Deadmanwalking's Remaining Pathfinder Playtest Problems After Update 1.6


General Discussion

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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
...and the shortbow gain the Agile property.
This would be the ideal solution.

I have ported it over (the whole concept) to my 3rd Ed/PF house-rules (we use the Unchained RAE):

So for melee attacks with light weapons, natural weapons, rapiers, scimitars, spiked chains, whips, and for ranged attacks with bolas, daggers, darts, hand crossbows, shortbows, and slings, the penalty is: second attack at -4, third attack at -8.


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So... I've noticed this topic talk about bows str-to-damage ratio, and I've also seen conversation about Dex to damage in general in other places.

With the fact you get a smaller attribute bonus in 2E (in 1E you could get... +13? Higher with extreme builds), and more weapon damage dice, I feel attribute-to-damage in general is devauled past level 4. At level 14, how much of a difference does +2 damage from half-strength make to your 4d8+<elemental damage> bow attacks?

This leads to the strange situation where a bow-character built at a low level wants Str for propulsive, and at later levels would rather have those points in Cha for Demoralize, or some other such situation. For melee this is a non-issue because they still use Str to hit (okay, non-rogue dex melee is a bit odd), but for ranged weapons should Propulsive scale with potency? It's potentially adding... +10? Damage at the top end. That doesn't feel utterly busted, since they have lower damage dice. Some weapon abilities already scale with potency.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
shroudb wrote:

just don't turn the ranged weapons to be as powerful as they were in pf1 where they dominated the melee options.

as an example, i'm fine with volley dissapearing and shortbow being made agile instead, but i don't think that making propulsion scale fully on top of that is a good thing.

I strongly disagree.

A large portion of the reason ranged weapons dominated combat in PF1 was that they let you Full Attack every round. This is sort of still true in PF2, but vastly less valuable, since that third attack at -10 is pretty terrible, and melee people rarely need more than one move to enter combat (and even if they do, they almost always keep their most valuable, -0, attack).

Another large portion of the reason was that Rapid Shot and Manyshot combined to make for more attacks than most people could make in melee, and large numbers of attacks to add static damage to were great in PF1. There are no such advantages available in PF2, or at least not any commonly available.

Remove those, and we're left with ranged combat having the following advantages:

-Don't have to move to attack as often.
-Don't always have to risk being attacked in melee to attack.

And...that's sort of all there is.

The disadvantages, meanwhile, even if you get rid of Volley, make Shortbows Agile, and add full Str on Propulsive, are as follows:

-You get a crappy damage die (d8 or d6) without the advantages (like using a shield) that a free hand gives you.
-You're using an off-stat that does basically nothing else for you for damage (since it remains Str-based).

Those very situational advantages seem to me to be more than made up for by the disadvantages (which are not situational at all). With those changes, it's probably worth doing, but it's by no means optimal damage wise (which is what it was in PF1, and sort of the problem).

I disagree that the (almost always) 1 free action per turn is "a little".

Yes, full attacks are gone, but in the vast majority of battles, being able to ignore the need for movement, plus the ability to hit flying stuff and etc is great.

Plus, multiple stat boosts allow for high all around stats by midlevel for all.

It would be ridiculously easy by level 10 for an archer to have a 16 strength as an example.

Obviously, the main advantage is being able to double attack and still do something else like intimidate, inspire as a bard, use true strike as a Gish, and etc.

If you have to move, you lose the 2nd attack, and that's a much begging dpr loss than just 2-10 damage from a d12 to a d8.

Exo-Guardians

Regarding Cantrips, I made a rule that requires casters to pick a casting action for all their cantrips, then I made them all one action and enforced a MAP on each, I treat them as Ranged weapons to be nice.

Liberty's Edge

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shroudb wrote:
I disagree that the (almost always) 1 free action per turn is "a little".

It's not nothing, but it's also not great. Attacks made with it are verging on useless, most combat maneuvers are unavailable, and you're probably already a bit MAD to be great at Intimidate.

shroudb wrote:
Yes, full attacks are gone, but in the vast majority of battles, being able to ignore the need for movement, plus the ability to hit flying stuff and etc is great.

You actually do usually need to move at least a couple times in most combats. Cover remains a thing, and people often wind up between you and your targets in one way or another.

shroudb wrote:
Plus, multiple stat boosts allow for high all around stats by midlevel for all.

Not very well. You need to raise Dex, Con, and Wis for Saves at most levels, so that leaves only one to two stat ups free per 5 levels. Investing one per 5 levels in Str is a pretty significant investment.

shroudb wrote:
It would be ridiculously easy by level 10 for an archer to have a 16 strength as an example.

Sure, by making sacrifices elsewhere he could. And by that level a melee character has Str 20. So we're talking 4d8+3 (21 average damage) vs. 4d12+5 (31 average damage). That's 2/3 the damage per attack.

shroudb wrote:
Obviously, the main advantage is being able to double attack and still do something else like intimidate, inspire as a bard, use true strike as a Gish, and etc.

Sure. Assuming you don't have to move to get a clear shot or something similar.

shroudb wrote:
If you have to move, you lose the 2nd attack, and that's a much begging dpr loss than just 2-10 damage from a d12 to a d8.

This assumes you have to both move and do something like Demoralize. That's true for certain specific builds, but far from universal. Most people should have some non-attack thing to do, but only Bards tend to have something obligatory.

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But I'm not saying archery lacks advantages. I'm saying it has disadvantages that compensate for them. Indeed, I think they overcompensate for them at the moment.

I mean, I'm not white room theorizing here, I had a PC make a fairly dedicated archer. They were lacklustre at best going by the official rules, and they actually had enough stuff that they weren't suffering most of the penalties. I think the changes I suggest would give them two Class Feats back and +1 damage, which is great, but hardly overpowering.


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Regarding the Duration of Shapeshifting, it's an easy fix: Make the duration in hours UNTIL you make an attack, at which time the remaining hours convert to rounds/minutes.


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TwoWolves wrote:
Regarding the Duration of Shapeshifting, it's an easy fix: Make the duration in hours UNTIL you make an attack, at which time the remaining hours convert to rounds/minutes.

I think they could leave it hours unless they plan to add Natural Spell. Shapeshifted Druids without spellcasting are hardly broken.

Silver Crusade

Deadmanwalking wrote:

[

Those very situational advantages seem to me to be more than made up for by the disadvantages (which are not situational at all). With those changes, it's probably worth doing, but it's by no means optimal damage wise (which is what it was in PF1, and sort of the problem).

Archery can be very valuable. I've seen an archery ranger and an archery fighter and they were both doing substantial damage.

The archery fighter had some cool ability to impose status conditions on a miss (sorry, I was a player and so don't know the details)


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Xenocrat wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Am I missing some technical archery term? "Volley" as I've understood it is roughly what they use it for: firing a bunch of shots at once. Admittedly normally from a rank of troops, not one person firing really fast.

Nothing to do with a high, arcing shot vs a flat shot, other than it being commonly used that way with bows to get more distance. But it was the term for massed fire with any weapon: a musket volley, for example.
It's not uncommon for Paizo to use terms in their rules a way that are wrong or even directly contradictory to their real world meanings.

For example, WotC and Paizo both are convinced falchions are two-handed weapons.

Silver Crusade

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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
TwoWolves wrote:
Regarding the Duration of Shapeshifting, it's an easy fix: Make the duration in hours UNTIL you make an attack, at which time the remaining hours convert to rounds/minutes.
I think they could leave it hours unless they plan to add Natural Spell. Shapeshifted Druids without spellcasting are hardly broken.

In fact, at reasonable levels (8+) they're sufficiently suboptimal to verge on being a trap


RazarTuk wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Am I missing some technical archery term? "Volley" as I've understood it is roughly what they use it for: firing a bunch of shots at once. Admittedly normally from a rank of troops, not one person firing really fast.

Nothing to do with a high, arcing shot vs a flat shot, other than it being commonly used that way with bows to get more distance. But it was the term for massed fire with any weapon: a musket volley, for example.
It's not uncommon for Paizo to use terms in their rules a way that are wrong or even directly contradictory to their real world meanings.
For example, WotC and Paizo both are convinced falchions are two-handed weapons.

Ha, yeah, that one has been bothering me for years, I mean, when I Google, "Falchion", the first thing I get is:

"A falchion is a one-handed, single-edged sword of European origin, whose design is reminiscent of the Chinese dadao, and modern machete."


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I'm almost entirely certain the falchion became a 2h weapon because someone at WotC thought "A scimitar compares to a longsword by trading a die of damage for a higher crit range, we need something similarly analogous for the greatsword... what can I call that."

Since PF2 has neither "crit ranges" nor "3.5 compatibility" we could always fix this, but we'd need another word for "giant scimitar."


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RazarTuk wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Am I missing some technical archery term? "Volley" as I've understood it is roughly what they use it for: firing a bunch of shots at once. Admittedly normally from a rank of troops, not one person firing really fast.

Nothing to do with a high, arcing shot vs a flat shot, other than it being commonly used that way with bows to get more distance. But it was the term for massed fire with any weapon: a musket volley, for example.
It's not uncommon for Paizo to use terms in their rules a way that are wrong or even directly contradictory to their real world meanings.
For example, WotC and Paizo both are convinced falchions are two-handed weapons.

I was thinking of more egregious stuff like the Sea Legs pirate archetype feat.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm almost entirely certain the falchion became a 2h weapon because someone at WotC thought "A scimitar compares to a longsword by trading a die of damage for a higher crit range, we need something similarly analogous for the greatsword... what can I call that."

Nice, that sounds about right. I find the scimitar to be lacking in 3rd Ed/PF (just not quite good enough), and the falchion, well, I avoid 2d4 weapons like a plague. Like in 1st Ed AD&D, broadsword, neat, 2d4, no thanks, I'll stick with longsword. I know 2d4 averages more damage than 1d8, it just bothers me. d4s are one of those things that I really avoid, but I would never want them removed form the game, such a part of D&D, gotta have that wart.


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Xenocrat wrote:
It's not uncommon for Paizo to use terms in their rules a way that are wrong or even directly contradictory to their real world meanings.

Like Inflammable (same thing as flammable), Bolstered (supported) and Sea Legs (the ability to walk on a moving ship). All are being used incorrectly in the playtest. And I'm still annoyed by he Dragoon in Ultimate Combat being some spear user that does silly spin and jump attacks and not a proper mounted, firearm using infantry. That same book even introduced the Dragon pistol that they were named after, but misused the name anyway.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
It's not uncommon for Paizo to use terms in their rules a way that are wrong or even directly contradictory to their real world meanings.
Like Inflammable (same thing as flammable), Bolstered (supported) and Sea Legs (the ability to walk on a moving ship). All are being used incorrectly in the playtest. And I'm still annoyed by he Dragoon in Ultimate Combat being some spear user that does silly spin and jump attacks and not a proper mounted, firearm using infantry. That same book even introduced the Dragon pistol that they were named after, but misused the name anyway.

Everyone knows that REAL dragoons were historically quad-legged spider like thingies that launched bolts of energy!


Doktor Weasel wrote:
Like Inflammable (same thing as flammable),

Ha, yeah, like "loosen" and "unloosen" mean the same thing, odd.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
It's not uncommon for Paizo to use terms in their rules a way that are wrong or even directly contradictory to their real world meanings.
Like Inflammable (same thing as flammable), Bolstered (supported) and Sea Legs (the ability to walk on a moving ship). All are being used incorrectly in the playtest. And I'm still annoyed by he Dragoon in Ultimate Combat being some spear user that does silly spin and jump attacks and not a proper mounted, firearm using infantry. That same book even introduced the Dragon pistol that they were named after, but misused the name anyway.

I suspect Ultimate Combat's Dragoon is a reference to Kain, a character from Final Fantasy II (or IV, if you prefer) who could jump off-screen to land a delayed but more powerful attack.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
Like Inflammable (same thing as flammable),
Ha, yeah, like "loosen" and "unloosen" mean the same thing, odd.

And “infamous” means “famous”!


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

To be fair, Paizo confirmed that "inflammable" was on purpose (those goblins have a racial history of setting themselves on fire) and "bolstered" is commonly used in the expression "bolstered against" which does mean "protected from".


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
The Once and Future Kai wrote:
TwoWolves wrote:
Regarding the Duration of Shapeshifting, it's an easy fix: Make the duration in hours UNTIL you make an attack, at which time the remaining hours convert to rounds/minutes.
I think they could leave it hours unless they plan to add Natural Spell. Shapeshifted Druids without spellcasting are hardly broken.

Actually, I couldn't find anything in the book that says polymorphed characters can't cast spells, other than if they lack the ability to make the specific actions for the spell (VSM).

But I very well could be wrong about that, and I'd appreciate a quote if anyone knows where it is.


thewastedwalrus wrote:

Actually, I couldn't find anything in the book that says polymorphed characters can't cast spells, other than if they lack the ability to make the specific actions for the spell (VSM).

But I very well could be wrong about that, and I'd appreciate a quote if anyone knows where it is.

It's in the individual spell entries. Here's Pest Form.

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Your pest form prevents you from casting spells, speaking, or spending most actions with the manipulate trait that require your hands (the GM determines which manipulate actions you can spend if there’s doubt). You can dismiss this spell by using an action (this action has the concentrate trait).


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm almost entirely certain the falchion became a 2h weapon because someone at WotC thought "A scimitar compares to a longsword by trading a die of damage for a higher crit range, we need something similarly analogous for the greatsword... what can I call that."

Since PF2 has neither "crit ranges" nor "3.5 compatibility" we could always fix this, but we'd need another word for "giant scimitar."

Nodachi?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm almost entirely certain the falchion became a 2h weapon because someone at WotC thought "A scimitar compares to a longsword by trading a die of damage for a higher crit range, we need something similarly analogous for the greatsword... what can I call that."

Since PF2 has neither "crit ranges" nor "3.5 compatibility" we could always fix this, but we'd need another word for "giant scimitar."

Kreigsmesser. The word they're looking for is Kriegsmesser.

Or just Messer. True, it's not as specific, since a Messer could also be a one-handed weapon, but it's at least more correct than Falchion.

breithauptclan wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm almost entirely certain the falchion became a 2h weapon because someone at WotC thought "A scimitar compares to a longsword by trading a die of damage for a higher crit range, we need something similarly analogous for the greatsword... what can I call that."

Since PF2 has neither "crit ranges" nor "3.5 compatibility" we could always fix this, but we'd need another word for "giant scimitar."

Nodachi?

Nodachi's are Japanese Greatswords. Since the Katana is an uncommon version of a Longsword (unless you're playing in a Japanese inspired location, in which case the Longsword is the uncommon one), it makes more sense for the Nodachi to just be the same thing for the Greatsword.


Vali Nepjarson wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm almost entirely certain the falchion became a 2h weapon because someone at WotC thought "A scimitar compares to a longsword by trading a die of damage for a higher crit range, we need something similarly analogous for the greatsword... what can I call that."

Since PF2 has neither "crit ranges" nor "3.5 compatibility" we could always fix this, but we'd need another word for "giant scimitar."

Kreigsmesser. The word they're looking for is Kriegsmesser.

Or just Messer. True, it's not as specific, since a Messer could also be a one-handed weapon, but it's at least more correct than Falchion.

breithauptclan wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm almost entirely certain the falchion became a 2h weapon because someone at WotC thought "A scimitar compares to a longsword by trading a die of damage for a higher crit range, we need something similarly analogous for the greatsword... what can I call that."

Since PF2 has neither "crit ranges" nor "3.5 compatibility" we could always fix this, but we'd need another word for "giant scimitar."

Nodachi?
Nodachi's are Japanese Greatswords. Since the Katana is an uncommon version of a Longsword (unless you're playing in a Japanese inspired location, in which case the Longsword is the uncommon one), it makes more sense for the Nodachi to just be the same thing for the Greatsword.

A Messer is just a knife. You use it to spread butter on bread. Unless it is a Jagdmesser, because then you use it primarily to cut sausages and bacon.


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Hythlodeus wrote:
A Messer is just a knife. You use it to spread butter on bread. Unless it is a Jagdmesser, because then you use it primarily to cut sausages and bacon.

Yeah it just means knife, but there's also a medieval weapon that was often simply called Messer. It was basically a falchion with a different style hilt. They were also called Grosse Messers (great knives) or Langes Messers (long knives) and there was a related two-handed weapon called a kriegsmesser (war knife). The one handed versions were popular with city-dwellers in the Holy Roman Empire. The two-handed kriegsmesser was a dedicated battlefield weapon. You can find the one-handed messers used in a lot of the earlier German combat texts.

Here is a plate on them in a 1467 manuscript from the fencing master Hans Talhoffer. It's got the text "Hie Facht an das Messer. Gott wöll vnnsr nit vergessen." Which I've seen translated different ways but is often something like "Here they fight with messers, my god remember them." Or "Here begins the messer. God, please don't forget us." I'm not sure how close this is to modern German, this was Early New High German. But those clearly aren't just any knives, but the term he used to describe them was simply messer. They're short, single bladed, often slightly curved, cutting swords. The name stems from the hilt construction which is more like a knife (full width tang with slabs riveted to the sides) than a sword (which in European style of the time had a thinner tang with the wooden grip that surrounds it and is held on with the pommel and wrapped in leather). That seems to have come from guild regulations at the time of who could make swords, and defining them by the hilt construction. So a loophole so knife makers can make swords without running afoul of the sword-maker's guilds which had a monopoly on swords. They seem to have been used in the German speaking regions instead of falchions, which had a similar blade style, but a more traditional 'sword' hilt construction.

The one other distinct thing about their hilt construction is that little prong (called a nagel, nail) sticking out of one side that helps with hand protection. Sometimes it's replaced with a side ring.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
A Messer is just a knife. You use it to spread butter on bread. Unless it is a Jagdmesser, because then you use it primarily to cut sausages and bacon.

Yeah it just means knife, but there's also a medieval weapon that was often simply called Messer. It was basically a falchion with a different style hilt. They were also called Grosse Messers (great knives) or Langes Messers (long knives) and there was a related two-handed weapon called a kriegsmesser (war knife). The one handed versions were popular with city-dwellers in the Holy Roman Empire. The two-handed kriegsmesser was a dedicated battlefield weapon. You can find the one-handed messers used in a lot of the earlier German combat texts.

Here is a plate on them in a 1467 manuscript from the fencing master Hans Talhoffer. It's got the text "Hie Facht an das Messer. Gott wöll vnnsr nit vergessen." Which I've seen translated different ways but is often something like "Here they fight with messers, my god remember them." Or "Here begins the messer. God, please don't forget us." I'm not sure how close this is to modern German, this was Early New High German. But those clearly aren't just any knives, but the term he used to describe them was simply messer. They're short, single bladed, often slightly curved, cutting swords. The name stems from the hilt construction which is more like a knife (full width tang with slabs riveted to the sides) than a sword (which in European style of the time had a thinner tang with the wooden grip that surrounds it and is held on with the pommel and wrapped in leather). That seems to have come from guild regulations at the time of who could make swords, and...

Well, I was going to say it, but you already did.

Kreigsmessers are one of my favorite sword types.


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The problem with weapon and shield classification is most cultures didn't really have multiples within a broad category. So you end up with a lot of somewhat different implements all named "sword"


The Sideromancer wrote:
The problem with weapon and shield classification is most cultures didn't really have multiples within a broad category. So you end up with a lot of somewhat different implements all named "sword"

Well, since almost none was actually called "sword" though, and either had a name in their own language, like Greek, Latin, French, German, etc or an actual name like rapier, sabre, and etc, you can always use that name IF a conflict appears.

I mean, sarrisa was a really long spear, using its actual Greek name instead of "long spear" (since long spear existed in the book already) solved that issue.

I'm pretty sure that if you printed a weapon called Krieggsmesser and put in the statblock of the falchion, it would be the same.


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I feel like it is worth doing some specific responses to these.

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1. Skill Feats:

Skill Feats are, taken as a whole, just not that great. I love them conceptually and a few are really good, but most are underwhelming.

I particularly think that having more that automatically upgrade with Proficiency ala Catfall would be an excellent idea. A Feat to get two bonus languages is mediocre at best, but one that gives that as a base and then escalating language proficiency as your society upgrades (with perhaps the effects of Legendary Linguist at Legendary) would be much better.

Non spellcasters should probably also have some advantage over spellcasters in terms of Skill Feats. Not as much as the Rogue, and a particularly skill-focused caster like the Bard might approximate it, but on average this should be a thing.

Agreed. I've done a pretty in-depth review on them, and many of them come up lacking. On martial/casters stuff, I largely agree.

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2. Bulk Numbers:

I have no issues with Bulk conceptually, but the actual numbers make basically no sense.

Bulk 8 for an unconscious person but a general rule of 10 lbs per Bulk at most results in the nonsensical fact that a 200 lb weight is at least 20 Bulk...unless you make it dead weight in which case it drops to 8, which is the opposite of how dead weight works.

Or Bulk 2 for a longbow (while a bo staff is only Bulk 1...as is a 10 foot pole). Or a dozen other examples. Really, the way it works just makes no sense, and needs fixing if Bulk is gonna be useful in the least.

Bulk as a measure of difficulty carrying things would be fine if it actually was that, but it isn't, with many things that are clearly easier to carry having higher Bulk than some that are more difficult.

The maximal amount people can carry should also probably be based on twice what encumbers them, not a +5, since that devalues Str (which is already a bit devalued, see #5 below).

I don't disagree with any of this, though I will note I haven't really run into problems with bulk in practice yet. The only thing I've really bumped up against is that sometimes strong characters can't carry as much as they should-- giant totem barbarians immediately had some issues, for example, because a large two handed weapon is 4 bulk.

By an large, bulk seems to work if you don't think too hard about it, and I think lots of players won't. On the other hand, I've played with folks who will, and nothing is lost by trying to make the system hold up under scrutiny a bit better.

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3. Identifying Monsters:

There is currently next to no guidance for what skill to use to identify monsters. This is terrible. It makes every GM have to decide on the fly, and every player have to read their GM's mind to pick the right skills for their concept. It's particularly bad in PFS or other settings with varying GMs.

Creature types still exist so this is easy to fix, but it needs fixing rather desperately.

This is another thing that hasn't really caused me a lot of problems in practice yet, but I think your point about varying GMs is well made. Again, something that is worth fixing.

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4. Skill Items and Benchmarks:

To some degree this is part of the math problem that they've said they're aware of and will fix, but only to some degree.

Right now, magical skill items utterly dominate the game at high levels and you need them for any skill you want to be good at. Decreasing DCs alone doesn't really change that, and so either the addition of generic mundane skill items ala PF1's 'masterwork tool' or the reduction of Skill Item bonuses are necessary.

Also, we need more Skill Benchmarks with the listed difficulty of various tasks so that GMs can properly judge how difficult doing X is. The current table is rather woefully inadequate. This should likely be accompanied by even more explicit directions regarding the fact that the DCs table is based on the level of the task, not the level of those attempting it. Because that needs to be stated even more clearly than it already is.

I agree with all this. I think replacing item bonuses with "feat bonuses" you get every time you take a skill feat might be a really elegant solution. It also creates room for items to have more interesting activated effects.

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5. Ability Inequalities:

Some Ability scores are flatly better than others (Dex, Con, and Wis at the moment, with Cha maybe fourth depending on how Resonance/Focus turns out). This is an issue and steps should be taken to improve Int and Str.

I'm a little at a loss on improving Intelligence, I admit, with the mediocre best I can come up with being having it give a bonus language per +1 Mod. With languages rarer that would be better in PF2 than it was in PF1. That particular one has issues, but something should certainly be done.

Strength I have a much better idea for. The Armor Check Penalty of most armors should be increased. I'd suggest it go up by 1 on Medium Armor and 2 on Heavy, with Light staying as-is, and then everyone gets to subtract Str from all Armor Check Penalties. I didn't come up with this one, but it's a great solution.

I feel like strength is in a weird position. It does boost damage a lot, which is nice. Also, bulk adds up REALLY fast right now, especially if you want to carry multiple weapons. On the other hand, strength doesn't add THAT much extra bulk capacity.

I think the ACP idea is cool, but I worry it is a little more complicated than is desirable.

One thing I've advocated for is removing the Multiple Attack Penalties from Combat Maneuvers. That would make Athletics, which is already a pretty good skill, substantially better. That would make strength better by extension, although I guess it doesn't make it more appealing to folks who didn't want strength or athletics in the first place.

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It's also quite unclear whether the bonus dice from Handwraps of Mighty Fists apply to the damage of animal forms, which is pretty relevant, and would be nice to clear up.

Here here.

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Paladins are looking better, but Retributive Strike for the LG still almost requires a Reach weapon, which is unfortunate. Something probably needs to be done about that.

I'm not entirely sure I agree with this. Yeah, a reach weapon is pretty good with Retributive Strike. But I think it might be in a similar boat as you describe ranged combat. There will be situations where that extra range of effect will provide an action advantage, but there will be plenty of situations where it doesn't. In exchange, the reach weapon deals less damage than other two handers and doesn't allow for a shield. Damage dice also matter more if you are going to be using Smite Evil.

Also, a 10 foot effective reach with a 1st level feat seems preeeetty good. (Almost too good; Ranged Reprisal could be the new Warded Touch.) I don't think there are many situations where 15 feet will be enough and 10 feet won't be, and even when that happens you still provide a substantial Resistance to your ally, which IMO may be enough of an advantage when combined with the other advantages non-reach weapons have.

If anything, I think the new Retributive Strike is more likely to have you miss out on some stuff regardless of reach. If I'm flanking a huge creature, my ally is probably more than 15 feet from me, so if the creature Strikes the ally I don't get a trigger.

Quote:
Most importantly, Ranger is still pretty weak as compared to things like Fighter or Barbarian. Losing Double Strike for Twin Takedown was a straight power down in terms of direct combat (at least pre-17th level), and nothing has really made up for it.

I think the Ranger should be weaker in combat than the Fighter or Barbarian. In exchange, it gets better saves and skills. Some of its class features are a little more niche than I'd like, and it still feels spread a little too thin for class feats if it wants to do Ranger stuff at the same time as being a competent combatant.

But I think if anything the solution is to give it more non-combat stuff for free. Giving it skill increases but not skill feats at the rate of the Rogue would be one solution. (Or vice versa.) Making the Stalker's edge a free part of Hunt Target would be another. Another example could be giving Monster Hunter for free, perhaps replacing Trackless Step. (Which seems like it could be a skill feat, or rolled into an existing skill feat.)

A more drastic solution would be something like my class path's proposal. Give every Ranger a choice of packages which enables their specific combat style for free, and then let them pick their remaining feats to get secondary combat styles or utility jawns like Snares or Wild Empathy.

I think doing any of these would improve the class while giving it a much more distinct identity rather than "mundane martial #3."

Quote:
Sorcerer is also...uneven. Some Spell Lists are better than others taken in a vacuum, and the Sorcerer takes them in a vacuum (more or less), meaning all Sorcerers should go Arcane to be optimal, which is a tad unfortunate.

Agreed, and I'll add powers need to be carefully examined as well. Spell lists being uneven can be rectified a little with bloodline spells-- Demonic is better than Angelic because it gets more Arcane spells on its list. But powers in general have some really weak entries. Which is true for more than just the sorcerer, to be honest.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

Ah! I remembered an additional issue (albeit a minor one):

12. Armor Proficiency:

Paladins and Fighters only get better than Trained in heavier armors. That's weird, counter-thematic for many builds, and serves no good mechanical purpose I can see. It should probably be changed.

Really, I see the problem as hardly anyone gets better with armor. Just as classes have skill increases, I think they should get Armor Increases and perhaps Weapon Increases. Ways to choose where to focus their training with Weapons and Armor.

We have a new proficiency system, but with the exception of skills we aren’t really given choices on what to improve.


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The issue with bow’s and strength made we think about another game where the strength limited what weapons one could use. Why not have damage dice of bows tied to the user’s strength?

Str 8 = max 1d4
Str 10 = max 1d6
Str 12 = max 1d6
Str 14 = max 1d8
Str 16 = max 1d8
Str 18 = max 1d10
Str 20 = max 1d10
Str 22 = max 1d12

Note the bow would have to be crafted for the higher streanth score. So if you have a Str 16 bow a higher score would not help you.

Could extend the rule to melee weapons as well. That way a 10 Str character would not be using a great sword.

These type rules are not new, but I do find them intuitive and simple to use.

Also, I believe bonus damage dice from magic should be a fixed size such as a d6. A potency rune on a great sword is the same as one as you find on a dagger, and both cost the same.

Liberty's Edge

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Captain Morgan wrote:
I feel like it is worth doing some specific responses to these.

Sure! I'll respond to those I feel like I should explain my reasoning on.

Captain Morgan wrote:

I don't disagree with any of this, though I will note I haven't really run into problems with bulk in practice yet. The only thing I've really bumped up against is that sometimes strong characters can't carry as much as they should-- giant totem barbarians immediately had some issues, for example, because a large two handed weapon is 4 bulk.

By an large, bulk seems to work if you don't think too hard about it, and I think lots of players won't. On the other hand, I've played with folks who will, and nothing is lost by trying to make the system hold up under scrutiny a bit better.

I've had it come up. The player who created a longbow user's reaction to it being higher Bulk than a bo staff or a 10 foot pole was less than pleased.

It also comes up whenever people want to lift something that's not listed.

Also, I'm exactly the sort of person who thinks hard about things like this...

Captain Morgan wrote:
This is another thing that hasn't really caused me a lot of problems in practice yet, but I think your point about varying GMs is well made. Again, something that is worth fixing.

This one actually hasn't caused problems for me either (after the first time trying to find where it said what skill it was to identify an oooze...the book has no answer), but only because I immediately stole the PF1 categories and used them with equivalent skills (so the Ooze wound up Occultism, though I also let someone use Nature if they wanted). That's workable in a single game, but not very friendly to new players and very susceptible to table variation to an unhealthy degree.

Captain Morgan wrote:

I feel like strength is in a weird position. It does boost damage a lot, which is nice. Also, bulk adds up REALLY fast right now, especially if you want to carry multiple weapons. On the other hand, strength doesn't add THAT much extra bulk capacity.

I think the ACP idea is cool, but I worry it is a little more complicated than is desirable.

That is a potential worry, but you already have to remember to reduce it by armor Quality. The version I propose is no more complex than that.

Captain Morgan wrote:
One thing I've advocated for is removing the Multiple Attack Penalties from Combat Maneuvers. That would make Athletics, which is already a pretty good skill, substantially better. That would make strength better by extension, although I guess it doesn't make it more appealing to folks who didn't want strength or athletics in the first place.

I'd strongly worry that might go too far into making maneuvers a 'must have'.

Captain Morgan wrote:
I'm not entirely sure I agree with this. Yeah, a reach weapon is pretty good with Retributive Strike. But I think it might be in a similar boat as you describe ranged combat. There will be situations where that extra range of effect will provide an action advantage, but there will be plenty of situations where it doesn't. In exchange, the reach weapon deals less damage than other two handers and doesn't allow for a shield. Damage dice also matter more if you are going to be using Smite Evil.

The issue is that I've literally never seen a Paladin successfully Retributive Strike when they didn't have Reach. Ranged Reprisal letting you move helps with this quite a bit (and makes Retributive Strike viable sans Reach, I freely admit), but the advantages of having a reach weapon remain huge, which is pretty counter-thematic in many ways.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Also, a 10 foot effective reach with a 1st level feat seems preeeetty good. (Almost too good; Ranged Reprisal could be the new Warded Touch.) I don't think there are many situations where 15 feet will be enough and 10 feet won't be, and even when that happens you still provide a substantial Resistance to your ally, which IMO may be enough of an advantage when combined with the other advantages non-reach weapons have.

Basically, I just think 15 feet will come up a fair bit more than you do. Maybe I'm wrong, I'd be pleased to be.

Captain Morgan wrote:
If anything, I think the new Retributive Strike is more likely to have you miss out on some stuff regardless of reach. If I'm flanking a huge creature, my ally is probably more than 15 feet from me, so if the creature Strikes the ally I don't get a trigger.

Sure, but you can get it on Large creatures while flanking with a Reach weapon...but not without one, and Large creatures are much more common than Huge ones. Versus Huge stuff you just have to not Flank, standing shoulder-to-shoulder instead.

Captain Morgan wrote:
I think the Ranger should be weaker in combat than the Fighter or Barbarian. In exchange, it gets better saves and skills. Some of its class features are a little more niche than I'd like, and it still feels spread a little too thin for class feats if it wants to do Ranger stuff at the same time as being a competent combatant.

The thing about that is that it basically doesn't get those advantages (ie: skills and saves). At the moment, Rangers, by default, get precisely one more Skill than Fighters or Barbarians and worse Saves than the Barbarian does.

I'd be fine with somewhat lower combat prowess if they delivered elsewhere to a sufficient degree (this is why Rogue is good, for example)...but at the moment Rangers don't actually deliver elsewhere very effectively. They have a handful of good skill-related Class Feats, but spending Class Feats on skill stuff feels weird when there are Skill Feats, and even there most of them aren't spectacular.

They do get better Perception, but it's not enough.

Captain Morgan wrote:
But I think if anything the solution is to give it more non-combat stuff for free. Giving it skill increases but not skill feats at the rate of the Rogue would be one solution. (Or vice versa.) Making the Stalker's edge a free part of Hunt Target would be another. Another example could be giving Monster Hunter for free, perhaps replacing Trackless Step. (Which seems like it could be a skill feat, or rolled into an existing skill feat.)

I'd be fine with some of this, but honestly, I doubt it's ever gonna be on par with Rogue for Skills, so it needs to be better than at least Rogue in combat...and I'm not at all sure it is right now, so some combat buffing seems needed.

Captain Morgan wrote:

A more drastic solution would be something like my class path's proposal. Give every Ranger a choice of packages which enables their specific combat style for free, and then let them pick their remaining feats to get secondary combat styles or utility jawns like Snares or Wild Empathy.

I think doing any of these would improve the class while giving it a much more distinct identity rather than "mundane martial #3."

That's fair. I wasn't really proposing a solution on the Ranger, just diagnosing the problem (which is that it seriously underperforms right now).

Captain Morgan wrote:
Agreed, and I'll add powers need to be carefully examined as well. Spell lists being uneven can be rectified a little with bloodline spells-- Demonic is better than Angelic because it gets more Arcane spells on its list. But powers in general have some really weak entries. Which is true for more than just the sorcerer, to be honest.

Yeah, the more I think about it the more it feels like Sorcerer in general is just weaker than it should be and in need of a fairly serious power up. Cleric, Channel Energy aside, is kinda in the same boat.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

The issue is that I've literally never seen a Paladin successfully Retributive Strike when they didn't have Reach. Ranged Reprisal letting you move helps with this quite a bit (and makes Retributive Strike viable sans Reach, I freely admit), but the advantages of having a reach weapon remain huge, which is pretty counter-thematic in many ways.

I've found that retributive strike occurred by far the most often in a flanking situation. In particular, of the two groups I'm running through the play test, the paladin and rogue tend to often be in a setup that puts retributive strike into use as the paladin takes the front and the rogue slips in behind to get their flanking. One we got a bit higher, pairing retributive strike with opportunity attack meant creatures, especially small or medium ones, had to use way to many actions to avoid one of those hits, and would go for the paladin instead of the rogue.

This is a bit counter intuitive as you don't want to stand beside the person you're trying to protect, but rather need to work with them.

Deadmanwalking wrote:


The thing about that is that it basically doesn't get those advantages (ie: skills and saves). At the moment, Rangers, by default, get precisely one more Skill than Fighters or Barbarians and worse Saves than the Barbarian does.

I'd be fine with somewhat lower combat prowess if they delivered elsewhere to a sufficient degree (this is why Rogue is good, for example)...but at the moment Rangers don't actually deliver elsewhere very effectively. They have a handful of good skill-related Class Feats, but spending Class Feats on skill stuff feels weird when there are Skill Feats, and even there most of them aren't spectacular.

They do get better Perception, but it's not enough.

I'd like to see some more circumstantial combat power on the ranger. One idea I really like is that rangers could deal double the damage from hitting a weakness on their hunted target.

This would make rangers particularly good when prepared, kind of like favoured enemy but less restrictive.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Yeah, the more I think about it the more it feels like Sorcerer in general is just weaker than it should be and in need of a fairly serious power up. Cleric, Channel Energy aside, is kinda in the same boat.

I'd really like to see sorcerer's double down on their powers, as that's really all that defines them right now.

One way would be to remove the spell slots entirely, but not repertoire, and have them cast solely from spell points as powers. This would differentiate them from whatever spell caster their list borrows from, as they have many less total casts, but are always casting at full power.


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shroudb wrote:
just don't turn the ranged weapons to be as powerful as they were in pf1 where they dominated the melee options.

As someone whose primary character is an Archery Ranger, I would accept this outcome as being better for the game. I have to concede that the amount of damage I can do (and I'm not even optimizes for damage) at range in PF1, seems unfair given how much risk I avoid by staying out of melee. Granted, PF2 is going to bring more heat on account of no general AoO's, but I can accept that ranged should do less damage if the risk is less.

Quote:
as an example, i'm fine with volley dissapearing and shortbow being made agile instead, but i don't think that making propulsion scale fully on top of that is a good thing.

I completely agree with this.

Despite the loss of damage, I actually think PF2's compelling use of the shortbow is more consistent with fiction (though I can't speak for real life). The shortbow seems more appropriate for someone who will be fighting indoors or underground as well as above ground.

I am also in favor of giving the shortbow the agile property, though I suspect it may result in too much damage. I strongly disagree with giving the composite bow full STR bonus because it allows non-archers to do damage that rivals or exceeds an archer's on the basis of STR alone. Melee based Fighters shouldn't get to double-dip their STR for both ranged and melee, outside of thrown weapons. 1/2 STR seems more than fair.


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N N 959 wrote:
shroudb wrote:
just don't turn the ranged weapons to be as powerful as they were in pf1 where they dominated the melee options.

As someone whose primary character is an Archery Ranger, I would accept this outcome as being better for the game. I have to concede that the amount of damage I can do (and I'm not even optimizes for damage) at range in PF1, seems unfair given how much risk I avoid by staying out of melee. Granted, PF2 is going to bring more heat on account of no general AoO's, but I can accept that ranged should do less damage if the risk is less.

Quote:
as an example, i'm fine with volley dissapearing and shortbow being made agile instead, but i don't think that making propulsion scale fully on top of that is a good thing.

I completely agree with this.

Despite the loss of damage, I actually think PF2's compelling use of the shortbow is more consistent with fiction (though I can't speak for real life). The shortbow seems more appropriate for someone who will be fighting indoors or underground as well as above ground.

I am also in favor of giving the shortbow the agile property, though I suspect it may result in too much damage. I strongly disagree with giving the composite bow full STR bonus because it allows non-archers to do damage that rivals or exceeds an archer's on the basis of STR alone. Melee based Fighters shouldn't get to double-dip their STR for both ranged and melee, outside of thrown weapons. 1/2 STR seems more than fair.

I always believe that logic should trump game mechanics. composite bows do more damage based on your strength, the more pull the bow, the faster it travels the more damage it inflicts. making the laws of physics operate in non-sensical ways undermines the credibility of the game.


ikarinokami wrote:
I always believe that logic should trump game mechanics. composite bows do more damage based on your strength, the more pull the bow, the faster it travels the more damage it inflicts. making the laws of physics operate in non-sensical ways undermines the credibility of the game.

Nothing I've posted threatens the laws of physics.


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ikarinokami wrote:
I always believe that logic should trump game mechanics. composite bows do more damage based on your strength, the more pull the bow, the faster it travels the more damage it inflicts. making the laws of physics operate in non-sensical ways undermines the credibility of the game.

I don't think logic and game mechanics are in much conflict when it comes to changing bows, whereas the volley thing on longbows right now does strain credibility significantly.

That said, game mechanics tend to trump logic simply because it doesn't matter how strong the logic is if it doesn't work in the game. You can choose logic over mechanics when you have a "good enough" mechanic and don't want to contort logic to get a better one. But a bad mechanic is bad and makes a bad game no matter how much logical sense it makes.


The Once and Future Kai wrote:
TwoWolves wrote:
Regarding the Duration of Shapeshifting, it's an easy fix: Make the duration in hours UNTIL you make an attack, at which time the remaining hours convert to rounds/minutes.
I think they could leave it hours unless they plan to add Natural Spell. Shapeshifted Druids without spellcasting are hardly broken.

True but I don't like roleplaying effect of a player not being able to talk. Fun for a session but a game killer there after.


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DMW: I have been dabbling with removing MAP from combat maneuvers in my converted AP, and it has been working pretty well so far. It helps that most of them don't inflict a debuff worse than a flank offers.

I'd like to expand on one of your problems as well: I really think we need more guidance on identifying magic. The four traditions are really cool, but there's precious little guidance on whether you can use the 4 interchangeably to identify any given magic item. Arcane's description is currently the only thing calls out identifying items outside of the "identify magic" action, so I've been treating arcana as the thing that can be used for all items, and the others only if they have the appropriate tag-- occult, divine, or nature. (Or SHOULD have the tag. The Mentalist staff not having Occult is weird.)

This seems like a fair point that is supported by RAW and allows for Arcana (and by extension Intelligence) to have a tangible reason to take over the more broadly functional Nature, for example. Even Relgion benefits from being tied to Wisdom. This does leave occult out in the rain though. To compensate, if an item has the appropriate tradition tag I would have that skill work at a lower DC than Arcana uses.

However, I have no idea if this is RAI. Tradition traits seem exceedingly rare for magic items. Religion says "you also understand how magic works, though your training gives you a religious slant to that knowledge."

Like monster ID'ing, this shouldn't be hard to fix, but it needs fixing.

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