Paizo Friday Stream Notes November 16, 2018


General Discussion

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Some notes from the Q&A session of today's stream. Answers from Mark and Jason are paraphrased:

- What's the data on people's feelings about removing potency runes / automatic bonus progression?

Mark: First time this question was posed, people were not too thrilled. Second time, worded slightly differently (do weapons need to go to +5?), 75% of answers were ok with weapons not contributing all the way to PC accuracy/damage.

This means they're exploring the possibility of having weapons be less influential to a PC's damage, and adding damage/accuracy from elsewhere.

Jason (in chat): Magic weapons aren't going anywhere though. Players like having magic items be important.

- What's the news on future updates?

Mark: Currently no plans for update 1.7. The update schedule was breakneck, and we want to give players time to catch their breath and finish the playtest.

Jason (in chat): We're looking for ways for folks to have fun with the game in the new year while waiting for the final release.

Jason (in chat): Look forward to preview rules pieces after the new year.

- What about the Dinosaur Fort mentioned in a previous stream?

Jason: SECRETS!

- They talked a bit about monster conversion. Mark said it's easy to convert from PF1 -> PF2. Much harder in reverse, because monster creation in PF1 is more complicated.

- Are there any plans to make buffs last longer?

Mark: PF1 had issues with parties pre-buffing themselves to high heaven. His own party did this often. The party would then steamroll an encounter and it would feel anti-climactic.

Now that Treat Wounds exists, there is incentive to rest for 10 minutes after a fight. Adding back 10 minute buffs would create an interesting choice for parties. Should they rest and recover hp or push ahead while maintaining their buffs?

- Any comments on the non-stackability of Rage/Inspire Courage/Bless?

Mark: Bless and Inspire Courage likely will still not stack. A party without a Bard but with a Cleric will see the Cleric casting Bless. Otherwise, the Cleric can be freed up to cast other stuff (like Bane, which is what the Cleric in his party did).

For Rage, there are tentative Rage changes in development. This ties in to the potency rune changes. No clear details were given here, but conversations are happening about it.

Please keep the discussion to the new information from the stream, thank you!


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I'm still waiting for the question:

"Do you want your martial character solely reliant on his magic weapon and if its taken from him, he's nothing?"

Because that's what Magic Weapons increasing damage dice do. You can't have backups, you can't switch your focus, you don't have enough money to buy more than one and the best of all of this? If you don't have one, you're not doing your job, which means, all your money goes solely to NOT FALL BEHIND.

I mean. They just need to ask the question straight, does the ones that defend the current potency runes at least gave proper thought on the situation? Because I was all aboard and thought it was fun... Until I spent a few minutes thinking what this would look like in the game and how it not only would be terrible mechanically, it would simply make martial characters glorified adventures, since they're basically lucky people that found a pile of gold and magical stuff, that's what gives them power. Forget ability. Forget experience.

I mean, why the game are forcing the players to buy stuff just so the math can work? Is there even a point to this? I thought the goal was to get rid of the big six not replace them with 3 different "options" (more like hidden obligations).


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Pramxnim wrote:
Now that Treat Wounds exists, there is incentive to rest for 10 minutes after a fight. Adding back 10 minute buffs would create an interesting choice for parties. Should they rest and recover hp or push ahead while maintaining their buffs?

That's a change that would start to bring things from "no way" to "tolerable". Our groups have enjoyed the anticlimactic termination of epic battles being made trivial by appropriate prep, team-work, coordination, and planning. Some of our most re-told stories are about curb-stomping end-of-AP BBEGs before their turn in initiative. But... I get that other people have other feelings.

Still... this tactical choice between hitpoint healing and buff duration could make for an interesting balance between "why bother with buffs at all" and "other people feel buffs trivialize encounters".

Enough changes from "cannot accept" to "livable" could turn things around for us.


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Standardizing the "10 minute break" after fights (i.e. make sure everybody has something productive to do here) and putting that in tension with the "keep your buffs rolling" would be a really positive tension, since it forces you to choose between two desirable things.


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They want magic weapons to be important, I think they would still be important if they just had cool abilities and property runes. Items giving number bonuses makes them necessary to have to not fall behind.


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citricking wrote:
They want magic weapons to be important, I think they would still be important if they just had cool abilities and property runes. Items giving number bonuses makes them necessary to have to not fall behind.

This is how I'd prefer it as well. 5e made an attempt at this, but in the end they still deferred to a +1-3 hierarchy. If PF2 is bold enough to get rid of numerical bonuses from magic weapons and armour altogether and stuck to interesting powers / property runes, I'll be very happy.

Exo-Guardians

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Pramxnim wrote:
citricking wrote:
They want magic weapons to be important, I think they would still be important if they just had cool abilities and property runes. Items giving number bonuses makes them necessary to have to not fall behind.
This is how I'd prefer it as well. 5e made an attempt at this, but in the end they still deferred to a +1-3 hierarchy. If PF2 is bold enough to get rid of numerical bonuses from magic weapons and armour altogether and stuck to interesting powers / property runes, I'll be very happy.

I think it would be alright if specific Properties gave numerical bonuses under circumstances. I.e. Holy weapons are guided to smite down evil and thus are magically better at helping their wielder kill evil things. Or if Fire weapons did better against foes weak to fire, and so on.


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MER-c wrote:
Pramxnim wrote:
citricking wrote:
They want magic weapons to be important, I think they would still be important if they just had cool abilities and property runes. Items giving number bonuses makes them necessary to have to not fall behind.
This is how I'd prefer it as well. 5e made an attempt at this, but in the end they still deferred to a +1-3 hierarchy. If PF2 is bold enough to get rid of numerical bonuses from magic weapons and armour altogether and stuck to interesting powers / property runes, I'll be very happy.
I think it would be alright if specific Properties gave numerical bonuses under circumstances. I.e. Holy weapons are guided to smite down evil and thus are magically better at helping their wielder kill evil things. Or if Fire weapons did better against foes weak to fire, and so on.

I think there's no danger in not having that 1 good or fire damage is brutal against an enemy with weaknesses. It's bonuses to d20 rolls that need to be avoided/(or conditional, like a special ability that gives a conditional bonus)


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Pramxnim wrote:

Some notes from the Q&A session of today's stream. Answers from Mark and Jason are paraphrased:

- What's the data on people's feelings about removing potency runes / automatic bonus progression?

Mark: First time this question was posed, people were not too thrilled. Second time, worded slightly differently (do weapons need to go to +5?), 75% of answers were ok with weapons not contributing all the way to PC accuracy/damage.

This means they're exploring the possibility of having weapons be less influential to a PC's damage, and adding damage/accuracy from elsewhere.

Jason (in chat): Magic weapons aren't going anywhere though. Players like having magic items be important.

I think it really was wording, even the second iteration of the question wasn't exactly super duper clear on the concept either.

I do hope they go with potency aspects being a character progression thing.. and that way freeing up magic items... to be actually interesting! and letting folks do some interesting weird weapon ideas.

It sucks finding somehing with a cool enchantment, but just tossing it because you already invested too much into this +#whatever.

Also.. in general. I hate having to assume X money goes to X bonuses.
it means you directly hurt yourself if you want to buy some cool tool or toy.


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Pramxnim wrote:

Some notes from the Q&A session of today's stream. Answers from Mark and Jason are paraphrased:

- What's the data on people's feelings about removing potency runes / automatic bonus progression?

Mark: First time this question was posed, people were not too thrilled. Second time, worded slightly differently (do weapons need to go to +5?), 75% of answers were ok with weapons not contributing all the way to PC accuracy/damage.

What?

Asking if weapons "need to go to +5" is so tangential the actual issue that I don't even know what the point of it even is or how it's relevant.

Quote:


This means they're exploring the possibility of having weapons be less influential to a PC's damage, and adding damage/accuracy from elsewhere.

Is that what they're saying? I don't get that at all from what you're quoting.

Quote:
Jason (in chat): Magic weapons aren't going anywhere though. Players like having magic items be important.

Looks pretty emphatic that they are not considering any changes to magic weapons.


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Ninja in the Rye wrote:


Looks pretty emphatic that they are not considering any changes to magic weapons.

They're considering lowering the bonus from magic weapons. Mark said on stream that they want a PC to be able to pick up a random weapon and still be somewhat effective in combat.

Right now, you lose up to 5 attack bonus and 5dX damage if you lose your magic weapon. They want the loss to be more bearable.

Personally, I disagree with this approach. Even a -2 penalty to attack can make you feel pretty useless in combat, so I'd rather they go all the way and remove the need for magic weapons altogether. However, it seems Paizo wants to try a half-and-half approach, where half your combat effectiveness comes from your level and abilities, and half comes from your magic items.


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I like the 10 minute buff consideration, esp with the 10 minute rest options.
I appreciate stuff being calibrated down to try and balance for combat, but it is a little silly having somebody gain superpowers, or turn into a bear, or summon a creature (if this is in the running too) for only a minute. And I suspect that this is a change that could help reinvest the only frequent player of mine who dislikes the system.


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Pramxnim wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:


Looks pretty emphatic that they are not considering any changes to magic weapons.

They're considering lowering the bonus from magic weapons. Mark said on stream that they want a PC to be able to pick up a random weapon and still be somewhat effective in combat.

Right now, you lose up to 5 attack bonus and 5dX damage if you lose your magic weapon. They want the loss to be more bearable.

Personally, I disagree with this approach. Even a -2 penalty to attack can make you feel pretty useless in combat, so I'd rather they go all the way and remove the need for magic weapons altogether. However, it seems Paizo wants to try a half-and-half approach, where half your combat effectiveness comes from your level and abilities, and half comes from your magic items.

As long as the difference between a +1 and +2 weapon remains as big as it is it will accomplish very little, especially as long as they're balancing the math of the game around assuming that you have a +X Weapon at Y level, reducing the Maximum value of X slightly changes very little.

The most frustrating thing is, as was said upthread, they won't even ask the questions about the proficiency runes/bonuses clearly and directly.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I feel like you guys aren't looking at the actual implementation or consequences of making damage dice tied to character progression. suddenly every caster-martial variant loses a crap ton of damage. And if you somehow make it that everyone gets damage dice at the same rate then why would a wizard's weapon training progress at the same rate as a fighter's? I feel it's fine that a character without magic items is bad. I mean take away all the magic items of a character in 1e and suddenly their AC is absolutely terrible.


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Yeah it should not be tied to proficiency. Level would be fine.


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Just make it tied to level. That wizard wizard won't hit anyways unless thew invest in those ability scores/proficiency.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That doesn't make sense to me though. Even more so than the magic weapon doing most of the damage. A wizard is becoming better at dealing damage with a weapon at the same rate as the fighter?


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Maybe make it scale by level, but cap it based on proficiency, so a wizard whose trained can only reach +2d while a legendary fighter gets up to +5d. And make it so you use the better of your inherent damge bonus so magic weapons become more important the less martial you are.


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Lightning Raven wrote:

I'm still waiting for the question:

"Do you want your martial character solely reliant on his magic weapon and if its taken from him, he's nothing?"

Because that's what Magic Weapons increasing damage dice do. You can't have backups, you can't switch your focus, you don't have enough money to buy more than one and the best of all of this? If you don't have one, you're not doing your job, which means, all your money goes solely to NOT FALL BEHIND.

I mean. They just need to ask the question straight, does the ones that defend the current potency runes at least gave proper thought on the situation? Because I was all aboard and thought it was fun... Until I spent a few minutes thinking what this would look like in the game and how it not only would be terrible mechanically, it would simply make martial characters glorified adventures, since they're basically lucky people that found a pile of gold and magical stuff, that's what gives them power. Forget ability. Forget experience.

I mean, why the game are forcing the players to buy stuff just so the math can work? Is there even a point to this? I thought the goal was to get rid of the big six not replace them with 3 different "options" (more like hidden obligations).

While this is a valid concern, the biggest question then becomes "How do we fix this issue?"

One approach is to cut down on HP and by relation remove the requirement of +potency items. Maybe instead of offering 8 HP per level, maybe make it 8 + Level in HP. The issue then requires adjusting the damage of every little thing to compensate for this minor change, and that's a lot of work that I'm almost certain isn't worth it in the long run.

Another approach is to tie damage dice to weapon proficiency. This means Fighters with Legendary proficiency by 13th level are doing the highest damage they can expect to do (and other classes approaching that amount of power by the endgame or through scaling via spell levels of cantrips). The issue then becomes characters who want to multiclass (or don't have as strong of martial capabilities, such as Clerics, Druids, etc). There are ways to fix this (such as by making Weapon Focus/Armor Focus feats and such improve your proficiency in a group of weapons or a type of armor by one category (to a maximum of Legendary), but then you're back to doubling down on feat taxes).

And yet another approach is to tie it directly to level. The biggest issue I have with this is that this makes certain level gaps arbitrarily stronger than others, and that's already present with the +2 to 4 ability scores at 5th and every 5 levels afterward. Want to hit 5th level? Gotta fight some super strong guys that are stronger just because they're 5th level instead of 4th level like you. Hitting 6th level afterward? They're only as strong as you already are now at 5th level! It's arbitrary and kills gradual growth, and is something that I plan to houserule straight away.

The last approach would be to just have the game assume you don't buy this stuff, but considering this stuff offers the best benefits (a lot of extra damage, bonuses to important saving throws, etc.), all this does is change what non-power gamers will select. Which I suppose is a fine and fair compromise, but when the non-power gamers start seeing that their choice is inherently weaker, they'll start working towards what the power gamers choose, which doesn't really solve the idea of wanting to choose things besides the Big 3.

On top of that, what would make magic weapons and armor magical? That they can hurl/deflect fireballs? Congratulations, you're now not swinging your magic weapon (though the armor property is pretty cool). That they instead just have property runes? While sensible, they become situational at-best and at-worst you're now back to spending your money on things other than this situational crap because the game expects other things.

It's a very complicated issue, not one that we can expect to be solved overnight, or even at all without some other major changes that can even further negatively impact the game.

Liberty's Edge

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I'm very pleased to hear that some extra damage dice might no longer be based purely on weapon. That's excellent news.

The rest sounds pretty good, too.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:

I'm still waiting for the question:

"Do you want your martial character solely reliant on his magic weapon and if its taken from him, he's nothing?"...

While this is a valid concern, the biggest question then becomes "How do we fix this issue?"

One approach is to cut down on HP and by relation remove the requirement of +potency items. Maybe instead of offering 8 HP per level, maybe make it 8 + Level in HP. The issue then requires adjusting the damage of every little thing to compensate for this minor change, and that's a lot of work that I'm almost certain isn't worth it in the long run.

Another approach is to tie damage dice to weapon proficiency. This means Fighters with Legendary proficiency by 13th level are doing the highest damage they can expect to do (and other classes approaching that amount of power by the endgame or through scaling via spell levels of cantrips). The issue then...

I tend to agree that this can cause some problems, but I think they will be issues easier to handle, because instead of bonus strength coming from loot rewards the GM might or might not give, or even worse, the players have the money but don't know they're expected to have these items in certain levels will just disrupt the game. But if the damage dice is tied to your class/level, this is something that can be taken into consideration while dealing with multiclassing and martial-casters, it can be either a trade-off these options will have to make or maybe having ways to offset the potential lack of damage.

One thing I know for certain, damage tied to character is better mechanically and from world consistency point of view. This will also help to justify even some monsters/NPCs being stronger than they are even though they're using normal weapons. It gets hid of the whole issue of "Why that Goblin using a rusty shortsword is dealing twice as much damage as I am with my Greatsword?", well it's because that Goblin is very strong and skilled, despite not being cool and edgy as you!


Dependency on magical weapons for damage seems fixable by tying damage to proficiency, but it comes with a host of issues:

- Creates a larger damage disparity between classes without inherent proficiency.
- If it's a hybrid system where damage comes from proficiency and potency runes, +X weapons are still essential for non-martial classes.

- There's no way to increase proficiency, so would feats be added or would the scaling become inherent to all classes?
- If we add feats, it's a tax and we also hit the customization bottleneck issue where you choose increasing Proficiency over everything else.
- If we make all classes scale weapon proficiency it devalues the attack bonus that is supposed to set martial classes apart.


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MER-c wrote:
Pramxnim wrote:
citricking wrote:
They want magic weapons to be important, I think they would still be important if they just had cool abilities and property runes. Items giving number bonuses makes them necessary to have to not fall behind.
This is how I'd prefer it as well. 5e made an attempt at this, but in the end they still deferred to a +1-3 hierarchy. If PF2 is bold enough to get rid of numerical bonuses from magic weapons and armour altogether and stuck to interesting powers / property runes, I'll be very happy.
I think it would be alright if specific Properties gave numerical bonuses under circumstances. I.e. Holy weapons are guided to smite down evil and thus are magically better at helping their wielder kill evil things. Or if Fire weapons did better against foes weak to fire, and so on.

Please no. Situational bonuses are not "interesting", nor are they fun.

The bigger problem some of you have with them changing it is people like me who want magic weapons to be important. They should matter and they should matter in every fight.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I thought tying damage dice to weapon bonus was fun at first, until I had to decide what to give out as a reward in game. The changes in party balance from just 1 character getting that +1 weapon was dramatic and I really started to wonder if the tidal shift that came with weapon bonus wasn't overdone.

However, maybe it's my distant roots with D&D, but I don't want to see such a dramatic change as eliminating magic items altogether from D&D. It just seems so "unfantasy" as well as unfun. Part of the excitement of finding Excalibur is that it's better than that sword you bought at the renaissance faire.

I also tend to disagree with the thought that, in the old system, the different with a +2 weapon and a +3 weapon (+1/+1 hit/dam) was still too big. A +2 Dragonslayer or a +2 Vicious Morningstar isn't relegated to useless just because someone found a +3 Longsword. Or the simple fact that even a normal +2 can be useful when fighting a creature that's immune or resistant to slashing damage, so having a bludgeoner on hand is still worthwhile.

I guess for me, I want to see a little juicy magic still have some impact, but that the core of a character's effectiveness still comes from within.

As far as buffs go, the idea of pre-buffing turning a challenging fight into a trivial one - ugh! There should be advantages, for certain, to the well planned, well informed party going into a BBEG fight, but having buffs becoming so impactful as to make combat mundane isn't great. It goes back to that Pathfinder 1 PHD required to play the original edition of this game - I don't want to see PF2 degenerate into the Power Gamer monsters vs the Casual Gamer pitifuls of PF1. That disparity *has* to be reduced, in my opinion. My players don't want to have to read forums, study synergies, and pour through rulebooks to be effective, viable. And I can't fathom the idea that anyone finds it fun to have combat become trivial throughout because AP and Adventure design should be done with the more relaxed gamer in mind.


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Anguish wrote:
Pramxnim wrote:
Now that Treat Wounds exists, there is incentive to rest for 10 minutes after a fight. Adding back 10 minute buffs would create an interesting choice for parties. Should they rest and recover hp or push ahead while maintaining their buffs?

That's a change that would start to bring things from "no way" to "tolerable". Our groups have enjoyed the anticlimactic termination of epic battles being made trivial by appropriate prep, team-work, coordination, and planning. Some of our most re-told stories are about curb-stomping end-of-AP BBEGs before their turn in initiative. But... I get that other people have other feelings.

Still... this tactical choice between hitpoint healing and buff duration could make for an interesting balance between "why bother with buffs at all" and "other people feel buffs trivialize encounters".

Enough changes from "cannot accept" to "livable" could turn things around for us.

Yeah, they lost me as soon as I read the buff durations three and a half months ago. Pre-buffing is important and should be encouraged. The game just isn't fun without it. It's one of my biggest gripes about magic in a certain other game.

I propose that they add "per caster level" to all the durations and then include a sidebar that you can remove that phrase for a grittier game. (I'd suggest the other way around, but I know a few DMs that would almost certainly ignore it if it were optional).


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
Pre-buffing is important and should be encouraged.
Why do you feel this way?

Because it's more fun to win before I ever reach the battlefield, with planning, preparation, and build. I want the outcomes of actions to be a foregone conclusion. If you can't pre-buff, then you will never be fully prepared for an encounter.

The alternative would be to reduce buff spells to single action casting and double the number of spell slots, so you can actually get all your buffs out each fight.


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Pramxnim wrote:

- What's the data on people's feelings about removing potency runes / automatic bonus progression?

Mark: First time this question was posed, people were not too thrilled. Second time, worded slightly differently (do weapons need to go to +5?), 75% of answers were ok with weapons not contributing all the way to PC accuracy/damage.

This means they're exploring the possibility of having weapons be less influential to a PC's damage, and adding damage/accuracy from elsewhere.

Jason (in chat): Magic weapons aren't going anywhere though. Players like having magic items be important.

So much yes. With the way the Playtest is set up, I'm not surprised that players would become increasingly displeased with mandatory magic items as they got to play higher levels. The current iteration makes these items essential and makes backup weapons even worse than they were in PF1 ("I need a ranged weapon for this encounter? Too bad all my +X runes are on my sword, guess I'll just have to twiddle my thumbs while hoping my allies have better ranged options.")

Pramxnim wrote:

- Are there any plans to make buffs last longer?

Mark: PF1 had issues with parties pre-buffing themselves to high heaven. His own party did this often. The party would then steamroll an encounter and it would feel anti-climactic.

Now that Treat Wounds exists, there is incentive to rest for 10 minutes after a fight. Adding back 10 minute buffs would create an interesting choice for parties. Should they rest and recover hp or push ahead while maintaining their buffs?

Yeah... I've got one player who routinely had an issue with pre-buffing to extreme lengths. It got to the point that they'd actively refuse to contribute for the first several rounds of combat while they buffed if they didn't get time to beforehand. While there is a chance for an interesting choice between resting and rushing... I still worry that 10 min buffs could be too easy to stack and recreate the same issue the group either steamrolling or getting steamrolled with little in between. While I'm not totally against them per se, I hope this is handled with a bit of caution.


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Charon Onozuka wrote:
Pramxnim wrote:

- Are there any plans to make buffs last longer?

Mark: PF1 had issues with parties pre-buffing themselves to high heaven. His own party did this often. The party would then steamroll an encounter and it would feel anti-climactic.

Now that Treat Wounds exists, there is incentive to rest for 10 minutes after a fight. Adding back 10 minute buffs would create an interesting choice for parties. Should they rest and recover hp or push ahead while maintaining their buffs?

Yeah... I've got one player who routinely had an issue with pre-buffing to extreme lengths. It got to the point that they'd actively refuse to contribute for the first several rounds of combat while they buffed if they didn't get time to beforehand. While there is a chance for an interesting choice between resting and rushing... I still worry that 10 min buffs could be too easy to stack and recreate the same issue the group either steamrolling or getting steamrolled with little in between. While I'm not totally against them per se, I hope this is handled with a bit of caution.

Having buffs but never the opportunity to cast them (due to bad range or short durations) was really bad and extremely hurt my spells known choices as a Divine Sorcerer in the Playtest. I couldn't cast Resist Energy in an encounter with a Dragon due to the short time (and range) to cast, and I couldn't cast spells like Bless because I'm required to move with the party instead of buffing them like I had planned (or else I'll get singled out or they'll be separated from me).

I don't know if it's necessarily the durations, but I'm almost certain that I'd rather not have short duration spells, especially since spells as a whole are nerfed everywhere else. If anything, spells not lasting nearly long enough was a point of contention between Martials and Casters. A Martial could swing his weapon all day, but a Caster could only sling so many spells before he goes *Poof.* I'm not saying that Casters should have the all-day longevity of Martials, but that it was one of the few things that Paizo didn't need to touch to help maintain the balance between the two niches. The spell durations were almost never an issue in the PF1 Caster/Martial Disparity. The issue was strictly flexibility and viability, which was all they needed to touch. Having less spells? Fine. Having spells do less? Fine too. Having spells not be functional for typical adventuring tactics? Not acceptable.

**EDIT** Apparently a certain word gets automatically censored for reasons unknown. Rather than keep it and risk the banhammer, I got rid of it. Whoops...


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Isn't the issue with pre-buffing largely also handled with the greatly reduced number of bonuses which stack?

Like what's the biggest stack of buffs you could even assemble in PF2?


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sherlock1701 wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
Pre-buffing is important and should be encouraged.
Why do you feel this way?

Because it's more fun to win before I ever reach the battlefield, with planning, preparation, and build. I want the outcomes of actions to be a foregone conclusion. If you can't pre-buff, then you will never be fully prepared for an encounter.

The alternative would be to reduce buff spells to single action casting and double the number of spell slots, so you can actually get all your buffs out each fight.

I have less than 0 interest in playing a game where the outcome is predetermined. If I wanted to sit and stroke my ego, I can do that more efficiently in other ways.

As a player, this would be approximately as interesting as playing optimized characters in Mythic rules against non-mythic enemies.
As a GM, after about two sessions of this, odds are I wouldn't bother with any actual play after a certain point.


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ShadeRaven wrote:


However, maybe it's my distant roots with D&D, but I don't want to see such a dramatic change as eliminating magic items altogether from D&D. It just seems so "unfantasy" as well as unfun. Part of the excitement of finding Excalibur is that it's better than that sword you bought at the renaissance faire.

The point of getting hid of +X items is exactly the other way around. Moving away from mandatory choices opens up space for the characters to buy interesting things that may give them options they didn't have before, you are not obligated to get that next +X to skills or +X to your weapon and armor because the game is planned around you having those items and if somehow you don't have them, you're weaker than you're supposed to be. This doesn't make sense at all and it baffles me that such a cheap system has been in this game for so long and still is now in Pathfinder 2e, which was supposed to get hid of them... This along with the completely let down that Ancestries were are major turn offs for me and if the full release comes with both of this issues unaddressed or "wrongly" solved( wrong not being a good word for it, but if the solution is just some patch up job to hide that things didn't actually change), I'll definitely be passing up on this edition, at least until there is desirable alternative rules.

I want the hammer I found in the dungeon to allow my character to hit the ground and create difficult terrain, or maybe send a shockwave. I want a magical shield that can create a barrier on the user and two adjacent squares mirroring a Wall of Force spell, so that my Defender can protect two friends at the same time if he's well positioned and has either a reaction or managed to prepare his action to defend. I want my bow to allow ricochet shots or maybe even phasing arrows that ignore cover/Armor AC. I want my fancy dragonhide armor to give me either a breath weapon because it connects itself with my body like a symbiotic being or maybe even grant me temporary wings.

Cloak of Elvenkind giving bonuses to stealth? Ain't nobody got time for that, I want that sweet camouflage that allow me to be unseen if i'm near surfaces. Flametongue? Get me that fire whip for one round or a few attacks. Swords that can give fighters the ability to slash the air itself and deliver their normal attacks at some fixed distance so that they don't need to rely on ranged and subpar weapons, even if it's for a very limited number of attacks. What about some mace that when thrown let you deliver a touch spell for those martial casters and Clerics? Even better if each Deity has a fancy weapon with represents them well, Fireball Scimitar, Teleportation/Freedom Of Movement Starknife, Blessing of Irori (or handwraps) that lets your character deliver a punch through air, etc.

These are the kinds of items that thrill you when you get them, not just a simple +X item bonus to my skill and nothing else or some minor effect that barely is worth mentioning.

Let me just say this: Having "magical" items granting +X bonuses just so you can function properly is no magic at all, it's just illusion of choice with different flavors.


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I guess my question is what is the difference between preparing (including pre-buffing) for a fight to ensure you're going to win and planning for everything in a heist/infiltration so it goes off without a hitch?

Like in theory hitches create drama, but on the other hand don't we want to encourage players to think things through and formulate plans to increase their odds of success? If people want chaos, can't they get that by declining to plan or prepare?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I guess my question is what is the difference between preparing (including pre-buffing) for a fight to ensure you're going to win and planning for everything in a heist/infiltration so it goes off without a hitch?

Like in theory hitches create drama, but on the other hand don't we want to encourage players to think things through and formulate plans to increase their odds of success?

Generally speaking the difference is pre-buffing in Pathfinder is a fairly brain dead endeavor of getting more +s than the other guy and rolling face while perfect heist plans generally involve more lateral thinking if not smaller sub quests to begin with.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I guess my question is what is the difference between preparing (including pre-buffing) for a fight to ensure you're going to win and planning for everything in a heist/infiltration so it goes off without a hitch?

Like in theory hitches create drama, but on the other hand don't we want to encourage players to think things through and formulate plans to increase their odds of success?

The issue for me is that classes like the wizard and the cleric allow for parties to be able to prepare absolutely everything in advance, and when combined with divination and scrying, boss fights become a question of who can find who first. If one group is unprepared, the fight is over immediately.

It is a fun way to play once or twice, but when the GM brings it back on the party, as any intelligent NPC villain would want to do it back, its just party killing. And odds are, the end boss is going to become aware of the PCs long before the other way around. It becomes tedious as a GM to hold villains back from doing exactly what the party does. Done to the extreme it is an exhausting way to play because one or both groups is looking to teleport away instantly if they get caught out and survive the first round of attacks. The GM has to have multiple battle maps ready to go for every significant fight, because smart opponents move often, create false leads and it easily derails an AP by level 14 when the GM has to prepare for a party aware of how overwhelmingly powerful they can be if they are able to just nova every boss with maximum buffing. As a AP writer, it has got to suck writing out unique ways to handle these situations for every book, especially without making the end villains too powerful for parties that don't play that way.

SO I guess the answer is that buffs alone don't make the problem, but they are one component of the Scry and Fry/destroyer party that encourage the nova team/short adventuring day/impossible to balance encounters of trying to account for the possibility that the party hits the end boss with 200% resources (buffed), 100% resources (rested but unprepared), or much less if the party pushes too far into the dungeon without realizing the boss is in the next room.

Personally, I think that dialing buffs to 10 minutes, with all of the added new reasons for PCs to rest for 10 minutes after a hard encounter and limiting the scry and fry at the systemic level (to at least an uncommon rating where it is the GM choice to add in and not a default part of the game) will probably cover all of this pretty well.


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OP, thanks for posting the notes from the stream.


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Unicore wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I guess my question is what is the difference between preparing (including pre-buffing) for a fight to ensure you're going to win and planning for everything in a heist/infiltration so it goes off without a hitch?

Like in theory hitches create drama, but on the other hand don't we want to encourage players to think things through and formulate plans to increase their odds of success?

The issue for me is that classes like the wizard and the cleric allow for parties to be able to prepare absolutely everything in advance, and when combined with divination and scrying, boss fights become a question of who can find who first. If one group is unprepared, the fight is over immediately.

It is a fun way to play once or twice, but when the GM brings it back on the party, as any intelligent NPC villain would want to do it back, its just party killing. And odds are, the end boss is going to become aware of the PCs long before the other way around. It becomes tedious as a GM to hold villains back from doing exactly what the party does. Done to the extreme it is an exhausting way to play because one or both groups is looking to teleport away instantly if they get caught out and survive the first round of attacks. The GM has to have multiple battle maps ready to go for every significant fight, because smart opponents move often, create false leads and it easily derails an AP by level 14 when the GM has to prepare for a party aware of how overwhelmingly powerful they can be if they are able to just nova every boss with maximum buffing. As a AP writer, it has got to suck writing out unique ways to handle these situations for every book, especially without making the end villains too powerful for parties that don't play that way.

SO I guess the answer is that buffs alone don't make the problem, but they are one component of the Scry and Fry/destroyer party that encourage the nova team/short adventuring day/impossible to balance encounters of trying to account for the possibility...

But long-duration buffs favor the party who presses through the whole dungeon, while short-duration buffs are just as valuable to the scry and fry style as long ones. Making them 10 minutes only hurts those who want to have a long adventuring day, without doing anything to stop nova parties. Meanwhile, long duration buffs benefit everyone - the nova party doesn't care either way, and the endurance party doesn't get screwed on resources.

That said, getting massive bonuses is what makes pathfinder fun. Sundering any defense and laughing in the face of the boss's attacks because you've set yourself up for it is where the enjoyment comes from.


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Good that they are considering less dependance on magic weapons for damage. I'd say go proficiency-based, with some help for Barbarians & etc. to "catch up" with Fighters on their preferred fighting styles (like treating proficiency as 1,2 degrees higher while meeting an easy to fulfill condition).


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Praxnim wrote:

Jason (in chat): We're looking for ways for folks to have fun with the game in the new year while waiting for the final release.

Hooray! Continued contact after the playtest is over! This was one of my pleas over here and it seems to be answered before I even asked it.


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Longer duration buff spells mean they are actually useful in exploration mode & the casters getting to choose if they use them for combat or non-combat purposes - hoping a lot of spells get moved back to decent durations here.


sherlock1701 wrote:
short duration buffs favor scary and fry

this is not really true. Scry and fry is pretty dependent on being able to teleport immediately after learning the location of the enemy. That rarely is accomplishiable within one minute. If you are putting up 10 buffs or more (pretty common for high level play) , then one minute durations will not work, and especially not work for scary and fry. Making the scry as well as the long distant fry take time to cast pretty much takes care of the issue of excessive buffing before teleporting. In PF 1 it would require using 7th level greater scry and probably 7th greater teleport, because casting 10 buffs and ending up off target is a brutal waste. Scary and friers usually rely on lower level buff spells and counting on the longish duration of minutexlevel to cover casting resist energy 4 to 8 times (usually from a wand) or attribute enhancements not covered by belts and head bands or the like.

I think marks proposed solution would be appealing to you, 10 minutes instead of one, since it makes the decision to stop after one encounter and heal with minimum resources or press on, actually a meaningful choice.


What if fighters, paladins, etc. get their weapon bonuses from their proficiency, allowing them to be flexibile and rely on their martial skill, and keep magic weapons kind of as-is, but not stacking with the proficiency bonuses?

This allows the other classes to keep pace with the fighters damage-wise if they want to be a martial-focused character, but at the cost of gold investment.

So you avoid restricting damage too narrowly and avoid giving it equally to martials and semi-martials. I think it would enable flexibility.


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I think if they limit magic items to +3 bonuses and had class feat options for getting an extra damage die or two, or even three for lower die weapons, it would walk a pretty acceptable middle ground. 3dX could be a fine high level average, with enough cool powers occupying what magic weapons can do with the extra design space of the missing +2 to create more interesting builds. It also makes fighter builds that want to utilize multiple weapons more viable, without destroying the awesome factor of finding the magic weapon.

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Unicore wrote:
I think if they limit magic items to +3 bonuses and had class feat options for getting an extra damage die or two, or even three for lower die weapons, it would walk a pretty acceptable middle ground. 3dX could be a fine high level average, with enough cool powers occupying what magic weapons can do with the extra design space of the missing +2 to create more interesting builds. It also makes fighter builds that want to utilize multiple weapons more viable, without destroying the awesome factor of finding the magic weapon.

This is kind of the solution I'm hoping for. That could also fit into the UTEML model pretty well, reinforcing the universal nature of the proficiency system.


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A little more detail on the +5 weapon thing from my own stream viewing, and why that specific question was useful for them.

They needed to determine how attached people were to having weapons go all the way up to +5 so they could see about lowering it. Much like wands having charges, they needed to see how sacred that cow was before they slaughtered it. Because 75% of people didn't care or didn't want them to go that high, they can now look at lowering the potency rune bonus to +3, for example.

Reducing the potency rune bonus to +3 opens up a lot of design space for them to play around with. That means you can get an additional +2 bonus to hit from skill, and perhaps make the weapon quality the only thing that affects accuracy instead of potency runes since the numbers now line up better. (I would be SUPER stoked if they made that latter change.)

It also means that 2 of your dice could come from skill and you'd still wind up at the same place at level 20. While this won't satisfy the "No plus weapon at all," I think having half your damage be from having an amazing sword and half from your skill seems like a more appealing balance point. Personally, I like that your +3 legendary weapon would FEEL legendary. I think Marvel's Thor is a decent place to peg my thoughts on the matter-- you should be godly across the board, but using your godly strength to leverage your godly hammer is how you kick the most butt.

I also feel like the old "casters get by fine without magic items" thing feels less true this edition. Spell Duelist wand makes a pretty significant difference for ray shooters, the gloves matter for bad touchers, and a staff can nearly double the spell repertoire of a caster. Combine that with spell in a can items being stronger and getting less slots per day, and a caster seems like they probably operate at a similar proportionate loss of power without gear.


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Other stuff: On running converted APs, there seems to be less glass cannony save or die stuff going on. Casters are focusing less on save or lose and more on utility, summoning, and battlefield control type options.* They have been very effective in Mark's games, much more effective than the overall claim of the board's seems to be. He says this could be because of the ingenuity of his players,** but in his experience they do seem to kick a lot of butt. They can still give them more in the final versions, though.

*I kind of had the impression that most casters focused more on this in PF1 anyway, since save or dies tended to need pretty specialized builds to be most effective and only worked on certain types of enemies. But I don't have as much data or first hand experience as Mark.

**This hits on an interesting issue. Lots of folks have complained that combats are too difficult, chances of hitting are too low, etc. Myself and lots of other people have felt like combats aren't that hard and chances of success are actually pretty good once you start to leverage various tactical factors in a fight. While many have commented that the optimization ceiling has been lowered, I wonder how much of this has been from shifting where and when optimization can occur.

In PF1, you could read optimization guides and build a character who could bruteforce their way through anything of APL+4. You can just get your bonuses THAT high at character creation. In PF2, you can't break the curve at character creation, but you CAN leverage tactics in battle to do pretty amazing things. That is arguably a better place for the game to be in, but I could see why that change might feel jarring for folks.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
In PF1, you could read optimization guides and build a character who could bruteforce their way through anything of APL+4. You can just get your bonuses THAT high at character creation. In PF2, you can't break the curve at character creation, but you CAN leverage tactics in battle to do pretty amazing things. That is arguably a better place for the game to be in, but I could see why that change might feel jarring for folks.

You could do this in PF1e because of the undisciplined and poorly managed way that Paizo released additional material. An evolutionary PF1.5e based up on learning from the mistakes of PF1e could solve this problem. I'm afraid that if Paizo doesn't learn from its mistake PF2e will be sooner or later end up in exactly the same place as PF1e in terms of the possibility of making adventure-breaking builds.

The problem has nothing to do with the intrinsic design of PF1e or PF2e. It has to do with the manner in which supplemental material is created and released.

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