An odd implication of dwarf changes - they are no longer known for their heavy infantry.


General Discussion


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Since Dwarves are no longer innately unburdened by heavy armor, and it is now a learned ability this creates a paradigm shift in their fluff. Humans and other medium size creatures aren't slowed to the point of pointlessness making heavy armor and thus heavy infantry a valid tactic for their armies. Dwarves on the other hand need to take the learned ability to reduce the speed penalty otherwise heavy armor's penalties are too great. This means that Dwarves in heavy armor have to be more trained than their counterparts from other species. More training means higher rarity. This means the paradigm of heavily armored line infantry is no longer a thing that makes sense for Dwarves. They would instead be a species known for fielding lightly armored foot troops.

Has anybody else noticed any fluff changes necessitated by the rules changes?


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Not only that but "I am functional in heavy armor" is for some reason genetic and therefore mutually exclusive with "I am hard to poison" and "I am magic resistant" and "I live in the desert."


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Not only that but "I am functional in heavy armor" is for some reason genetic and therefore mutually exclusive with "I am hard to poison" and "I am magic resistant" and "I live in the desert."

To be fair, heavy armour and living in the desert are pretty incompatible.


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Elves are the most effective heavy armour infantry.


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Aren't Elves now THE premier Heavy Armor (or Encumbered speed) race/ancestry? And that is just generic Elf thing, not specific-Heritage-dependent.

I don't understand where this trope is coming from in first place, AFAIK "fast elves" was a "Dark Sun" thing. It's not particularly tied to "nimble Elves" trope, which is better expressed by ignoring X squares of difficult terrain per round, and with restriction of not being encumbered by load or armor (i.e. not negating those penalties). The Elven trope has always been light armor, not heavy armor, never mind speed with bulk encumberance... So I don't know where this idea came from.

Personally, I think the other Small races should have same speed as Dwarves, and Elves don't need built in Speed advantage. Shift to 25' norm already reduced discrepancy of Slows vs Normals, so mere 20' speed should not be problem and cutting down top end expectations (Elves) returns things to acceptable discrepancy in PC speeds. I feel like the current rules have removed too much of mechanical distinction of Small size, which I don't understand especially in light of Dwarves keeping the Slow speed. If it's OK for Dwarves, why not for Halflings/Gnomes/Goblins? Or conversely, why not just give Dwarves the standard 25' speed? If it's desired for some Smalls/Elves to have specific "fast" Heritage, that should almost certainly NOT apply in Heavy (or Med?) Armor or while Encumbered, and should be exclusive Heritage/Feat choice.

All that said, I think the elephant in room with Unburdened discussion is the removal of scaling of armor/load speed penalty to base speed, parallel with move to 25' norm and escalating penalties for Heavy vs Medium Armor (ironic, given reduction in Encumbrance granularity), of course with de facto minimum game unit of 5' square. IMHO base-speed penalty scaling should return, but in the form of Medium Armor having same 5' reduction for 20'/25' speed but Heavy having 10' reduction ONLY for 25'+ base speed... In other words, the new concept of Heavy Armor being more speed-penalizing than Medium NOT apply to Slow/20' speed characters, acknowledging the math that while 25 norm reduces disparity to 20 speed (25% vs 50% of 30:20), a -10 universal penalty for Heavy Armor (or Encumbered) INCREASES that disparity (15:10 i.e. 50% vs old 20:15 i.e. 33%) exactly at point where the gross numbers are closely approaching the minimum 5' unit (10' speed for non-Unburdened Dwarf/SlowRace in Heavy Armor).

Moving to updated base-speed-scaled speed reduction, where Slow 20' races aren't slowed more in Heavy than in Medium, while Normal/Fast 25'+ races are, changes the debate somewhat. It makes Unburdened less "necessary" for Dwarves (or Small/Slow races with no dream of having Unburdened) while leaving it as decent choice for Heritage option. That alone would still allow Fast Elves to *equal* Dwarves in Heavy Armor/Load, which IMHO is inappropriate even as Elven Heritage option, simply because (aside from trope concerns) a narrower/conditional penalty reduction (on top lower base) should have SOME regime where it is superior to universal flat bonus. Double-stacking Unburdened to both Armor & Encumbrance potentially offers narrow superiority scenario, but that is so narrow to be irrelevant IMHO. Better is CONDITIONING Elven speed bonus, to only working in Light Armor (or at most Medium... perhaps 1 less than heaviest proficiency type?) and not Encumbered? That would be more consistent with traditional Elven trope, while strengthening niche of traditional Dwarven trope. Non-Unburdened Dwarves (/Smalls/Slows) would be viable, while Unburdened Heritage Dwarves would have fair value for their Heritage/Feat. If it is an exclusive Heritage option, I think Unburdened could use a bit more improvement still... A flat bonus to Bulk capacity would be fair and thematic approach to Encumbrance, while still not touching Armor Check Penalty.


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To be fair, armor check penalty and armor speed penalty are also too severe. I'm inclined to believe none of the writers have ever even tried actually wearing heavy armor. Sure, it's a bit restrictive, but not to the crazy extents we see in the table, especially for someone trained in wearing it.

Heavy armor should only reduce speed by 5, not 10, while medium armor shouldn't reduce speed at all. ACP should top out at -2 for medium armor and -3 for heavy armor at worst. And armor should get positive traits too, like we see on weapons.


IRL, Western countries have the highest rates of obesity in the world, yet also have some of the best trained military units in the world. A nation can be known for its military prowess, without every man, woman, and child in it being equally capable of fighting in a military campaign.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

To be fair, armor check penalty and armor speed penalty are also too severe. I'm inclined to believe none of the writers have ever even tried actually wearing heavy armor. Sure, it's a bit restrictive, but not to the crazy extents we see in the table, especially for someone trained in wearing it.

Heavy armor should only reduce speed by 5, not 10, while medium armor shouldn't reduce speed at all. ACP should top out at -2 for medium armor and -3 for heavy armor at worst. And armor should get positive traits too, like we see on weapons.

I still like the idea of reducing ACP by your strength modifier. Sure, plate armor might not be that restricting for physically fit soldiers, but it probably would be for the party wizard.


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Frozen Yakman wrote:

Since Dwarves are no longer innately unburdened by heavy armor, and it is now a learned ability this creates a paradigm shift in their fluff. Humans and other medium size creatures aren't slowed to the point of pointlessness making heavy armor and thus heavy infantry a valid tactic for their armies. Dwarves on the other hand need to take the learned ability to reduce the speed penalty otherwise heavy armor's penalties are too great. This means that Dwarves in heavy armor have to be more trained than their counterparts from other species. More training means higher rarity. This means the paradigm of heavily armored line infantry is no longer a thing that makes sense for Dwarves. They would instead be a species known for fielding lightly armored foot troops.

Has anybody else noticed any fluff changes necessitated by the rules changes?

Your ancestors fought in ancient wars, generations after

generations adapting to wearing massive suits of armor. If your
Speed would be reduced by armor you wear or the encumbered
condition, you ignore 5 feet of that reduction.

It is not a learned thing. It is genetic. Heritages are all supposed to be, which is why you only get one of them at 1st level and can't take more later.

Quote:
Not only that but "I am functional in heavy armor" is for some reason genetic and therefore mutually exclusive with "I am hard to poison" and "I am magic resistant" and "I live in the desert."

Now this is actually a valid point, as "resistance to magic," "resistant to poison," and "I can move better in armor" don't seem mutually exclusive. (As mentioned, it's quite plausible that heavy armor and desert living wouldn't be compatible.)

But I think it's probably hard to avoid this happening in any system where you allow people to trade racial options. You could cherry pick tons of examples out of PF1 of "If you are (insert alternate racial trait) you can't be (insert racial trait it replaces.)"

I think in the case of the dwarf it stings more because we are used to dwarves having 3 of the 4 heritages by default. IMO, Unburdened and Strongheart could probably be made back into Ancestry feats. Which would then move Unburdened further towards being a "learned" thing, but just because something needs to be learned doesn't mean you can't have a genetic knack for it. Like, dwarf bodies might adapt better to heavy armor, but you still need to adjust to it.


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My preference would be to make unburdened actually a "trained" thing so it is just a regular ancestry feat and not a heritage. Like in real life people can just learn how to carry more stuff via experience. Like those Luo women who carry 70% of their bodyweight on their heads learn how to do that; they aren't born with special necks.

Dark Archive

Quandary wrote:

Aren't Elves now THE premier Heavy Armor (or Encumbered speed) race/ancestry? And that is just generic Elf thing, not specific-Heritage-dependent.

I don't understand where this trope is coming from in first place, AFAIK "fast elves" was a "Dark Sun" thing. It's not particularly tied to "nimble Elves" trope, which is better expressed by ignoring X squares of difficult terrain per round, and with restriction of not being encumbered by load or armor (i.e. not negating those penalties). The Elven trope has always been light armor, not heavy armor, never mind speed with bulk encumberance... So I don't know where this idea came from.

Personally, I think the other Small races should have same speed as Dwarves, and Elves don't need built in Speed advantage. Shift to 25' norm already reduced discrepancy of Slows vs Normals, so mere 20' speed should not be problem and cutting down top end expectations (Elves) returns things to acceptable discrepancy in PC speeds. I feel like the current rules have removed too much of mechanical distinction of Small size, which I don't understand especially in light of Dwarves keeping the Slow speed. If it's OK for Dwarves, why not for Halflings/Gnomes/Goblins? Or conversely, why not just give Dwarves the standard 25' speed? If it's desired for some Smalls/Elves to have specific "fast" Heritage, that should almost certainly NOT apply in Heavy (or Med?) Armor or while Encumbered, and should be exclusive Heritage/Feat choice.

All that said, I think the elephant in room with Unburdened discussion is the removal of scaling of armor/load speed penalty to base speed, parallel with move to 25' norm and escalating penalties for Heavy vs Medium Armor (ironic, given reduction in Encumbrance granularity), of course with de facto minimum game unit of 5' square. IMHO base-speed penalty scaling should return, but in the form of Medium Armor having same 5' reduction for 20'/25' speed but Heavy having 10' reduction ONLY for 25'+ base speed... In other words, the new concept of Heavy Armor...

I agree that elves should not be the premier race for heavy armor, but the fast elf trope has been around since LOTR.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
My preference would be to make unburdened actually a "trained" thing so it is just a regular ancestry feat and not a heritage. Like in real life people can just learn how to carry more stuff via experience. Like those Luo women who carry 70% of their bodyweight on their heads learn how to do that; they aren't born with special necks.

Even if it were, Dwarven heavy infantry would be rarer than the other races since it still would require more training than them.


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On the idea of heritages not seeming mutually exclusive, I wonder if it would break anything to allow layers to choose two heritages at 1st level instead of one heritage and one feat.


What if there were no speed penalty for wearing armor, but medium and heavy armor wearers required a second move in a round to cost 2 actions.


Frozen Yakman wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
My preference would be to make unburdened actually a "trained" thing so it is just a regular ancestry feat and not a heritage. Like in real life people can just learn how to carry more stuff via experience. Like those Luo women who carry 70% of their bodyweight on their heads learn how to do that; they aren't born with special necks.
Even if it were, Dwarven heavy infantry would be rarer than the other races since it still would require more training than them.

Dwarven heavy infantry doesn't require "more training." Most ancestries don't even have the option of avoiding a speed penalty for armor. Dwarves currently get it as a genetic thing available to significant fraction of their population. For whatever chunk of the dwarf population is born with Unburdened, wearing medium/heavy armor is going to be the default strategy.

Even if it became an ancestry feat, there'd still be more dwarves incentivized to take heavier armors. Most races lose speed for wearing medium. Dwarves who spend a little time adjusting to their armor lose nothing. (Adjusting like they would in basic training for soldiers, for example.) A human's options are wear medium armor and be slower OR move at their full speed in light. A dwarf can move at full speed in medium armor or move at full speed in light. (Substitute heavy with a 10 foot and 5 foot reduction in speed, respectively, and you get the same idea.)

Ergo, dwarves have more reason to wear heavy armor than other ancestries.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
Frozen Yakman wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
My preference would be to make unburdened actually a "trained" thing so it is just a regular ancestry feat and not a heritage. Like in real life people can just learn how to carry more stuff via experience. Like those Luo women who carry 70% of their bodyweight on their heads learn how to do that; they aren't born with special necks.
Even if it were, Dwarven heavy infantry would be rarer than the other races since it still would require more training than them.

Dwarven heavy infantry doesn't require "more training." Most ancestries don't even have the option of avoiding a speed penalty for armor. Dwarves currently get it as a genetic thing available to significant fraction of their population. For whatever chunk of the dwarf population is born with Unburdened, wearing medium/heavy armor is going to be the default strategy.

Even if it became an ancestry feat, there'd still be more dwarves incentivized to take heavier armors. Most races lose speed for wearing medium. Dwarves who spend a little time adjusting to their armor lose nothing. (Adjusting like they would in basic training for soldiers, for example.) A human's options are wear medium armor and be slower OR move at their full speed in light. A dwarf can move at full speed in medium armor or move at full speed in light. (Substitute heavy with a 10 foot and 5 foot reduction in speed, respectively, and you get the same idea.)

Ergo, dwarves have more reason to wear heavy armor than other ancestries.

Accept that a dwarf in heavy armor is slow to the point of utter tactical uselessness without the feature. Even the most incompetent general would just out-maneuver them. Other species don't have this problem.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Not only that but "I am functional in heavy armor" is for some reason genetic and therefore mutually exclusive with "I am hard to poison" and "I am magic resistant" and "I live in the desert."

I find it extremly unrealistic that dwarf are the only race woth 20 speed.

Secondly that Dwarf in Heavy armor is not possible make it even more unrealistic since Dward should be able to wear Heavy armor without massive speed penaly.

I suggest all Dwarf get 25 speed as well as 5 feet less armor speed penalty.


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Maybe Paizo is just going a different direction, Heavy Dwarfs in fact eventually losing their movement speed completely, fusing with their armor so they can't remove it, they are just Demi-Human Pillboxes or Fortresses. They have allies move them into position for battle, and just fight from where they are placed. They actually look down at the "legged" species constantly moving around as if they are unsure where they want to be, uncomfortable with staying in the same space and fighting to defend it. /s


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worg64 wrote:
I suggest all Dwarf get 25 speed as well as 5 feet less armor speed penalty.

It really does not make sense to me why gnomes and halflings are faster than dwarves anyway. Like I understand "shorter legs means you cover less than ground" but dwarves have longer legs than those two and yet are slower for some reason.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Frozen Yakman wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
My preference would be to make unburdened actually a "trained" thing so it is just a regular ancestry feat and not a heritage. Like in real life people can just learn how to carry more stuff via experience. Like those Luo women who carry 70% of their bodyweight on their heads learn how to do that; they aren't born with special necks.
Even if it were, Dwarven heavy infantry would be rarer than the other races since it still would require more training than them.

Dwarven heavy infantry doesn't require "more training." Most ancestries don't even have the option of avoiding a speed penalty for armor. Dwarves currently get it as a genetic thing available to significant fraction of their population. For whatever chunk of the dwarf population is born with Unburdened, wearing medium/heavy armor is going to be the default strategy.

Even if it became an ancestry feat, there'd still be more dwarves incentivized to take heavier armors. Most races lose speed for wearing medium. Dwarves who spend a little time adjusting to their armor lose nothing. (Adjusting like they would in basic training for soldiers, for example.) A human's options are wear medium armor and be slower OR move at their full speed in light. A dwarf can move at full speed in medium armor or move at full speed in light. (Substitute heavy with a 10 foot and 5 foot reduction in speed, respectively, and you get the same idea.)

Ergo, dwarves have more reason to wear heavy armor than other ancestries.

Dwarves with this feature in Medium or Heavy Armor are in the exact same place any other Ancestry is in Medium or Heavy Armor. Hardly a huge advantage, though I guess it is better than their default 5 feet slower than anyone else in Light Armor, regardless of whether they have this feature or not. Without the feature though, they're just flat 5 feet slower in every armor, making it kind of surprising that 4/5ths (or whatever distribution if we don't assume equal distribution of Heritages) of Dwarves survived their first hostile encounter with another culture.


Frozen Yakman wrote:


Accept that a dwarf in heavy armor is slow to the point of utter tactical uselessness without the feature. Even the most incompetent general would just out-maneuver them. Other species don't have this problem.

this quote somehow reminds me of the game Thud . I agree it is hard to win, playing the Troll side, but not impossible


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Shinigami02 wrote:
Dwarves with this feature in Medium or Heavy Armor are in the exact same place any other Ancestry is in Medium or Heavy Armor. Hardly a huge advantage, though I guess it is better than their default 5 feet slower than anyone else in Light Armor, regardless of whether they have this feature or not.

^ Yeah, and that kind of "penalty, that you can partially buy-off if you want" makes sense if it is balancing an otherwise strong package of abilities. Which Dwarves used to have. But now, all they really have is Darkvision, and manifestations of old ability package are exclusive with Unburdened. I didn't want to side-track too much away from movement/armor issue (which isn't inherently exclusive to Dwarves, although it currently is in Core), but I have to question that dynamic.

If Darkvision being powerful is the crux of this, then I think it's reasonable to have LLV be the base-line and real DV require Feat or Heritage, more like Half-Orc does now. Or, I don't know, return to limiting DV range, if the new version is so powerful that is forces such a restrictive ability approach for the only Core race with DV built in. I don't think there's much controversy stating Dwarves in 1E were the most powerful core race, and parity with other core races is appropriate. That doesn't automatically justify the current state of affairs though.

Over-all, it simply amazes me how it was ever seen as plausible for Unburdened (conditional partial penalty negation) to be exclusive Heritage, yet speed boosts for Smalls and Elves were just baked it, not even made Heritage options. That's just ass-backwards. It seems plausible that Heritage-dedication would allow for actual Heavy Armor superiority for Dwarves. Fast Elf Heritage plausibly could allow conditional superiority, albeit allowing it to achieve that in Heavy Armor seems dubious, it should probably be Light/Medium at most (this also facilitates Dwarven Unburdened being Heavy Armor superior with least amount of penalty negation or bonuses). Heavy Armor should be viable without Unburdened, even if it is good choice if you plane on wearing Heavy Armor, which means addressing base speed/armor rules.

I do think there can be more granularity in racial ability buys. Like 3 points, with some powerful abilities being 2 points. But you would still have margin to grab other weak ability, allowing more diversity in characters who have "Powerful Racial Ability X", and a broader "arsenal" for those uninterested in grabbing "the most powerful" options... With potential Feats granting 2 Heritage points like 1stEd Feat granting 2 Traits. People don't like being forced to choose only 1 of multiple things they like, but allowing plurality of choices while ensuring "moderation" seems workable.

Over-all, I think the game should just be honest and drop the Small/Medium conceptual distinction. They have just removed too much rules distinction for the concept to have general relevance anymore. Give the small races their own specific Bulks for character's own weight, Slow speed default, etc, but that doesn't need Small size to overtly exist. I would argue for bringing back more Size dependent mechanics/stats, but that is lost cause, so if this is direction then just simplify the system and don't retain Size categories which don't mean much anymore.


Frozen Yakman wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Frozen Yakman wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
My preference would be to make unburdened actually a "trained" thing so it is just a regular ancestry feat and not a heritage. Like in real life people can just learn how to carry more stuff via experience. Like those Luo women who carry 70% of their bodyweight on their heads learn how to do that; they aren't born with special necks.
Even if it were, Dwarven heavy infantry would be rarer than the other races since it still would require more training than them.

Dwarven heavy infantry doesn't require "more training." Most ancestries don't even have the option of avoiding a speed penalty for armor. Dwarves currently get it as a genetic thing available to significant fraction of their population. For whatever chunk of the dwarf population is born with Unburdened, wearing medium/heavy armor is going to be the default strategy.

Even if it became an ancestry feat, there'd still be more dwarves incentivized to take heavier armors. Most races lose speed for wearing medium. Dwarves who spend a little time adjusting to their armor lose nothing. (Adjusting like they would in basic training for soldiers, for example.) A human's options are wear medium armor and be slower OR move at their full speed in light. A dwarf can move at full speed in medium armor or move at full speed in light. (Substitute heavy with a 10 foot and 5 foot reduction in speed, respectively, and you get the same idea.)

Ergo, dwarves have more reason to wear heavy armor than other ancestries.

Accept that a dwarf in heavy armor is slow to the point of utter tactical uselessness without the feature. Even the most incompetent general would just out-maneuver them. Other species don't have this problem.

Dwarven heavy infantry have this heritage though. That's why their bodies adapted.

Shinigami: Yes, unburdoned doesn't make them superior to other Ancestries in heavy armor. But it makes them superior to dwarves in light armor. Which completely shoots the premise of this thread.

Look, I'm not saying I like dwarves are at balance wise. But let's not pretend this suddenly changes the narrative.

(Also, by the time dwarves encountered any of the other core Ancestries, they'd been an underground civilization for however many hundreds of years that specializes in mining and crafting. They probably had adapted to heavy armor long before they ever saw a human.)


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But like everyone else, they're better off going dex and sticking with light armor. Heavy armor is innately an inferior option (bigger penalties) AND slower. Even dwarves in light armor are superior.


Voss, but with Unburdened, Martial Dwarves are better in Medium Armor than Light Armor, which is a Good thing. They should definitely be brought up to at least the speed of Gnomes and Halflings in my opinion (and they are a Medium Race, Unburdened and 20ft speed was always an attempt to put them in the middle between Medium & Small). >.>


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Put me in the camp where dwarves should have their base speed raised to 25. They know how to move at their size.

Ever since the game moved (in 3E) towards gridded tactics, greatly reduced maneuverability has been very punative. Setting dwarves apart from the others as being much worse at getting around in combat, for a race that's supposed to be noted as determined, implacable warriors, seems unjustified and unbalanced.

I'd much prefer to see them being better at dealing with heavier armors because of a background that often speaks of the deep mountain forges producing plate wearing combatants, than what we have now.

As an aside, I don't mind some of the restrictive nature that comes with heavy armor - there should still be a place for the non-DEX-heavy fighter type. I think the bigger problem is that there's less defensive benefits to wearing them (AC gains seem low with the heavier, slower, more encumbering armors). When Studded Leather is AC 2, losing 10 points of speed, adding 3 bulk, losing 4 max dex, penalizing skills by 4 more points, just to gain 4 points of AC (in Full Plate) seems like too much loss for too little gain.


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If Dwarves are going to have the slowest base move speed in the game, then they need to be not slowed down by armor as an automatic feature. Not something you have to buy. It has to be baked in.

Anything else is simply punitive, given how important tactical movement is. Dwarves that are moving at 20 in no armor and also in heavy armor is at least flavorful, but Dwarves that move at 20 in no armor and 10 in heavy armor is just "oh hell no".


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Frozen Yakman wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
My preference would be to make unburdened actually a "trained" thing so it is just a regular ancestry feat and not a heritage. Like in real life people can just learn how to carry more stuff via experience. Like those Luo women who carry 70% of their bodyweight on their heads learn how to do that; they aren't born with special necks.
Even if it were, Dwarven heavy infantry would be rarer than the other races since it still would require more training than them.

Dwarven heavy infantry doesn't require "more training." Most ancestries don't even have the option of avoiding a speed penalty for armor. Dwarves currently get it as a genetic thing available to significant fraction of their population. For whatever chunk of the dwarf population is born with Unburdened, wearing medium/heavy armor is going to be the default strategy.

Even if it became an ancestry feat, there'd still be more dwarves incentivized to take heavier armors. Most races lose speed for wearing medium. Dwarves who spend a little time adjusting to their armor lose nothing. (Adjusting like they would in basic training for soldiers, for example.) A human's options are wear medium armor and be slower OR move at their full speed in light. A dwarf can move at full speed in medium armor or move at full speed in light. (Substitute heavy with a 10 foot and 5 foot reduction in speed, respectively, and you get the same idea.)

Ergo, dwarves have more reason to wear heavy armor than other ancestries.

thats simply not true.

all elves by default are better at wearing heavy armor than all dwarves.

the best of the best trained dwarves with extra training in getting fleet, just match up to the elven farmer.

to compare:
base dwarf vs base elf: 10 speed vs 20 speed
unburdened dwarf vs base elf: 15 vs 20 speed

simply put, when if heavy armor,
dwarves have: 10/15/20 speed
elves have: 20/25/30

lets not use elves which are by default better at all stages.
lets use humans:
15/20 speed vs 10/15/20

furthermore, they can start with 20 from level 1!

so, better with less investment

it really is terribly sad.


Did I miss an Ancestry update where gnomes got 25 ft. speed?

Either are all Small PC races (and dwarves) should get 20 ft. speed, or none of them.


Vic Ferrari wrote:

Did I miss an Ancestry update where gnomes got 25 ft. speed?

Either are all Small PC races (and dwarves) should get 20 ft. speed, or none of them.

It was 1.4 update to present.


shroudb wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Frozen Yakman wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
My preference would be to make unburdened actually a "trained" thing so it is just a regular ancestry feat and not a heritage. Like in real life people can just learn how to carry more stuff via experience. Like those Luo women who carry 70% of their bodyweight on their heads learn how to do that; they aren't born with special necks.
Even if it were, Dwarven heavy infantry would be rarer than the other races since it still would require more training than them.

Dwarven heavy infantry doesn't require "more training." Most ancestries don't even have the option of avoiding a speed penalty for armor. Dwarves currently get it as a genetic thing available to significant fraction of their population. For whatever chunk of the dwarf population is born with Unburdened, wearing medium/heavy armor is going to be the default strategy.

Even if it became an ancestry feat, there'd still be more dwarves incentivized to take heavier armors. Most races lose speed for wearing medium. Dwarves who spend a little time adjusting to their armor lose nothing. (Adjusting like they would in basic training for soldiers, for example.) A human's options are wear medium armor and be slower OR move at their full speed in light. A dwarf can move at full speed in medium armor or move at full speed in light. (Substitute heavy with a 10 foot and 5 foot reduction in speed, respectively, and you get the same idea.)

Ergo, dwarves have more reason to wear heavy armor than other ancestries.

thats simply not true.

all elves by default are better at wearing heavy armor than all dwarves.

the best of the best trained dwarves with extra training in getting fleet, just match up to the elven farmer.

to compare:
base dwarf vs base elf: 10 speed vs 20 speed
unburdened dwarf vs base elf: 15 vs 20 speed

simply put, when if heavy armor,
dwarves have: 10/15/20 speed
elves have: 20/25/30

lets not use elves which are by...

An elf actually makes a meaningful sacrifice by wearing heavier armor though. They lose 5 feet for medium, and 10 feet for heavy. This makes wearing heavier armor less appealing for elves. It doesn't matter that they are faster than dwarves in armor. A dwarf sacrifices less.

Like, the argument you are making is that elves are just better than dwarves in any armor. Which is probably true. But that doesn't mean an elf actually wants to wear heavy armor compared to other elves.

If we assume mobility is the ultimate metric of combat effectiveness, than the elf doesn't actually want to wear medium or heavy armor. Being better at it than a dwarf doesn't make it an upgrade to elves. Even if dwarves are worse across the board than elves, they lose nothing from medium armor and lose less from heavy.

Relative values between Ancestries is frankly irrelevant to determine how one ancestry behaves in narrative. What matters much more is how that ancestry best leverages its strengths and mitigates its weaknesses. Dwarves will never be as fast as elves as currently written. They want to instead be the best mix of fast and durable they can be.

Also, elves on average have better dexterity than dwarves. They have an inherent ancestry boost to the Stat, tend towards backgrounds which boost Dex, and favor bows. An elf Archer with 18 Dex can wear medium armor and still be faster than dwarves in light. But she's still better off using light armor. His goal isn't to be better than dwarves, it is to be the best elf she can be.

Meanwhile, dwarves (on average) don't get this dexterity to leverage. Those that become warriors therefore need to utilize medium or heavy armor in order to avoid getting killed. They also favor melee weapons and specialized melee combat maneuvers like boulder roll. On top of that, they evolved to fight underground, where mobility will often be hampered anyway. If a dwarf grew up using an axe and has anything below 18 dexterity, he's better off using medium or heavy armor. Dwarves are much more likely to fit that criteria than elves are.

I think the fundamental confusion might that you guys are treating NPCs like they are all intentionally built by players. That is not the case. An NPC doesn't choose where their free floating ancestry boost goes. That is set by their birth. They don't choose to become a criminal because they want a boost to dexterity for when they ultimately become adventurers. They do it because they want or need to do crime. A dwarf doesn't choose the unburdened heritage,they just have it.

A player can simply choose to be an elf instead of a dwarf, and probably should as currently written. IN FICTION, you're born as whatever you're born with and have to make the best with what you got. Elves on average lose more by wearing heavier armor than dwarves do. Why would they bother losing speed they don't have to for no AC gain?

Meanwhile, dwarves may be envious of elven dexterity and speed, but wearing light armor is still more likely to get them killed.


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To put it succinctly, dwarves armed just worse in medium or heavy armor than elves. They are worse across the board.

That has nothing to do with how common medium or heavy armor dwarves are on Golarion. As written right now, a higher percentage of dwarf NPCs will use medium or heavy armor than elf NPCs. This is supported by the lore and the mechanics.

This makes the premise of the OP incorrect.


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Joey Cote wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

Did I miss an Ancestry update where gnomes got 25 ft. speed?

Either are all Small PC races (and dwarves) should get 20 ft. speed, or none of them.

It was 1.4 update to present.

Ah, so only dwarves are hosed?


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I think the matter right now, has greatly shifted from Dwarven Armies/NPCs to Players, because regardless of Dwarven Army practices, Nothing is being done for fixing the Player Predicament. Right now all Dwarf Players, who want Heavy/Medium Armor and don't want to be slowed down to 10/15ft movement for it have to take Unburdened regardless of if another one of the heritages actually fit their character more. Congratulations, we now have either pigeonholed Dwarf PC's into either being the Slowest Martials (regardless of Armor Type), or have Forced them to take Unburdened.... Grats Cookie Cutter Option...

There's a reason that Dwarves have always had Unburdened to mitigate their slower speed....

Dark Archive

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Yes, it is a dwarven thing now. If you want to wear armor as dwarf:
Either you take unburdened and have now the huge advantage to... be exactly as slow as the other races. But you have to give up your heritage feat for it.
Or you take a more interesting heritage feat, then you lose completely because you are even slower than every other race.


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I mean a weird consequence is that if you see a bunch of dwarves in heavy armor, you know immediately they are not the kind which is hard to poison or ensorcell. Or that they are simply making poor choices, I guess.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:

To put it succinctly, dwarves armed just worse in medium or heavy armor than elves. They are worse across the board.

That has nothing to do with how common medium or heavy armor dwarves are on Golarion. As written right now, a higher percentage of dwarf NPCs will use medium or heavy armor than elf NPCs. This is supported by the lore and the mechanics.

This makes the premise of the OP incorrect.

Have you ever actually played a combat? The difference between an elf's speed armored and unarmored tactically is almost nothing. The difference for a dwarf is tactically is enormous. An elf in armor has the same penalty to speed as the average dwarf in absolute magnitude, but proportionally it is much less. It is tactically sound for the average elf to wear heavy armor. It is suicide for the average dwarf. The only heavy infantry dwarves would ever field would be the small proportion of their population that is unburdened, elves or humans would have no need to rely on some rare genetic anomaly to field heavy infantry and thus would field more. The premise stands.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
EberronHoward wrote:
IRL, Western countries have the highest rates of obesity in the world, yet also have some of the best trained military units in the world. A nation can be known for its military prowess, without every man, woman, and child in it being equally capable of fighting in a military campaign.

but those units are comparatively rare, look at the total size of military vs population for the western volunteer forces, compared to conscipt armies, then think of what force multipliers the Western armies use. That does actually fit the paradigm the op discribes.


ShadeRaven wrote:

As an aside, I don't mind some of the restrictive nature that comes with heavy armor - there should still be a place for the non-DEX-heavy fighter type. I think the bigger problem is that there's less defensive benefits to wearing them (AC gains seem low with the heavier, slower, more encumbering armors). When Studded Leather is AC 2, losing 10 points of speed, adding 3 bulk, losing 4 max dex, penalizing skills by 4 more points, just to gain 4 points of AC (in Full Plate) seems like too much loss for too little gain.

Add to this the fact that Fighters and Paladins gain better proficiency in heavy armor than in light or medium, and the ridiculousness stands out fully. Paizo had to shoehorn fighters/paladins into heavy armor, or no-one would ever wear it. If heavy armor is supposed to be better than it is, make it so, don't put weird compensations into class designs.


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Starfox wrote:
ShadeRaven wrote:

As an aside, I don't mind some of the restrictive nature that comes with heavy armor - there should still be a place for the non-DEX-heavy fighter type. I think the bigger problem is that there's less defensive benefits to wearing them (AC gains seem low with the heavier, slower, more encumbering armors). When Studded Leather is AC 2, losing 10 points of speed, adding 3 bulk, losing 4 max dex, penalizing skills by 4 more points, just to gain 4 points of AC (in Full Plate) seems like too much loss for too little gain.

Add to this the fact that Fighters and Paladins gain better proficiency in heavy armor than in light or medium, and the ridiculousness stands out fully. Paizo had to shoehorn fighters/paladins into heavy armor, or no-one would ever wear it. If heavy armor is supposed to be better than it is, make it so, don't put weird compensations into class designs.

In many systems, you can have a mechanical rules difference between a "slinky" and a "brick", i.e. someone who dodges damage and someone who can take the punishment - think e.g Spiderman vs The Hulk.

D&D-style systems have the problem that AC kinds of cover both alternatives. You could sort of go either way in earlier editions by going for Con or Dex, and with their permissive rules you could go to extremes that expressed either alternative.

With the narrower, more restricted math of the playtest you cannot really mechanically express the difference between a Slinky and a Brick, and I think Heavy Armor suffers from not being able to express a Brick build in a maningful way.

(I wish I could remember which Superhero RPG it was that coined the "Slinky" and "Brick" terms...)

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