1.6 mechanics speculation


General Discussion


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Splitting off from some of the other threads to start a place to discuss some of the changes for 1.6 other than the paladin change.

Note: Please, take the discussion of the paladin alignment change somewhere else. Maybe over here. Or to the next paladin's should/shouldn't be LG-only thread. This is more for the rest of the 1.6 stuff they released.

First with the update post in the 1.6 update thread, and a big thanks to Ediwir for giving a quick summary of the livestream for those of us who can't twitch.

Ediwir wrote:

So many red flags on this stream.

Top 5:

5. Stances: no more Open trait on stances (still 1/r)
4. More class options. Rangers get early level “ranger edges” (flurry, precision, stalker). Rogues get “techniques” (finesse, brute attack, feint)
3. Monks get more Ki powers, buff on Ki strike, everybody was kung fu fighting, more flexibility on abilities.
2. ALCHEMIST. Lots of stuff. Big deals include: removal of resonance alchemy, replaced with infused reagents similar to resonance playtest version. ALCHEMISTS GET RESEARCH FIELDS like bomber, chirurgeon, mutagenist (lower level mutagens will be a thing), poisoner.
1. PALADIN. Removed from the game. That's what Stephen (senior designer) said, I swear to Asmodeus.

Spoiler:

He was kidding, paladin will be Any Good rather than Lawful Good, but with slightly different codes (Defender LG, Redeemer NG, Liberator CG). Don't smite the messenger.

Someone read my alchemist rants <3 happy me.
This thread is still being edited and added to at the time of posting.

Also notes:
Some more minor updates COULD happen but will not follow a schedule and will not be of this magnitude.

"X Form" spells that use bestiary stats cannot be a thing because bestiary uses different creation rules that are not fitting for the PCs and would end up in cherry-picking monsters (Personal note: 3.5 Hydra form wizard with shared spell familiar anyone?)

1e to 2e conversion was talked about mostly in monster terms but republishing old adventures in 2e won't likely sell much.

Once the playtest ends in December, some information blogs on final 2e will come out - the proper form of this is still in the works.

LV12 bunnies issue: On one side, a GM creating an adventure will set a DC to challenge a party if the situation demands it. On the other, a GM creating a world will set level challenges regardless on when players meet them. Meeting the two is the issue and they need to work on conveying that idea. The chat demands a shrubbery to climb.

I tried to ask about mandatory item bonuses (working the question in a little less loaded way) but it wasn't picked up. There's a bit more discussion I didn't jot down, so feel free to check the stream if you want more details!

STREAM ENDED AND THERE WILL BE NO MORE ADDITIONS

My own thoughts on the updates:

Monk stuff looks pretty cool. I wonder how ki strike is going to feel more powerful, maybe it will add a die of damage on top of the accuracy bump, or come with something like bypassing resistances or concealed. More ki-monk options is a definite plus.

I'm curious how the new 'rogue techniques' will be different than the current paths we have now. Maybe more feat support later on for brute/feint methods? Maybe there will be better weapon support for brute rogues or better damage support for feint rogues?

I absolutely love that poisoner is going to be an alchemist specialization option now. Other specs for them are cool too.

Any thoughts on how the stance change is going to work out in play? I like the idea of getting into dragon style round 1, then swapping to crane style at the end of round 2 for some defense after a strong opener. Also seeds in some support for an eventual Master of Many Styles that might be able to enter multiple stances at once. Or maybe the stance change is only for fighter stances and monk styles are still only at the start of the round.


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So Ki Strike being powered up is interesting, but goes against my preference of just giving it to everyone for free (a la LoH on the class to not be mentioned.) Monk feats are really tight at the low levels I've found. It's not great to feel obligated to take the base offensive ki power when your intended uses for ki are defense/utility oriented.


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I hope that they're giving the paladin something other than its current Retributive Strike with this update. Though... given the name of the LG subclass, it sounds like they might be tying Retributive Strike to that one and giving the other two something else. Which... I really hope they don't. That would be rather awful generally (and exasperate complains about opening its alignment).

Retributive Strike needs to be dropped as a main class feature, given as a class feat option, and by no means be tied to a subclass.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
So Ki Strike being powered up is interesting, but goes against my preference of just giving it to everyone for free (a la LoH on the class to not be mentioned.) Monk feats are really tight at the low levels I've found. It's not great to feel obligated to take the base offensive ki power when your intended uses for ki are defense/utility oriented.

I wonder if there is a chance for getting non-combat ki entry feats in the final game (assuming, of course, they stick with ki as an optional feature).


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In my opinion, the additional Rogue options need to be boosted compared to what was already shown in the previous patch update. Brute Striker getting access to any D8 weapons for sneak attack seems way too weak of a feature (it's only a net +1 on average, and the weapon traits accessible are auxiliary benefits at best) compared to getting Dexterity to Damage with Agile weapons (upwards to +4-+7 damage while allowing an ignorance of Strength in almost all cases). I'd much rather Brute Striker apply Sneak Attack to any weapon (yes, even two-handed D12 Greataxes) as long as they utilize Strength for damage (or even attack as well, which makes sense), as well as gain proficiency with one Martial weapon of their choice. Scoundrel needs less of a boost (since they have better debuff capabilities), but simply having the Feint options apply for everyone and not just the Rogue could stand to have some more love, especially when Dexterity to Damage is the standard (and is a hard one to beat).

The Creature Form spells are broken because of monster standards and PC standards not mixing, and I knew something like this was going to be a problem from the start. Yes, monsters weren't exactly made with a formula in mind identical to PCs, but they did have a lot of the same elements and followed the same math that PCs did (a non-magical weapon dealing 2-3 extra dice of damage because "balance 'reasons'" is hardly fair or sensible to the players), and it made their customizations as creatures more believable. I'd rather they stuck with the PF1 paradigm of "It follows the rules of players where it can, and doesn't where it can't," because it's both the most fair and the easiest to justify in-game and in-universe. Creatures having +20 Natural Armor didn't have any rules to it, but bonuses to hit, HP, AC totals, and so on, did.

A lot of the monk options (especially starting out) were too stringent to focus on without extreme sacrifices in other areas. I couldn't have a 16 Wisdom Monk without having only 12 Dexterity or Strength (which meant my AC or to-hit and damage were in the crapper); combined with very little weapon proficiencies (compared to none at all before, which is still somewhat of a bonus), no armor proficiencies or AC benefits outside of magic items or specific feats, and you're left with a very weak class that is too reliant on magic to function well compared to other classes who aren't. I really dislike that, and simply buffing the other options doesn't solve the other glaring issues, or outweighs the problems they present. So what if my Ki Strike now gives me bonuses to hit and damage on certain attacks I decide to make, I'm still going to be extremely weak compared to a Fighter who didn't have to make compromises on AC or to-hit. It's not a solution to the problem, it's a workaround that tries to circumvent the problem and proceeds to fail because of an apples to oranges comparison.


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Anybody got a link to the stream?


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I'm not convinced the monster form spells can't safely reference the bestiary personally. They can't copy the monster stats (much like they couldn't in PF1), and they probably should set player stats like they do now for some of it, but I think it could work to have the spell imitate any creature with the X tag, and list benefits you can gain.

For instance, Animal Form could allow you to imitate a medium animal from the bestiary, give you your AC/TAC/Attack Bonus/Damage die/bonus, select natural attack types (bites, claws, etc), and pick a few traits from a list like this:
Grab: +2 conditional on grapple checks
Trip: +2 conditional on trip checks
Scent: +2 conditional on seek checks against creatures in scent range
Agile: Claw attacks have agile trait, must have claws
Hearty: +1 conditional on fortitude saves
Strong: 1 attack goes up 1 die size, form must have only 1 natural attack

etc. etc.

Add some generic traits to pick up on any form so forms that aren't full of special feature still get something, and you still have the ability to turn into any bestiary animal instead of needing to print more animal form spells while retaining a balanced spell.


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By the way, is the chirurgeon research field going to be a medic kind of alchemist, or is it going to be like the vivisectionist from pathfinder 1e?


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I dislike form spells using the Bestiary because that means the power level of these spells keeps changing over the life of the game and how any sort of "shapechanger" build is going to be predicated on a player's deep knowledge of obscure bestiary monsters. Plus, it's less satisfying in terms of painting a metal picture for the whole group to keep turning into Calikangs, Popbalas, Chardras, Gegenees, and Tikbalangs than like Bears, Dinosaurs, and Dragons. Particularly when there may not be a reason for the *character* to even know what a Calikang is.


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I was slightly worried that the 1.6 patch would steer PF2 into being PF1.5, instead of improving on the playtest's weak spots. This is very encouraging.


Wildshape/shapechanging, etc, seems to be a hard thing to get right, in this game.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I dislike form spells using the Bestiary because that means the power level of these spells keeps changing over the life of the game and how any sort of "shapechanger" build is going to be predicated on a player's deep knowledge of obscure bestiary monsters. Plus, it's less satisfying in terms of painting a metal picture for the whole group to keep turning into Calikangs, Popbalas, Chardras, Gegenees, and Tikbalangs than like Bears, Dinosaurs, and Dragons. Particularly when there may not be a reason for the *character* to even know what a Calikang is.

PF1 had the stipulation for Wild Shape being that the Druid must know of the creature in order to change into it (sans some of the most common kinds of creatures).

As a GM, I'd rule that, if the character makes an appropriate knowledge check or has previously encountered (or has reasonably encountered) that creature in the adventure (or prior to it), they could transform into it. Failure of the knowledge check and/or not having prior encounters with their chosen form (or if the creature isn't common enough), would result in a player not being able to use that creature for Wild Shape.

**EDIT** To add on to this in regards to PF2's rules, I would probably enforce the Rarity rules to help keep that in check, in that a Druid could not Wild Shape (or whatever the equivalent ability or spell is these days) into an Uncommon or Rare (and heaven forbid Unique) creature unless they have encountered it, or make a really strong Knowledge check in the case of an Uncommon creature. (Would not allow Rare creatures unless encountered, and Unique creatures are off-limits period.)


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm really happy to hear about the alchemist changes. Specializations at level one actually feel like a step forward (or at least a lateral move) from the PF1 Alchemist, instead of the bafflingly less versatile version we got initially.

I hope bombs are looked at closely, as seeing them in play has convinced me they definitely need an adjustment. They suffer from the same problem that most alchemical items seemed to, that they were not impactful enough for their scarcity, or too scarce for their relatively average impact.

There's also an issue with relying on DOT effects, in that you do more damage when the party is doing less (as enemy's stick around longer), and less damage when the party is doing well (as monsters are alive fewer rounds to suffer persistent damage). My alchemist player made the point in my most recent playtest session that he wished the party wasn't so quick to dispatch some foes, so that his bombs could feel more meaningful. Definitely an awkward paradigm for a class in a party-based game.


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My worry about polymorph spells has less to do with the power of the forms assumed, and more with the short duration. What my players do with these powers is mainly travel or scout. At least the trivial polymorphs need to have options to increase duration, likely by heightening.


Starfox wrote:
My worry about polymorph spells has less to do with the power of the forms assumed, and more with the short duration. What my players do with these powers is mainly travel or scout. At least the trivial polymorphs need to have options to increase duration, likely by heightening.

FWIW the Wild Druid at least has a feat to extend duration on a Wild Shape to an hour by lowering the spell level or something like that.


Paradozen wrote:
First with the update post in the 1.6 update thread, and a big thanks to Ediwir for giving a quick summary of the livestream for those of us who can't twitch.

YW, I did it for other releases and it’s always good to see appreciation (but the full stream, available at >>this link<<, has more detail than my hurriedly scribbled notes). Thank you for opening a discussion thread.

That said, I am obviously excited to see alchemist paths and a real class feature instead of Empower Bombs, to the point where I can probably suspend my rants on Advanced Alchemy for a while. And yes, Chirurgeon is more of a field medic based spec according to the stream. Oh, and there’s supposed to be a bunch of new alchemical items, the low level mutagens were the main focus (and higher level bombs which we already saw). However, I am more curious about seeing whether Paladin will get some offensive options and a possible solution to the reaction economy deficits she runs into.


Any word on if they have plans to to allow for DCs of snares, poisons, and other crafted items to increase based on *insert skill* or anything like a way to heighten them?


As much as I would love to have another of my threads being picked up for final release, there is currently no hint that crafted items DC scaling will be a thing.


Ediwir wrote:
As much as I would love to have another of my threads being picked up for final release, there is currently no hint that crafted items DC scaling will be a thing.

If it was, it'd be yet another thing to keep track of. Buying generic items and then having some specially crafted (such as loot from a boss or something) means items having differing DCs means more complications. This technically already exists with consumable items utilizing spells with Heightened effects, but those have baseline mechanics behind them which cuts down on potential confusion.

Granted, if it was something that outright replaced the base system (such has having a save DC of 15 + item level + rarity or something), it would be a direct improvement, but as it stands I'm not really seeing how this would be the case, or how it would be possible. Maybe the math gods at Paizo can figure it out, but if the Beastiary stats are any indication, I'd be inclined to say "The DC is whatever you want" is perhaps the best answer we're getting.


I’d take a small note on the side over ‘this item is badically resale cash’ any day of the week.


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Magic items having mostly irrelevant DCs is a problem that needs solved somehow. So many items in PF1 were cool in theory but just never worth using for that reason alone. The other obvious solution is the item's DC somehow depends on the character using it, but that feels pretty gamey to me.

Exo-Guardians

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Pandora's wrote:
Magic items having mostly irrelevant DCs is a problem that needs solved somehow. So many items in PF1 were cool in theory but just never worth using for that reason alone. The other obvious solution is the item's DC somehow depends on the character using it, but that feels pretty gamey to me.

We given an item a level based on its quality/level?


Pandora's wrote:
Magic items having mostly irrelevant DCs is a problem that needs solved somehow. So many items in PF1 were cool in theory but just never worth using for that reason alone. The other obvious solution is the item's DC somehow depends on the character using it, but that feels pretty gamey to me.

You know, under the original Resonance system this would have made a lot of sense. You're personally empowering the item so it makes sense it has its DC based off of you personally.


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We have a universal saving DC for all a character's spells. Why not simply use that for items too? We'd have to give non-casters such a value. I suggest basing it off Intelligence, a good thing to add some omph to Intelligence.


Brace yourselves, the new Class Tier List 2.0 is coming.

Grand Lodge

The Archive wrote:

I hope that they're giving the paladin something other than its current Retributive Strike with this update. Though... given the name of the LG subclass, it sounds like they might be tying Retributive Strike to that one and giving the other two something else. Which... I really hope they don't. That would be rather awful generally (and exasperate complains about opening its alignment).

Retributive Strike needs to be dropped as a main class feature, given as a class feat option, and by no means be tied to a subclass.

This ^


Starfox wrote:
We have a universal saving DC for all a character's spells. Why not simply use that for items too? We'd have to give non-casters such a value. I suggest basing it off Intelligence, a good thing to add some omph to Intelligence.

I think we already have mechanics like that for various spell completion items, like scrolls, wands, and staves, which were all missing from PF1. I think other items which let you cast spells use those mechanics too.

It mostly seems to be non-magical items that have set DCs, Barring class features from the alchemist or Ranger.


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No, active items tend to have a fixed DC. It’s one of the main dislikes I have about skill bonus items - the bonus remains necessary, the active becomes useless.


Pandora's wrote:
Magic items having mostly irrelevant DCs is a problem that needs solved somehow. So many items in PF1 were cool in theory but just never worth using for that reason alone. The other obvious solution is the item's DC somehow depends on the character using it, but that feels pretty gamey to me.

They could make Item DCs charisma based that would at least be consistent with how use magic devices worked and in line with focus/resonance/whatever the final iteration of that system is.


Bardarok wrote:
Pandora's wrote:
Magic items having mostly irrelevant DCs is a problem that needs solved somehow. So many items in PF1 were cool in theory but just never worth using for that reason alone. The other obvious solution is the item's DC somehow depends on the character using it, but that feels pretty gamey to me.

They could make Item DCs charisma based that would at least be consistent with how use magic devices worked and in line with focus/resonance/whatever the final iteration of that system is.

I'd prefer if both Focus and Save DC for items was Int-based. Int is after all the ability that interacts with items - see Craft. But I can settle for one being Int and the Other Cha. Preferably make Focus Int-based and item save DCs Cha-based.

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