier, or the TWF rogue, etc, etc. And I'm only drawing the comparison to melee characters - it's even easier to draw it for ranged.

For my playtest games, I've put together a Dex goblin paladin and a Dex duelist fighter. Despite the fact that they share a few skill feats, they don't feel anything alike. And neither of them play like the rogue a player built, nor the barbarian, nor the ranger.

(Side note: I want more skill feats like Wall Jump. I love Wall Jump.)

Move. Swing Once. Swing again if you have nothing else to do.

Feat/Ability to improve Hit or lower AC. Swing. Swing if you have nothing else to do.

Move. Swing. Move. Enemy move, swing move.

Riveting. I'm sorry, the martials feel the same to me because all the more interesting stuff seems to come online so much later than in PF1. I would say this is to prevent Dipping, but they seem to have done away with that anyway. You're either still standing in place to get as many accurate or crit possible swings in, or you're stuck doing some kinda weird shuffle dance as you swing and move back, swing and move back.

Unfortunately the increased mobility hasn’t done much anyway, it’s the same pattern of doing two attacks you just finish with a move and then they chase you and swing back, heck several monsters can move and attack in the same action resulting in standing in place like 1E anyway.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Tezmick wrote:
That feel when you ask why martials can’t be buffed instead of casters getting gutted twice and they ignore it and only focus on the rest of your post largely changing the tone and message of the post.

Except by any metric, martials were buffed. They don't have to play "I stand there and full attack and wait for casters to solve anything that impedes that". I built a backup martial where the concept sounded interesting (spiked chain swashbuckler) and then threw it aside because I realized that, in the end, it played exactly like the sword-and-shield antipaladin in the same game - it stood there and full attacked. Sure, I might have been able to do it from 15 feet away instead, but nothing really felt different. That, in turn, played pretty much exactly like the android cyborg fighter, or the shield champion brawler, or that daring champion cavalier, or the TWF rogue, etc, etc. And I'm only drawing the comparison to melee characters - it's even easier to draw it for ranged.

For my playtest games, I've put together a Dex goblin paladin and a Dex duelist fighter. Despite the fact that they share a few skill feats, they don't feel anything alike. And neither of them play like the rogue a player built, nor the barbarian, nor the ranger.

(Side note: I want more skill feats like Wall Jump. I love Wall Jump.)

Move. Swing Once. Swing again if you have nothing else to do.

Feat/Ability to improve Hit or lower AC. Swing. Swing if you have nothing else to do.

Move. Swing. Move. Enemy move, swing move.

Riveting. I'm sorry, the martials feel the same to me because all the more interesting stuff seems to come online so much later than in PF1. I would say this is to prevent Dipping, but they seem to have done away with that anyway. You're either still standing in place to get as many accurate or crit possible swings in, or you're stuck doing some kinda weird shuffle dance as you swing and move back, swing and move back.

Feint, shield, position, pretty much any fighter feat that have an action cost (including level 1 and 2 ones), reactions (positioning and Retributive Strike are mildly important together, for example), combat maneuvers, and quite a few other things.

Maybe there's a reason some groups don't need as much healing as others, despite my group having lower levels of build optimization.


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Cyouni wrote:

Feint, shield, position, pretty much any fighter feat that have an action cost (including level 1 and 2 ones), reactions (positioning and Retributive Strike are mildly important together, for example), combat maneuvers, and quite a few other things.

Maybe there's a reason some groups don't need as much healing as others, despite my group having lower levels of build optimization.

Bluff needs to be good, need a shield, See "Take action to make your Attack better or lower AC", Reactions aren't actions you can count on, Need Athletics.

And yeah. There is. It's called Crit.

Edit: You know, I kinda want to expand on this to try and show the problem I have. I would also link to a comic about the same issue but I can't seem to find it.

So, I kinda compare all the actions I CAN do against each other. Weigh the pros and cons, maybe take a quick guess of what might happen, check with fellow players on what they'd like to do or their own plans, and then do it. Not to a stupid, crack out the calculator and start weighing DPR and stuff like that but I'm always thinking in combat about my next turn or next actions.

And I largely come back to "Swing" as the answer. I can be fancy, but why do I need to be? I can be clever with right placement, proper Reaction usage, and all sorts of other options. But "Strike". Crit chance. Weakness might be a thing.

The comic I wanted to link to was complaining about choice in Tactics games, where targeting just the unit was lame and unrealistic but then with body parts to target, well Body is still the easiest thing to hit and killing the enemy solves the issue of them doing damage.

Well that's kinda how I feel for PF2. We have all these new options yes, but Strike seems to almost always be a good choice. Sure you might do something else, but take your Strikes.

Does that kinda clear up my complaints a bit? I gave it a bit more thought so hopefully this is more helpful in getting my point across.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

Feint, shield, position, pretty much any fighter feat that have an action cost (including level 1 and 2 ones), reactions (positioning and Retributive Strike are mildly important together, for example), combat maneuvers, and quite a few other things.

Maybe there's a reason some groups don't need as much healing as others, despite my group having lower levels of build optimization.

Bluff needs to be good, need a shield, See "Take action to make your Attack better or lower AC", Reactions aren't actions you can count on, Need Athletics.

And yeah. There is. It's called Crit.

I mean, yeah that's martial combat in a nutshell.

I suppose fighters could have a 3/day save or suck call 'go for the throat' or something so they have other options like a wizard.


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Garretmander wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

Feint, shield, position, pretty much any fighter feat that have an action cost (including level 1 and 2 ones), reactions (positioning and Retributive Strike are mildly important together, for example), combat maneuvers, and quite a few other things.

Maybe there's a reason some groups don't need as much healing as others, despite my group having lower levels of build optimization.

Bluff needs to be good, need a shield, See "Take action to make your Attack better or lower AC", Reactions aren't actions you can count on, Need Athletics.

And yeah. There is. It's called Crit.

I mean, yeah that's martial combat in a nutshell.

I suppose fighters could have a 3/day save or suck call 'go for the throat' or something so they have other options like a wizard.

I mean Brawler had Knockout.

But I kinda expanded my thoughts with an edit.

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Tezmick wrote:

I honestly feel like nerfing things because of 1E is a poor decision, instead of tearing down casters martials should be built up, to hell with ‘realism’ it’s a fantasy game where you fight monsters if casters get spells that do amazing things let martials do equally extraordinary physical things, because if the design model moving forward is nerf anything problematic then what happens when martials overshadow casters will third edition make casters gods again while relegating martials to mediocrity again?

Or give martials supernatural effects like what Stygian Slayers had, if a lack of magic is what makes martials terrible give them supernatural abilities not tied to spells like grit points or a ki pool, they not only give martials options but allow for more powerful effects since you’re paying a cost be it grit, ki or any resource the game designers feel to be appropriate.

Did you ever play 3.5 with Tome of Battle? That was the big book of martial love. I recently played a lockdown Crusader and it was the most fun I've ever had in melee.

I always had something meaningful to do. Including battlefield control, because unlike most other martials, I had the toolbox to actually do it. Casters would stand behind me and nothing could get to them without going past me. Going past me required huge Reflex saves (failure ended movement) and provoked ops. Attacking someone in my threat range who wasnt me could provoke ops.

Ignoring me to focus on them anyway gave me time to bust out big offensive moves that hit so hard that I was a real threat.

I had to pick a modest set of powers for each given fight and could never do everything, but I could do a lot more than just full attack.

Would love to see Paizo go that direction. Give martials cool toys and unique actions. Start doing it at low level so people get to the fun quickly.


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Tridus wrote:
Tezmick wrote:

I honestly feel like nerfing things because of 1E is a poor decision, instead of tearing down casters martials should be built up, to hell with ‘realism’ it’s a fantasy game where you fight monsters if casters get spells that do amazing things let martials do equally extraordinary physical things, because if the design model moving forward is nerf anything problematic then what happens when martials overshadow casters will third edition make casters gods again while relegating martials to mediocrity again?

Or give martials supernatural effects like what Stygian Slayers had, if a lack of magic is what makes martials terrible give them supernatural abilities not tied to spells like grit points or a ki pool, they not only give martials options but allow for more powerful effects since you’re paying a cost be it grit, ki or any resource the game designers feel to be appropriate.

Did you ever play 3.5 with Tome of Battle? That was the big book of martial love. I recently played a lockdown Crusader and it was the most fun I've ever had in melee.

I always had something meaningful to do. Including battlefield control, because unlike most other martials, I had the toolbox to actually do it. Casters would stand behind me and nothing could get to them without going past me. Going past me required huge Reflex saves (failure ended movement) and provoked ops. Attacking someone in my threat range who wasnt me could provoke ops.

Ignoring me to focus on them anyway gave me time to bust out big offensive moves that hit so hard that I was a real threat.

I had to pick a modest set of powers for each given fight and could never do everything, but I could do a lot more than just full attack.

Would love to see Paizo go that direction. Give martials cool toys and unique actions. Start doing it at low level so people get to the fun quickly.

I also love ToB stuff. I like pretty much everything Frank Brunner has ever had his hands in.

That said, I think some people would prefer to have a more basic option be in the game rather than giving all martials their own "magic system" as ToB does.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
That said, I think some people would prefer to have a more basic option be in the game rather than giving all martials their own "magic system" as ToB does.

Oh, absolutely. Lots of room to do things between "strike is the best option 95% of the time" and "Fighters are now Sword Wizards." :)

I wanted to point out ToB because it's got a lot of examples of really neat martial abilities that open up combat options but let you still feel like you're melee combat focused.

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