My main concerns for P2


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It seems like there's a new trend now that the playtest has officially ended, and that is to write down a 'final consideration' or 'final thoughts'.
I don't like trends, but I'm also bored, so let's do the same thing everyone does in a slight different way.

I have enjoyed the playtest and many of the systems. Incredible as it may sound, I was even one of the few who appreciated Resonance (or at least part of its core concept: I am pretty disappointed that we won't get rid of multiple tracking for individual item uses, but also relieved I won't have to pay a point every time I drink a potion), and I have found several changes to the game to be heading towards a smoother play experience and better functioning high levels. So, overall, I'm waiting for the official release (whether it's called P2, Pathfinder Forever, Found The Path, or Pathfinder vs Predator) with the intention of being part of the new edition's early generation of players.
(who am I kidding, I'll GM. ForeverGM.jpg)

There are, however, a few concerns.

A few points where the playtest rules have failed to meet any of my expectations, the points where I can see the most stess vulnerability as of now. It's what will either be fixed, or feel terrible and eventually break down. This is, in short, the first couple of things I'll be looking at in the new handbook, and it'll either make or break the new edition for me depending on how it's solved, or how hard it is to houserule it if I still find it partially lacking. I know many of my protests have been either addressed or are scheduled to be, so I'll stick to the few that are still around, starting from the biggest concerns.

-Mandatory Item Bonuses.
I know, I know, I posted this in every single thread I ever joined. You saw it coming, so don't complain. I have a contractual obligation. That said, the developers already announced that the new proficiency system will allow for a reduction of item reliance, and that is very appreciated. A little less clear is how weapon damage will work, but by digging twitch interviews, it sounds like there will still be a 50-60% damage contribution from runes. I hope that they were just numbers in the air and that they included things like flaming and such, but still, that's something that I'll look at very closely despite any assurances. I did appreciate the EML tool qualities, so that's actually something I hope will stay - it's not mandatory if it's only a small part of your variance, after all, and even on the dice, +15% success isn't nearly the same as +25%.

-Clerics, Channel, and the Divine list.
This is complex and multi-faceted, as it also includes Sorcerers and a few more tidbits. In short, we have been given a playtest version of Cleric which benefitted from a massively overtuned healing potential, but suffered the worst spellcasting ability/list in the game as a balancing factor. This caused issues for Sorcerer, who got the spellcasting but not the channel, for any other healer, who did not have any chance to catch up, and for all non-cleric parties, who could not keep up with encounters that were clearly balanced around the Cleric's presence. Paizo's response has been, so far, to cut down Channel (and mention they'll improve spellcasting). To me, this is... still a bit off. I am uneasy with Channel as a flat bonus max level slots, as it still keeps Cleric up above in terms of healing regardless of investment and because of that might still warrant a power reduction in other departments, which in turn will reflect in other parts of the game that relate to Clerics and Divine. There have been several good suggestions over what to do with Channel, from making it scale with feats causing an opt-in effect to making it a tool to turn Cleric into a hybrid prepared/spontaneous caster (my favourite so far). Whichever direction Paizo takes, I truly hope that it enhances Cleric's role as the most fruitful class from a roleplay perspective and not just a near endless source of hit points for the group.

-Armour.
Despite six updates, it's still spelt "armor". On a related note, there are also absurdly high penalties for heavy armour that are balanced by absolutely no benefits, besides the shoehorning of a few select classes into the concept of "you only get these benefits if you wear horrible equipment that gimps you a little less than normal". I am not sure how Paizo managed to create a trait system that gives different bonuses to weapons creating flavour and variety, and then made a trait system for armour that gives nothing but massive penalties. There should be a reason to want heavy armour over light armour, something that's not just "I have low dex" but more like "it protects more". If it can't be more AC, then it can be a secondary benefit - damage reduction has been suggested since forever, but it's not the only option. But mostly it should be called armour.

-Alchemist.
First of all thank you for the alchemist specialisations. While some concerns have been raised over mutagens, it's the feat variety that concerns me the most here, as virtually no feats have been released to support paths other than bombing. I am hoping plenty are on route and we will see them soon, but that aside - Alchemist has an odd feel, in general, and that is because of the items. Alchemists being separated from the magical system is a great idea and a major thumbs up, but if that's the case then the items need to be good enough to compare - if not directly, at least indirectly. I don't need an elixir of fly, or even a steroid boost that lets people jump a barn, but I would definitely welcome a gluey paste that lets people climb any surface. I don't need a thrown healing potion, or a filter that resurrects people, but I can definitely imagine a vial being unstoppered and releasing a hovering cloud that slowly heals and toughens everyone in a small area - friend or foe. In other words, while I love the idea of fundamentally different effects, they need to keep up in some way if Alchemist is to be a nonmagical utility character in a world of magical utility characters. (also, alchemist vs incorporeals is a MAJOR weak spot).

-The power feel.
So many feats feel like they are just "the least worse option". Some feat chains feel like they've been written with retraining in mind, something like "once you're lv18, retrain your previous feat to take the whole chain at once, 'cause there's no point in the previous stuff". So many times you take a feat just to let your numbers keep up, and not to actually have anything get better - just an option you previously would've never used that now, finally, becomes as good as the rest of your stuff. We were initially told how feats were moving away from minor numerical bonuses and towards meaningful options. That'd be nice. Please make it so.

That's my final PF2 feedback, I suppose. I am currently GMing a P2 War for the Crown, starting next week, and I love the system (despite a ton of houserules) - but as I said, there's much that needs to be addressed. I hope it'll happen. I hope it'll be great - it has the potential to.

To the testers, thanks for working through this. It's been a blast.
To my players, you guys wrote more characters than I ever got to play in a decade. Have some rest and enjoy the Exaltation Gala.
To the devs/designers... My posts might be mean but it's just tough love <3 I wouldn't bother yelling at you if I didn't think you could do wonders! (also sorry if I've been mean, ilu guys)

See you all in queue for the book once it's out ;)


Well said. I generally agree with all of that. Skill feats are all over the board, general feats aren’t bad but are uninspiring and mostly just seem to be there for shoring up a character’s weak spots. I think the alchemist will be much better in the final cut when they hopefully will have bulked out the alchemical items list. The fact that they could only make improved versions of the same half dozen items plus a laundry list of poisons that became useless after a level or 2 (which is why they made so many) was sad. They just stopped making interesting items after level 4. It was understandable for a playtest I guess??? I have also repeatedly mentioned how terrible heavy armour is, even for the classes that get a bonus in it and the cleric pretty much has the problems you’ve pointed out though it has been talked about a lot. And then items. I’ve gone on a rant or 2 about the fact that if skill item bonuses are going to be so essential they need to standardize when they become available because the skill items levels are all over the place and some skills don’t even get an item with certain numerical bonuses. Lowering the bonuses would help a lot though I still think the standardization is necessary as well.


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How to start making heavy armor worth it: Remove TAC.

TAC only exists because when they unified attack rolls in 3.0, WotC ran into a problem where wizards would up unable to easily land their spells. Thus, because armor was the main source of AC, they made a new type of AC that ignoring armor for wizards to target.


Armor class is called as such and was originally descending because of war games. So just like your battleship could have 1st class armor, 2nd class armor, etc, you might have full plate+shield be 1st class, full plate without a shield or half+shield be 2nd class, etc. Dex did affect it if your Dex was high enough, but for 7-14 Dex, it was only a function of armor class. (Double meaning fully intended)

Catch is, this created a sort of feedback loop. Your Dex bonus to AC was more valuable, because it also applied to TAC, so heavy armor started to fall out of favor. And, of course, this just leaves us right back where we started, because wizards are relatively unaffected by light armor. (But admittedly not natural armor, like a dragon's dismally low TAC, hence SR)

Switching to a Starfinder-style KAC/EAC split could be interesting. But whether you change TAC to EAC or just remove it completely, as long as there's an entire class of armor that only really applies to (K)AC and not TAC, no one's going to be interested in it.

And removing TAC is reasonable, now that PF's switching over to unified proficiency bonuses.


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Your feedback is quite agreeable, if there's one thing I disagree with it's the feats. I personally find SO many of the feats to be really cool stuff. I don't actually get the note of feats being needed to keep your numbers up, given that almost no feats actually grant numerical bonuses. And that's one of my favorite things about PF2 feats, they aren't building up your numbers but rather fleshing out your abilities.

THAT SAID, I am all for feat chains dying altogether. One of the shining points of the Playtest is its comparative lack of mandatory choices, but that makes the mandatory and near-mandatory choices that DO exist stick out like a sore thumb. That's why one of my houserules involves feats that start a chain just granting their improvements automatically later on, and some class paths doing the same for their followup feats.


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I may perhaps be exaggerating the number of feats that rub me the wrong way (but I am speaking in general, including skill feats, ancestry feats, class feats and so on), and yes, several feats open up lovely options, but many just don’t, and that’s an issue. As for ‘keeping numbers up’, I am specifically referring to those feats that allow you to use items with DCs (or, to say it as the book does, to ‘allow item X to use your class DC instead of its regular DC’, which is usually a good +8 bonus or so but only because the starting value is so abysmal as to be unusable). Poisons and snare feats are the main offenders.


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This list is spot on exactly my feelings from the playtest and I am hoping that you are not alone in feeling this way. I have my fingers crossed for these nagging issues to be resolved when the game launches.

I still have a player at my table steadfastedly trying to make a poisoner alchemist work despite the issues. It's been fun tweaking feat levels and contents to find something that keeps pace with the rest of the group.


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Oh yeah, ACTUALLY screw Potent Poisoner and Powerful Snares, or whatever. I definitely houserule to deal with those. Chiefly the housrule that ANY Infused item an Alchemist makes automatically goes to class DC.

Ruzza, if he hasn't already tried it inhaled poisons are theoretically an option worth trying. I built an Alchemist with them but forgot to try them because he was always too busy Goblin Firebombing to frankly ridiculous effect, but inhaled poisons can be tossed up in a cube AoE, don't require an attack roll, and your foe can't avoid making a save unless they were already holding their breath before you threw it. So they effectively are a pretty solid save or suck. On top of that they only take 1 action to release, so depending on your level you can even use Quick Alchemy to make two on the spot and toss both, or pre-make them and have two in hand at the start of the fight. Forcing two saves in a row is a good way to get enemies poisoned more reliably, and in mid to high levels you probably have reagents to spare. And unlike injury poisons there are actually some high level inhaled poisons.

On the downside monsters do tend to have high fort, but again poison spam is a thing now apparently. And if you have a Demoralize buddy that helps. At high levels a pal with Polar Ray is ace for softening up someone for poison.

Also inhaled poison has a 1 round onset, which isn't great but it IS usable in combat for sure, unlike 1 minute onset.

Just a thought as an alternate deliver method, if he hasn't already tried it. If he uses injury poisons much, multiclassing Rogue for Poison Weapon could be good. TBH I think Alchemist's should already have access to that.


I think the poisoner is currently in a weird space. Hell of cool thematically but most of the stuff he gets seems lackluster compared to the other specs.

* Poison resistance and + to save makes sense, but frankly doesn't do a lot, unless you have a habit of unleashing inhaled poison in the same area you are in. I really like that concept, however inhaled poison is so high level that it doesn't make sense for a build. But if you give me more inhaled low-level poisons this would be a very cool character to play.

* Applying poisons to weapon as a single action doesn't seem to matter too much, at least for some time. It seems better to simply apply the poisons before combat to a bunch of arrows (and then give said arrows to another party member that is actually better with a bow and arrow), if you are even allowed to use poison on ammunition.
The "free" poisons you can make from Perpetual Infusions hardly seems worth the full-round action to do a single attack, with a low DC poison. Making arsenic from nothing does have some fun role-play elements but might be mechanically weak and I am unsure how the 1 round potency works with poisoning food or drinks.

* I think contact poisons have a ton of potential, but I am unsure how to best utilize it for combat perspective before getting Greater Field Discovery, which is frankly the best reason I see to become a poisoner, instead of just being a bomber utilizing poisons. But in the right party you might be able to infiltrate certain hostile areas and dose the place in contact poisons to greatly reduce the power of the enemy before the fight even really begin.

I think some of the stuff I would change to make poisoner more worth playing is giving poisoners or maybe all alchemist Powerful Alchemy for free (either at first level or pretty early on).

Change the way you apply poison to either be a single action that you can do as a free action when you use quick alchemy to create a poison or an interact action to fetch a poison (maybe this could be a class feat instead). Or at least let the character apply poison to a 2-handed weapon without having to change grip as a separate action.

Maybe also let you dose your weapon in so much poison that it was good for several attacks instead of a single attack, this might just be for your Perpetual Infusions, but at least then you might want to spend the actions to always have a poisoned weapon active in combat.


On the perpetual infusions poisons, remember that if you have that one feat you bring the poison up to your class DC. So applying in a single action would be decent if you were out of other poisons or wanted to keep stronger stuff in reserve. You could make it with one action, apply it with the second, and attack with the third for a Class DC poison as often as you want. The effects may not be stellar even if it works, but for an at-will ability it probably still has some decent effects.


I'm all for the changes you mention generally speaking, just mentioning that the perpetual infusion poisons don't necessarily have the DC issue.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I feel compelled to point out heavy armor DOES give better AC than light armor until level 10 which is where the majority (probably vast majority) of play takes place. You just can't hit the +5 Dex cap until then, and if you're a Caster you can't hit it until level 15.

Medium armor can technically hit the 7+proficiency mark at level 1 as well, but only if you really pump Dex to the detriment of other stats. If you want to be a strength based gish, heavy armor is great up until level 10 because it let's you keep your casting Stat up. Heck, if you want to have good con on top of strength, you're probably going to want heavy armor.

Now, the penalties to speed and ACP might be a harsher than they need to be, but being able to rock a d12 weapon is a serious advantage. You could definitely make a case that dex's other advantage outweigh them, especially with reflex saves, but with athletics being such a clutch skill and Dex losing initiative its definitely easier to hold off your ABC boosts on Dex thanks to the armors.

I also don't feel like the paradigm has shifted significantly from PF1 until you start getting into stuff like mithral armor, and frankly I'm kind of glad that is gone.

I think my number one complaint about heavy armor is barbarians can't rage in it, and considering they are supposed to push strength and constitution over Dex, get hit with the worst AC penalties in the game, and actually have some mobility enhancers to offset the speed issue... This feels unnecessarily punitive. I'm fine with needing to buy into heavy armor with a feat, and I'm fine with it trading off some ACP and speed. But being told "you can't rage in heavy armor because... Reasons" feels arbitrary and immersion breaking. The fighter will still have better accuracy and AC if you allow the barbarian to rage in full plate.


Aye, pretty much as Captain Morgan says. It's easy to look at "All armor has Armor+Dex=7" and say all armor is the same. I've made that mistake. But unlike in PF1 there are actually hard caps on when you can reach the cap for light armor, and it requires definitely meaningful investment. Medium armor can be reached quicker but requires stronger investment to do so. As mentioned, level 10 for a Key-Dex class is the earliest you reach light armor cap (And 15 for non-key Dex). And how about that, by that point heavy armor on the heavy armor classes is already pulling ahead. Fighter gets Expert and Master at 11 and 17, Palading gets EML at 7, 13, and 17. So by the time people are reaching the Dex+armor=7 cap on Light armor, Fighter and Paladin heavy armor has already broken that cap or is about to. And they continue to go higher from there later on.

Of course, still not saying armor isn't overly punitive. Just saying that in actual play heavy armor is more protective for at least half the game, more for casters, and for the classes that naturally get it it is almost always more protective.

Now I don't think this is a proper solution for the final book, I still think heavy armor should have better traits and should not rely on proficiency since I think other armor types should be able to get better proficiency too, but given how they are overhauling proficiency there's little chance this won't be looked at for the final version.


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The realization that for low-levels medium armor is the better tank option is what let me to the idea of a rogue tank (sure HP is worse than other melees) but a rogue in medium armor and using a shield has a very solid AC while still doing decent dmg thanks to sneak attack. And being one of the highest AC classes combined with Deny Advantage makes you less concerned of being surrounded than even a fighter or a paladin in those levels. And because of sneak attacks enemies might not just want to walk past you to hit the rest of the party.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'll also say that there's an interesting thing for classes other paladin and fighter. They generally become less reliant on heavy armor as they level up. Which seems to align with the idea of "not becoming increasingly reliant on your items." I'm sure there are some meaningful differences there and I don't mean to paint it as a problem to dislike heavy armor penalties and mandatory magic items at the same time. Never the less, I think it's an interesting observation.

Liberty's Edge

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My main concerns aren't being touched on here but regardless I too am in the boat with others concerned that Heavy Armor use is simply... just going to disappear. Mechanically speaking, 1 additional AC to the direct detriment of your TAC, Ref Saves, half your Skills, and Land speed is a HUGE loss, and any player who has half a mind towards building a halfway optimal PC will simply never even consider wearing Heavy Armor.

Something need to be added to Medium and Heavy Armor use that doesn't already exist to help bring them up. Maybe it is something along the lines of Medium Armor provides its full bonus to TAC, and Heavy Armor Users receive DR equal to their Heavy Armor Prof Bonus when they ARE hit by an attach that targets their normal AC.

Something needs doing, we don't need another 3 years of PFS games where less than 10% of all PCs are using Heavy Armor, and even then the ONLY INSTANCES where that DOES happen is in the case of Magic Mithral Full-Plate and literally nothing else.


Themetricsystem wrote:

My main concerns aren't being touched on here but regardless I too am in the boat with others concerned that Heavy Armor use is simply... just going to disappear. Mechanically speaking, 1 additional AC to the direct detriment of your TAC, Ref Saves, half your Skills, and Land speed is a HUGE loss, and any player who has half a mind towards building a halfway optimal PC will simply never even consider wearing Heavy Armor.

Something need to be added to Medium and Heavy Armor use that doesn't already exist to help bring them up. Maybe it is something along the lines of Medium Armor provides its full bonus to TAC, and Heavy Armor Users receive DR equal to their Heavy Armor Prof Bonus when they ARE hit by an attach that targets their normal AC.

Something needs doing, we don't need another 3 years of PFS games where less than 10% of all PCs are using Heavy Armor, and even then the ONLY INSTANCES where that DOES happen is in the case of Magic Mithral Full-Plate and literally nothing else.

There's a game called Battle Brothers, low end fantasy/medieval game. In it there's a Perk called "Battle Forged" you lower damage based on 5% of your current Armor value. This mainly helps Heavy armor go further and last longer.

I can see Pathfinder doing something similar. Not quite 5%(Battle Brothers is a video game so it can calculate on the fly), but I think we could stand to have well, DR based on how much bonus or the weight our armor has.

The upsides of having heavy armor doesn't outweigh the downsides of picking it. The only thing that's good now is you can cast in Heavy armor. But even then, is it worth it?

I mean heck, large imposing Hellknight. He's probably gonna be a pain to break through that AC. His Touch however, well I'm giggling.


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Ediwir wrote:
Found The Path

man I haven't even finished reading but this made me laugh out loud, favorited without a second thought

EDIT: after reading the whole post, I wholeheartedly agree with all of your points (plus, I had a few more laughs, so thank you)

I really hope the best for this game. Regards.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
Found The Path

man I haven't even finished reading but this made me laugh out loud, favorited without a second thought

EDIT: after reading the whole post, I wholeheartedly agree with all of your points (plus, I had a few more laughs, so thank you)

I really hope the best for this game. Regards.

When you're done laughing, you can recall one very interesting project you put forth and seemingly forgotten about. Don't worry, I'll help you by reminding about it every now and then.


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If anyone starts a coinflipping argument on my thread I am going to find you and I am going to make you double-check the skill/attack/save modifiers for my PF1 group. This is a serious threat and you should be concerned.

That said, I should also add that “Inflammable goblins” is also an extremely important point to correct.


Ediwir wrote:

If anyone starts a coinflipping argument on my thread I am going to find you and I am going to make you double-check the skill/attack/save modifiers for my PF1 group. This is a serious threat and you should be concerned.

Okay, fair, but now I almost want to do it to see if I can. See if my PF1 chops extend past my own group.

I wonder about me sometimes. XD


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Captain Morgan wrote:

I feel compelled to point out heavy armor DOES give better AC than light armor until level 10 which is where the majority (probably vast majority) of play takes place. You just can't hit the +5 Dex cap until then, and if you're a Caster you can't hit it until level 15.

Medium armor can technically hit the 7+proficiency mark at level 1 as well, but only if you really pump Dex to the detriment of other stats. If you want to be a strength based gish, heavy armor is great up until level 10 because it let's you keep your casting Stat up. Heck, if you want to have good con on top of strength, you're probably going to want heavy armor.

Now, the penalties to speed and ACP might be a harsher than they need to be, but being able to rock a d12 weapon is a serious advantage. You could definitely make a case that dex's other advantage outweigh them, especially with reflex saves, but with athletics being such a clutch skill and Dex losing initiative its definitely easier to hold off your ABC boosts on Dex thanks to the armors.

I also don't feel like the paradigm has shifted significantly from PF1 until you start getting into stuff like mithral armor, and frankly I'm kind of glad that is gone.

I think my number one complaint about heavy armor is barbarians can't rage in it, and considering they are supposed to push strength and constitution over Dex, get hit with the worst AC penalties in the game, and actually have some mobility enhancers to offset the speed issue... This feels unnecessarily punitive. I'm fine with needing to buy into heavy armor with a feat, and I'm fine with it trading off some ACP and speed. But being told "you can't rage in heavy armor because... Reasons" feels arbitrary and immersion breaking. The fighter will still have better accuracy and AC if you allow the barbarian to rage in full plate.

Not quite.

It might be more accurate to say that Heavy vs Light armor isn't the issue, but rather Heavy vs Medium armor. A DEX of 14 makes Full Plate completely irrelevant, and most characters, martial or otherwise, are going to at least start with a 12 at level 1 with even the barest of optimization. When you get 4 free boosts once every five levels, it is extremely difficult to not pick DEX as one of those four. By level 5, a full third of the heavy armor options is just trash, not even worth considering.

It is only by level 10 that a character that is at least trying to avoid DEX but is still trying to be optimal (as in there's at least two other stats that are more deserving of a dump) that all heavy armor becomes inferior to Medium Armor, which gives you a massive 5 foot smaller speed penalty., a larger TAC, and less bulk. And as you level, you just keep getting lighter and lighter medium armors that further reduce the penalties. At level 15, you're gonna be using either Hide or Scale Mail, and at 20 despite your best efforts you're now going to be wearing Light Armor.

That is for a character that is trying to wear the heaviest armor they can get away with. The old system of basing an armor's utility on your DEX investment breaks down when your DEX is going to increase almost no matter what. There literally is no option to even start with an 8 in DEX except through voluntary flaws. I don't know of any class where DEX is the second least useful stat to boost, so it's just hard to avoid.

Add in the fact that DEX is extremely useful and literally makes you move faster with the same AC, a higher TAC, better reflex saves, and better skill checks (don't forget you can often sub Acrobatics for Athletics checks), and it's more likely that a character isn't going to have just that bare minimum DEX score necessary to make heavy armor last for a little while.

Oh, and you can't even get plate armor until level 2, so there's only four levels where it's useful while also being ridiculously expensive for the levels where it's relevant. F$$& you for trying, I guess. Oh, and the +1 heavy armor potency rune costs twice as much and is one level higher than a light or medium armor potency rune for some reason. Don't know what that reason is, but for at least one level people running medium armor with an appropriate DEX are going to have a higher AC than someone in heavy armor for far cheaper, because that makes perfect sense allegedly.

Now, the argument about using a d12 weapon might be true, but Pathfinder 2 isn't D&D 5e, it actually makes perfect sense to pump up both STR and DEX for martials. My earlier math for minimum optimal DEX is just that, a minimum - that's for a character that's not even trying to be DEX focused, where DEX is the third lowest stat they have for some reason. DEX doesn't even need to be used for offense that often to be worth taking, just having it so you can have a decent range is good enough given it's also your Reflex save and movement speed. It's really hard to take advantage of that d12 weapon if you have to waste more than one action just moving to your enemy to get in range because of your s$!#ty 15 foot movement speed, literally moving three squares per action. It doesn't even have to be a big investment, going STR/DEX in your background or picking a race that just naturally has DEX is gonna force you into medium armor by level 5 even if STR is your highest stat (ignoring the class-specific bonuses).

As you pointed out, this is also s*%%ty for people who want to wear Light armor, since it's impossible to create a character at level 1 who actually benefits from it unless they're a Rogue or whatever trying to pick locks with a GM that isn't nice enough to just say they can take off their gloves and ignore ACP altogether for Thievery checks. By level 5 they will be able to use light armor finally, but it's a bit unacceptable that it takes until level 5 for that to happen. It's really only armor proficiency at that point that keeps Medium Armor from being so overbearing for those wishing for a lightly armored character.

For those who want to wear Medium armor for thematic reasons, needing a 16 in DEX at level 1 to wear it off the bat is pretty restrictive. Armor proficiency gating at least makes it so sticking with Medium early probably makes sense, but it's still icky.


Agreed that heavy armor is pretty bad compared to medium armor (which is also what they should be compared to for the most part I think)

Would it be unreasonable to simply change the penalties of heavy armor to only -5ft and remove clumsy from splint mail and full plate. Sure heavy armor would be almost strictly better than most medium armor, but they still have a generally higher ACP, cost more, higher bulk and require a higher proficiency.


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Very well said, and yes please fix the spelling..... And the syntax and grammar and terrible layout, ergonomics, and too many new terms. Elves and dwarves ARE DIFFERENT RACES!! The word "race" isn't bad, it's just that applying it to humans of differing cultural extraction has always been a thing terrible people do.

But yes, yes, and yes to all your concerns. In broad strokes (and I've posted this myself several times) Paizo started with a great idea, and then failed to see it through. Make a simpler mechanism for character creation and play, that allows for most of the flexibility of P1 without the insane number of options.

They should have run a closed playtest 2 years ago and worked out all these bugs internally. They should have presented a Beta or Gamma test of a game they were actually fairly sure of. They absolutely had to have a firm point of view and ready answers against the tyranny of fun! My own group is just past the halfway point in the playtest, so there's near 100 years of roleplaying experience that Paizo wasn't willing to hear from before making huge changes. They've chosen to crowdsource a gaming system, and I'm so worried that it's turning into pablum.

I really hope Paizo takes a year to really sort the dross from the gold. I'll always be a roleplayer, but only some very serious work can keep me playing Pathfinder.


Oh, and since the playtest doesn't really give us the opportunity to notice this since we're playing fresh characters for so much, a side effect of the discrepancy between the prices for a +1 potency armor rune between light/medium armor and heavy armor is that either one of two things happen:

A) You can't transfer a potency rune between a medium/light set of armor and a heavy set of armor. They're technically two different types of runes and neither works on the other armor type. +1 medium armor is useless to anyone in heavy armor. This only happens when you get your +1.

B) You can transfer runes, and therefore it's better to pay to have a potency rune etched into an ally's non-heavy armor and pay the transfer fee to add it to your own armor. 25 gp + 10% transfer fee is 27.5 gp versus 50 gp to have the rune etched into your heavy armor directly, a savings of a whopping 225 sp at a level where that actually means a lot, that's a solid third of what you'd need to etch a +1 rune into your weapon! Again, a weird quirk that only happens at level 1.

Why is that necessary? It's magic, it shouldn't give a s@@@ that metal armor is pricier than textiles. I sure don't see a balance reason for it.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Helmic wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

I feel compelled to point out heavy armor DOES give better AC than light armor until level 10 which is where the majority (probably vast majority) of play takes place. You just can't hit the +5 Dex cap until then, and if you're a Caster you can't hit it until level 15.

Medium armor can technically hit the 7+proficiency mark at level 1 as well, but only if you really pump Dex to the detriment of other stats. If you want to be a strength based gish, heavy armor is great up until level 10 because it let's you keep your casting Stat up. Heck, if you want to have good con on top of strength, you're probably going to want heavy armor.

Now, the penalties to speed and ACP might be a harsher than they need to be, but being able to rock a d12 weapon is a serious advantage. You could definitely make a case that dex's other advantage outweigh them, especially with reflex saves, but with athletics being such a clutch skill and Dex losing initiative its definitely easier to hold off your ABC boosts on Dex thanks to the armors.

I also don't feel like the paradigm has shifted significantly from PF1 until you start getting into stuff like mithral armor, and frankly I'm kind of glad that is gone.

I think my number one complaint about heavy armor is barbarians can't rage in it, and considering they are supposed to push strength and constitution over Dex, get hit with the worst AC penalties in the game, and actually have some mobility enhancers to offset the speed issue... This feels unnecessarily punitive. I'm fine with needing to buy into heavy armor with a feat, and I'm fine with it trading off some ACP and speed. But being told "you can't rage in heavy armor because... Reasons" feels arbitrary and immersion breaking. The fighter will still have better accuracy and AC if you allow the barbarian to rage in full plate.

Not quite.

It might be more accurate to say that Heavy vs Light armor isn't the issue, but rather Heavy vs Medium armor. A DEX of 14 makes Full...

While much of this is true, I have some asterisks to put on it.

1) Some of what you are describing is intentional. One of the design goals was to make it so that there was no "best" armor. Each armor is meant to be a valid choice for some type of character or another. There are quite a few advantages to this approach. But it does mean that as long as we have Dex and AC married to each other, your optimal armor is going to change as you increase Dex. I think that's worth what you get by making all the armors viable for certain types of characters, and may be unavoidable unless you reinvent the wheel with positive armor traits or something.

2) While prioritizing Dex as you described is often (arguably) the optimal choice, not everyone plays optimally. The 9th level paladin in my playtest still had +0 dex, and the barbarian from the same group only had +1. Lots of people have different priorities than optimizing their stat boosts, and heavier armors allow those folks to survive better, albeit with some trade offs.

3) Let's actually consider who would want to be using heavy armor in the first place.

Fighters and Paladins are the iconic armor classes, and most folks will gravitate to them if they want to be in heavy. Luckily, these are the classes that still stay ahead of the Dex curve.

Barbarians simply can't use it in the first place. (Which I take issue with, but being what it is Barbarians aren't relevant here.)

Rangers (and Rogues, I guess) can technically buy into heavy armor and have it eventually drop off in effectiveness. But let's be real, a ranger in heavy armor really seems to be moving away from what the class is meant for, and the Rogue even more so.

Clerics can pretty easily access heavy armor. But a melee cleric is the most MAD class in the game. CHA for channel, WIS, STR for damage, and and CON to make up for that d8 and keep on trucking. Dumping dex is actually a perfectly rational choice on such a build. If your going for a more caster focused cleric you probably want to pump dex anyway for ranged touch attacks.

Druids can technically gain heavy armor just as easily, but they also can't wear metal armor so until special materials come into play it was never really an option anyway.

Monks are not applicable.

Alchemist are almost always going to be dexy anyway for bombs.

So we are basically left with the bard, sorcerer, and wizard. I reckon you only really ever wanted to be in heavy armor for these folks if you were going to gish it up. For that kind of build, STR/CON/WIS/Casting stat is pretty viable. Wisdom does a lot for you now that it is tied to initiative. Divine/Primal sorcerers need it if they want to actually understand their magical tradition, and if they are your primary caster that can be pretty important. Arcane/Occult sorcerers may want intelligence to be able to identify their own brand of magic.

The above is all true for bards, who additionally don't have many ranged touch attack options and have a bunch of feats that key off Intelligence.

Then we of course have multiclassing-- if you aren't pumping dex you can probably qualify for Paladin and get expert in heavy.

It seems like there simply aren't going to be that many characters where the heavy armor drop off you describe will actually happen. We are mostly taking about gishes, the MADest builds in the game.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Helmic wrote:

Oh, and since the playtest doesn't really give us the opportunity to notice this since we're playing fresh characters for so much, a side effect of the discrepancy between the prices for a +1 potency armor rune between light/medium armor and heavy armor is that either one of two things happen:

A) You can't transfer a potency rune between a medium/light set of armor and a heavy set of armor. They're technically two different types of runes and neither works on the other armor type. +1 medium armor is useless to anyone in heavy armor. This only happens when you get your +1.

B) You can transfer runes, and therefore it's better to pay to have a potency rune etched into an ally's non-heavy armor and pay the transfer fee to add it to your own armor. 25 gp + 10% transfer fee is 27.5 gp versus 50 gp to have the rune etched into your heavy armor directly, a savings of a whopping 225 sp at a level where that actually means a lot, that's a solid third of what you'd need to etch a +1 rune into your weapon! Again, a weird quirk that only happens at level 1.

Why is that necessary? It's magic, it shouldn't give a s~&% that metal armor is pricier than textiles. I sure don't see a balance reason for it.

All other things aside, I do agree that armor (and bracers) should sync up their levels better.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
While prioritizing Dex as you described is often (arguably) the optimal choice, not everyone plays optimally. The 9th level paladin in my playtest still had +0 dex, and the barbarian from the same group only had +1. Lots of people have different priorities than optimizing their stat boosts, and heavier armors allow those folks to survive better, albeit with some trade offs.

At 9th level, but then at 10th level they'd get another four ability boosts, and then at 15th level another four, and then if they made it all the way to 20th a final four - you get so many ability boosts in the playtest that it's not really enough to just not care that much about a stat, you need to specifically neglect it to not end up being at least decent in it by higher levels.

This doesn't invalidate the point that people who do neglect dexterity will still benefit from heavier armour, but the heaviest armours, the ones designed for people with basically no dexterity at all, have a lot of trouble justifying their cost and penalties when it's so relatively little investment to drop in enough boosts that lighter (if not Light™) armour will do you better anyway.


Turkeycubes wrote:
Very well said, and yes please fix the spelling..... And the syntax and grammar and terrible layout, ergonomics, and too many new terms. Elves and dwarves ARE DIFFERENT RACES!! The word "race" isn't bad, it's just that applying it to humans of differing cultural extraction has always been a thing terrible people do.

I mean, the fact that humans and elves have fertile offspring calls into question the claim that the typical fantasy races are all biologically distinct, suggesting something more like Shadowrun's H. sapiens subspecies. (No, seriously. In Shadowrun, Elves are canonically H. sapiens nobilis, Orks are H. sapiens robustus, Dwarfs are H. sapiens pumilionis, and Trolls are H. sapiens ingentis)

That said, I definitely agree with qualms about "Ancestry" as a term. Although my issue is more with the fact that "ancestry" sounds more like a sorcerer's bloodline than anything resembling whatever elves, dwarves, and humans are.


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I mean, Pathfinder had things which were "race" that were clearly not, in a biological sense. Changelings are a one-off coupling of a Hag and a human, there are all sorts of "literal things from space" that you could play in PF1 (e.g. triaxians and yaddithians), there are things native to other planes (e.g. gathlains) and things which were artificially created (ghorans and androids). None of these things are meaningfully a "race" of some broader category.

Asking "who are your people, where do you come from" is a better way to phrase the question because it applies to gathlains ("I grew from a seed of a magic tree in the first world") and ghorans ("I am the continuation of a thousands year old lifeform who occasionally needs a new body") as readily as it does Dwarves ("my mom was a smith at Five Kings Mountain and my dad a miner") and Half-Elves ("Mom was an Elf, Dad was a Varisian").

I do not want "race" back, since it presumes we can only have versions of a common thing, else it's going to be used incorrectly eventually. I will also point out that "should it be ancestry or race" has never been up for discussion during the entire playtest, as devs have repeatedly indicated they are not changing it back.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
FowlJ wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
While prioritizing Dex as you described is often (arguably) the optimal choice, not everyone plays optimally. The 9th level paladin in my playtest still had +0 dex, and the barbarian from the same group only had +1. Lots of people have different priorities than optimizing their stat boosts, and heavier armors allow those folks to survive better, albeit with some trade offs.

At 9th level, but then at 10th level they'd get another four ability boosts, and then at 15th level another four, and then if they made it all the way to 20th a final four - you get so many ability boosts in the playtest that it's not really enough to just not care that much about a stat, you need to specifically neglect it to not end up being at least decent in it by higher levels.

This doesn't invalidate the point that people who do neglect dexterity will still benefit from heavier armour, but the heaviest armours, the ones designed for people with basically no dexterity at all, have a lot of trouble justifying their cost and penalties when it's so relatively little investment to drop in enough boosts that lighter (if not Light™) armour will do you better anyway.

Indeed, but as I outlined the few set of character that would probably wear heavy armor in the first place actually have built in justification. For fighters and paladins it is proficiency bumps and lower penalties (like PF1 armor training, really) and for melee clerics (and to a lesser extent other fishes) it is straight up being so MAD neglecting Dex actually makes a lot of sense.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

In fact, I'll go a step further and say that heavy armor is at worst as hard to justify as it was in PF1 core. The difference is that PF1 punished you for using it by blocking off class features, too.

--PF1 heavy armor restricted your movement just as much out the box. A 10 foot penalty might be slightly more bearable on a 30 foot speed instead of 25, but it is much more affordable to take the Fleet feat now to offset this, on top of mobility enhancers like Sudden Charge.

--PF1 heavy's ACP was significantly worse, and you could only shave 1 off it through item quality.

--Rangers, Monks, Rogues, Druids, and Barbarians had class features which stopped working in heavy armor. Hilariously, a barbarian in full plate not only took worst ACP, but effectively took a 20 foot speed reduction. And armor training felt more costly, as well.

--Fighters were still incentivized to use heavy armor through class bumps in pretty much the same way.

--Paladin's only real incentive was that it was harder to raise their dex in PF1.

--Changing most of this require mithral armor, which was costly and required replacing your armor midway through the game in a very similar vein to replacing your armor as Dex gets higher in PF1. A big chunk of the reason mithral armor was awesome was because it could be treated as one step lighter anyway. Except now it is less expensive to swap armor and you become less reliant on it instead of simply needing to become more dependent.

--Clerics got pretty much the same benefit from heavy armor: being able to push their other stats higher. Except it was more expensive to get proficiency. I think it's probably still cheaper to get Fleet and wind up with a cleric with a 20 foot move speed.

--Arcane spell failure cut off the ability to use heavy armor without very specific later game equipment, as even spending feats on it didn't really solve the problem for most armor.

I think literally the only core class that was might have been more likely to use heavy armor for their entire career was the melee alchemist. And even then, they probably didn't wind up doing it because they had better ways to spend their levels and feats than getting higher AC at the cost of movement and ACP.

Now, some of this changed with the release of specific archetypes, but there's nothing preventing Paizo from doing the same again.

Now, it might be the case that folks had these same objections about heavy armor in PF1 and this is a problem that simply hasn't been fixed to them, a la the folks who hate mandatory magic items. But it feels like most folks think heavy armor is worse than it was in PF1, and if anything it seems to me it is better (at least in core.) I think folks just need to shift their perspective to account for this.

Also, I'm pretty sure similar reasons apply to PF1 vs PF2 medium armor, and when comparing how medium and heavy armor stack up against each other between editions.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, Pathfinder had things which were "race" that were clearly not, in a biological sense. Changelings are a one-off coupling of a Hag and a human, there are all sorts of "literal things from space" that you could play in PF1 (e.g. triaxians and yaddithians), there are things native to other planes (e.g. gathlains) and things which were artificially created (ghorans and androids). None of these things are meaningfully a "race" of some broader category.

Asking "who are your people, where do you come from" is a better way to phrase the question because it applies to gathlains ("I grew from a seed of a magic tree in the first world") and ghorans ("I am the continuation of a thousands year old lifeform who occasionally needs a new body") as readily as it does Dwarves ("my mom was a smith at Five Kings Mountain and my dad a miner") and Half-Elves ("Mom was an Elf, Dad was a Varisian").

I do not want "race" back, since it presumes we can only have versions of a common thing, else it's going to be used incorrectly eventually. I will also point out that "should it be ancestry or race" has never been up for discussion during the entire playtest, as devs have repeatedly indicated they are not changing it back.

Which is fine and works for them but I'm still going to mentally and verbally probably address it as Race myself because I'm so used to it and it works for me.

I will say the discussions of it tend to open up cans of worms that were probably better left un-opened.

Captain Morgan wrote:
But it feels like most folks think heavy armor is worse than it was in PF1, and if anything it seems to me it is better (at least in core.) I think folks just need to shift their perspective to account for this.

I mean PF1 heavy armor was bad I think we can all agree on that. But looking it over in PF2, I still don't really see a reason to use Heavy armor most the time.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
1) Some of what you are describing is intentional. One of the design goals was to make it so that there was no "best" armor. Each armor is meant to be a valid choice for some type of character or another. There are quite a few advantages to this approach. But it does mean that as long as we have Dex and AC married to each other, your optimal armor is going to change as you increase Dex. I think that's worth what you get by making all the armors viable for certain types of characters, and may be unavoidable unless you reinvent the wheel with positive armor traits or something.

Except there's clearly a lack of balance, as most classes can never ever use heavy armor even if they *try* to invest in it, because the penalties are so massive that even if you spend class resources to get that heavier armor (general feats, archetype feats) it will be worse than what you have already. Which is a problem, if a player is trying to invest in a concept they should generally be getting something out of it. You shouldn't be spending a feat and then become strictly worse.

Captain Morgan wrote:
2) While prioritizing Dex as you described is often (arguably) the optimal choice, not everyone plays optimally. The 9th level paladin in my playtest still had +0 dex, and the barbarian from the same group only had +1. Lots of people have different priorities than optimizing their stat boosts, and heavier armors allow those folks to survive better, albeit with some trade offs.

There's not much point in talking about anti-optimized characters. What I described is like the minimum to be considered reasonably optimized, and PF2 as a whole tends to assume most characters will attempt to be reasonably optimized since optimization actually makes interesting and well-rounded characters now. It's not even strictly optimal, it's just the floor before the GM might notice you've taken trap options and might need to step in to make sure that's what you actually intended and isn't an accident of a new player struggling with an extremely complex system.

Anti-optimizing is no longer necessary for flavor, and taking their considerations too seriously risks derailing balance discussions. If you're anti-optimizing, that's your own deal. You shouldn't have to anti-optimize to justify heavy armor, that just means heavy armor has way too much trouble being optimal for a character concept.

Captain Morgan wrote:
3) Let's actually consider who would want to be using heavy armor in the first place.

And that's exactly the issue. There are only two classes that can ever justify heavy armor, and that's because they have entire class features dedicated to making it at least on par with the other choices (Fighter) or just making it nearly mandatory (Paladin). If your primary class is neither of those, you cannot justify heavy armor, the game goes out of its way to punish you for trying.

Doesn't matter if a Ranger took a Fighter dedication, as you said "it doesn't fit the concept" so they're just not allowed.

Barbarians, not allowed.

Rogues, not allowed even if they don't want to be particularly sneaky but wanted to invest as a Brute STR rogue. A multiclass Brute/Fighter can never justify heavy armor without anti-optimizing.

It's pretty much only gishes that can maybe still justify having heavy armor at all (ie investing to get it doesn't actively punish them for doing so). And that's really on the assumption that they do their damndest to make sure DEX is the second lowest stat - but even then, it only takes 3 boosts to completely eliminate heavy armor altogether, and 2 boosts to eliminate plate armor.

For a system whose whole schtick is customization, it seems like having having heavy armor proficiency as a general feat might as we just be taken out, because if you're not getting it from your primary class it just might as well not exist. It's nothing but a trap option.

Captain Morgan wrote:
PF1

I'm not making a comparison to PF1 necessarily, as I already fled that system and heavy armor was pretty trash in it too. However, in PF1, heavy armor's main niche of "you don't have to invest in DEX" was actually valid, because you only ever got a +1 to one stat of your choice when you leveled up. If you put a 12 in your DEX at level 1, you could be reasonably certain that 12 DEX is never ever going to change again, 1-20. And because of that, an investment in heavy armor at least had a niche, anyone with the proficiency that maybe didn't need DEX that much could maybe not dump DEX but at least keep it low.

My comparison is more towards 5e, which doesn't just use DEX to determine your armor and so heavy armor isn't just chump armor. It has a STR and proficiency requirement as well as a steep cost in GP that nets you the best AC in the game, regardless of class. It is a thing that is worth taking that, because of the STR requirement, still is not the best choice for every character concept. In 5e, you have your choice in investing in DEX or STR to improve your defenses; the issue is that PF2 wants to incentivize having both and 5e's system incentivizes pumping one and dumping the other. 5e also has a bad tendency to make one particular iteration of a class of armor strictly the best, just as it does with weapons, and plate armor (something a lot of character concepts would stylistically like to use) isn't available until like level 6-ish depending on how much the party cooperates in funding the armor of their frontliners since gold is otherwise completely useless in that system.

Captain Morgan wrote:
I think that's worth what you get by making all the armors viable for certain types of characters, and may be unavoidable unless you reinvent the wheel with positive armor traits or something.

And this is where I think the system fundamentally fails. It at least avoids making heavy armor never useful, it's very good at forcing a particular class to have to use it, but when people make characters, they generally are going to envision them in a particular costume. If that costume can't be achieved through the rules and be reasonably effective, that's disappointing. If their costume is constantly being forced to change, those players coughing up money for commissions are going to be annoyed that their heavily plated character now actually only wears chainmail.

The system was originally made with the assumption that your DEX is generally fixed for a character unless it's a primary stat, and since that is no longer true then yeah a new system should be made. The old system is complex, clunky, confusing, imbalanced, and limiting for character concepts. It requires system mastery to even understand hte implications of its numbers or to notice that your armor will change in the first place. It is exactly the sort of thing PF2 should make a more drastic change to.

A better system would let a player wear the armor they want from 1-20, much as you can use the same type of weapon 1-20. You might change it at some point if you wish, but if you do so it's because you're making a trade-off rather than going for a strict upgrade. It would give heavy armor its own purpose that isn't reproducible with weaker armors, that justifies the heavier investment it takes to get it (DEX does things other than just AC, so it's not as severe an investment). It would still allow fighters and paladins to justifiably decide to wear medium or light armor for those benefits. If someone wanted to play more against type for their class, that should be a viable choice.

What that system might be, I don't know, I just know the current system isn't really doing the job if there has to be class features that exist purely to make it suck less ass.


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As for ancestry, yeah, race can't come back. It's an extremely charged word that has very unfortunate implications in fantasy fiction. Having an entire "race" that is stupid, weak, and always evil and thus a justifiable target for adventurers to kill with impunity does not conjure up a welcoming image, and while the name change alone will never really pull fantasy fiction away from its roots we can at least try to not burden the next generation of roleplayers with quite as much baggage in their vocabulary.

No one's gonna knock down your door if you keep calling it that, but it's a small and easy change and I wouldn't be surprised to see other RPG's to follow suit and move away from "race."


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MerlinCross wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, Pathfinder had things which were "race" that were clearly not, in a biological sense. Changelings are a one-off coupling of a Hag and a human, there are all sorts of "literal things from space" that you could play in PF1 (e.g. triaxians and yaddithians), there are things native to other planes (e.g. gathlains) and things which were artificially created (ghorans and androids). None of these things are meaningfully a "race" of some broader category.

Asking "who are your people, where do you come from" is a better way to phrase the question because it applies to gathlains ("I grew from a seed of a magic tree in the first world") and ghorans ("I am the continuation of a thousands year old lifeform who occasionally needs a new body") as readily as it does Dwarves ("my mom was a smith at Five Kings Mountain and my dad a miner") and Half-Elves ("Mom was an Elf, Dad was a Varisian").

I do not want "race" back, since it presumes we can only have versions of a common thing, else it's going to be used incorrectly eventually. I will also point out that "should it be ancestry or race" has never been up for discussion during the entire playtest, as devs have repeatedly indicated they are not changing it back.

Which is fine and works for them but I'm still going to mentally and verbally probably address it as Race myself because I'm so used to it and it works for me.

I will say the discussions of it tend to open up cans of worms that were probably better left un-opened.

Captain Morgan wrote:
But it feels like most folks think heavy armor is worse than it was in PF1, and if anything it seems to me it is better (at least in core.) I think folks just need to shift their perspective to account for this.
I mean PF1 heavy armor was bad I think we can all agree on that. But looking it over in PF2, I still don't really see a reason to use Heavy armor most the time.

Agreed. Through playtest, I and my various groups (30+ players) referred to "ancestry" as "race". The most common reaction to PF changing the term during the playtest was eye-rolling and head-shaking.

We all would do well to remember the differences between fantasy and reality.


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Desna's Avatar wrote:
We all would do well to remember the differences between fantasy and reality.
Quote:

Furthermore, standards of respect don’t vanish simply because you’re playing a character in a fantasy game. For example, it’s never acceptable to refer to another person using an offensive term or a slur, and doing so “in character” is just as bad as doing so directly. If your

character’s concept requires you act this way, that’s a good sign your concept is harmful, and you have a responsibility to change it. Sometimes, you might not realize that your character concept or roleplaying style is making others feel unwelcome at the gaming table. If another player tells you that your character concept or roleplaying style makes them uncomfortable, you shouldn’t argue about what they should or shouldn’t find offensive or say that what you’re doing is common (and therefore okay) among players or in other media. Instead, you should simply stop and make sure the game is a fun experience for everyone. After all, that’s what gaming is about!

Fiction, being able to influence people and introduce or reinforce ideas, is subject to criticism. While I'm sure it's annoying to have to change an old habit, that doesn't mean the old habit was perfectly fine. It's OK to say that there wasn't any harm intended, but the message received was still harmful.

Your particular group might not see a need for it, but I'm sure we all understand that tabletop gaming is its own subculture and the norms within it influence who does and does not feel welcome. If you want to continue using race, again that's fine, it's something I'm going to have to say anyways just to be clear to people playing all sorts of different systems, but that's not an argument that a change shouldn't be made for fantasy fiction overall.


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The use of the term race in RPGs is generally positive. Humanity is defined as a single race and all humans are intrinsically equal irrespective of ethnicity.

As to elves and humans, yes, they can interbreed, but so can lions and tigers or horses and zebras or humans and neanderthals. So "race" functions as the non-sciency, fantasy description of the playable species, some of which are so closely related they can produce offspring (half-elves, half-orcs, etc.).


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Desna's Avatar wrote:

No, the message received was /not/ harmful to a huge swath of people. What % that is, who knows. And ultimately, it's not harmful to anyone. Certain individual's interpretations of a word or phrase, or personal sensitives or predilections may make them offended by the word, but nobody is "harmed".

As well, anything can be offensive or harmful to someone, somewhere, at some time. The term "race" is used everyday in innocuous ways, in real life. It's laughable to suggest that people who hear the term in real life can't handle reading or hearing it in fantasy fiction.

Perhaps, but the term is inaccurate in the context of the game. Even more so when where things like half-elves, tieflings, and the like get involved. Nothing resembling these creatures exist in the real world which is why no specific real world terms apply to them. Hence we're left with three options:

1. Misuse a real world term like 'species' or 'race'.
2. Make something up out of whole cloth 'metasapients'
3. Confer a specialized meaning to a vague RL term like 'ancestry'

Personally, I favour option 3.


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Crayon wrote:
Desna's Avatar wrote:

No, the message received was /not/ harmful to a huge swath of people. What % that is, who knows. And ultimately, it's not harmful to anyone. Certain individual's interpretations of a word or phrase, or personal sensitives or predilections may make them offended by the word, but nobody is "harmed".

As well, anything can be offensive or harmful to someone, somewhere, at some time. The term "race" is used everyday in innocuous ways, in real life. It's laughable to suggest that people who hear the term in real life can't handle reading or hearing it in fantasy fiction.

Perhaps, but the term is inaccurate in the context of the game. Even more so when where things like half-elves, tieflings, and the like get involved. Nothing resembling these creatures exist in the real world which is why no specific real world terms apply to them. Hence we're left with three options:

1. Misuse a real world term like 'species' or 'race'.
2. Make something up out of whole cloth 'metasapients'
3. Confer a specialized meaning to a vague RL term like 'ancestry'

Personally, I favour option 3.

Yeah, I have no problem with the term race being used, but IMO Ancestry just sounds WAY more cool and fantasy-y, accuracy or lack thereof be darned. XD


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Crayon wrote:
Desna's Avatar wrote:

No, the message received was /not/ harmful to a huge swath of people. What % that is, who knows. And ultimately, it's not harmful to anyone. Certain individual's interpretations of a word or phrase, or personal sensitives or predilections may make them offended by the word, but nobody is "harmed".

As well, anything can be offensive or harmful to someone, somewhere, at some time. The term "race" is used everyday in innocuous ways, in real life. It's laughable to suggest that people who hear the term in real life can't handle reading or hearing it in fantasy fiction.

Perhaps, but the term is inaccurate in the context of the game. Even more so when where things like half-elves, tieflings, and the like get involved. Nothing resembling these creatures exist in the real world which is why no specific real world terms apply to them. Hence we're left with three options:

1. Misuse a real world term like 'species' or 'race'.
2. Make something up out of whole cloth 'metasapients'
3. Confer a specialized meaning to a vague RL term like 'ancestry'

Personally, I favour option 3.

"Ancestry" is a "real world term" as well, so by your logic, that is equally as inaccurate.

The term "race" has been used without issue in fantasy gaming for decades and is highly recognizable. The term "race" is also used FAR more inaccurately in RL every day (tune in to CNN, MSNBC, etc.) to witness the term misused to refer to human ethnicities.

Ancestry is indeed a cool-sounding term and would be far more accurately used to refer to ancestries within distinct races or species.

Changing "race" to "ancestry" in the PF2 playtest was a solution in search of a problem.


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Armor - American spelling
Armour - British spelling

Just like color/colour, behavior/behaviour, labor/labour, and on and on. Since this is an American company, I would expect the American spelling to persist (and thankfully so, because Brits talk funny).

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