Armor Proficiency Rules are Missing and Weapon Proficiency is Locked Down


General Discussion


5 people marked this as a favorite.

There are no active choices to make to improve your armor proficiency past trained at all. This is disappointing. There are also no choices to increase your weapon proficiency. [I define choice as a feat or path you select, not the current locked down method which is waiting until you're 13th level and your class or feat progression earns an Expert proficiency or the like. That's fine but not the kind of choice I'm looking for. A comparable choice is the general feat for gaining Trained in light armor for example. I choose it. I get it when I spend the feat.]

Early dev discussions discussed the fighter as having the best weapon proficiencies. Paladins had the best armor proficiency. "That's the dynamic."

Why is this class-locked? And why aren't there options to improve proficiency by choice?

With the introduction of the new shield dynamics, it's fun to get creative with fighter feats around defense. I say "defense," but the only two choices are parry and shield feats. There are zero armor feats. There are zero armor proficiency choices. (The same goes for weapon proficiency choices.) This is a disappointment. A defensive fighter is a perfectly valid concept. Yes, you can play it with shields, but armor is completely overlooked. I can never choose to be an Expert with my chain shirt. I can never gain Mastery with my breastplate. Getting Expert in medium armor at level 17th is a slap in the face. (Side note: The high level delays in simple things fall flat as a game design. Rarely will campaigns reach this level, so you're consigning things that would be cool at a lower level to a nearly unreachable level where it's going to be inconsequential at that point any way.)

In further customizing my warrior, I would like to be able to select feats that give armor bonuses and abilities. Same goes for weapons. The loss of anything resembling P1's Weapon Focus is a disappointment, also. You shouldn't have to take the Fighter archetype and wait until the uncommonly high level of 12 to get any sort of bonus to your weapon skills (as in Expert proficiency). Sacrificing some offensive options to gain defensive ones is a trade some players would like to make, but it isn't available in P2.

Pre-rebuttal to the "yeah, but a fixed to-hit progression makes for an easier to balance game" response: If my player has a +2 hit bonus higher than any other person of her class for her level, I bring balance back by throwing higher level monsters at her and knowing she can handle them. Or I can introduce the occasional scenario where she must use another weapon of lower offensive value. These are GM101 moves that are fun for everyone. Pre-pre-rebuttal to the "well what if I don't have that +2?!? it's not fun for me to watch them have all the fun" response: Ugh, this is so tedious. You don't get to be the best at everything. You pick what you want to be good at and relish it. Don't get hung up over what everyone else can do. It's not a competition. It's a party sport.

Anyway, TLDR - I would like more choices for weapon and armor proficiency and armor feats as well. It's perfectly fine to give Fighters and Paladins weapon and armor proficiency improvements naturally over time, but having custom choices around those is desired.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I agree that:

1. Locking a class into being "the best" at certain arms or armor is hogwash. A fighter can easily be imagined who excels with armor and is decent with a sword, and vice versa for a paladin. That extends to other classes as well. Weapon and armor proficiency are not things I think should be overly protected behind class walls.

2. Being able to sacrifice damage for defense and vice versa is an engaging gameplay and character customization option.

3. Locking things behind dramatic level gates very, very frequently means they don't even come into consideration for many games.

I disagree that:

1. You should be able to freely trade damage and defense without a concern for monster and combat math. I agree with the game design principle that an enemy attacking a party shouldn't be auto-hitting one character while being unable to hit another, for example.

2. Feats should allow you to accrue +'s to AC or attack to any large extent. Compelling options for your 3 actions per round are good, but feats that are too mathematically focused endanger feat design as a whole.

My thoughts are:

I have said before and I remain convinced that Unarmored, Light, Medium and Heavy armor proficienies need to be converted into a straight "Defense" proficiency. Armor choice should then depend on your character's flavor, class abilities, and the pros and cons of each armor type.

The majority of armor comes from leveling and combat experience, as evidenced by everyone getting +lvl to AC, and has little to do with experience with specific armor types. Furthermore, the concept that someone proficient in light armor would be non-functional just by putting on metal armor is a relic of past misconceptions. Cloth and leather armor could easily be more restrictive and about as heavy as "heavy" armor.

I reject the premise that paladins are "the armor guy" and fighters are "the weapon guy", and I further reject the notion that both fighters and paladins get a bonus to heavy armor rather than all armor types.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

So like, the reason the fighter is the only class that gets legendary weapon proficiency is that this is to replace "weapon training", which gave fighters the highest accuracy with weapons in PF1, which no longer exists.

If "weapon training" were available for a feat, that would have been an auto-pick for a lot of people right?

Likewise monks having the highest unarmored proficiency is to replace the whole "add wis (or cha) to your AC" thing they lost from PF1. If that were available for a feat, it would be an auto-pick for a lot of people too.

So it's possible that weapon/armor proficiency is not, right now, interesting enough a mechanic to replace those "unique to a class" mechanics (I've long felt that proficiency needs to do more) but "unique to a class" advantages for accuracy or AC are not exactly new.

Like even if we wanted to cap it where "you can only increase weapon proficiency to expert with a feat" then this means sorcerers can be as good at swordfighting as barbarians, and the fighter dedication already does this with a 12th level feat anyway.


Good points on the +'s all around and how armor works as well.

There are more options than "sorcerers get as good as barbarians." There are:
* All weapons
* A class of weapons
* A specific weapon

I don't propose a non-martial class simply getting martial proficiency with a feat, but how about a single weapon? How about an ability to take a Trained armor/defense to Expert? There's nothing right now.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The DM of wrote:

I don't propose a non-martial class simply getting martial proficiency with a feat, but how about a single weapon?

The problem with this is that for most characters in most situations (especially once you can't start adding runes and special materials to the mix) one type of weapon is functionally as good as all weapons. Yes occassionally you might want to swap to make good on a weakness or avoid a resistance (and this becomes less beneficial as your +# of dice goes up and swapping weapons loses you one or more whole dice) but most of the time being only good with the weapon you choose to weild is functionally the same gameplay wise as being that good with multiple weapons.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
The DM of wrote:


Why is this class-locked? And why aren't there options to improve proficiency by choice?

Because 2nd Edition is trying to make class choice significant throughout a character's entire adventuring career and chose proficiencies, class features and class feats as the three elements that are most restricted by class. I especially have a problem with champions being the only characters that advance to legendary in heavy armor, but I understand why it was done. Class Identity is defined by proficiency.

That said, stretching out the difference between proficiencies is going to mean that the floor for all classes is going to be getting raised to expert at higher levels, so barbarians, and rangers, and probably rogues all will get master proficiency with weapons and I am betting we will see a lot more expert armor proficiencies as well.

The final game will probably have feats for granting expert proficiencies now, in addition to trained, but will probably reserve master and legendary for specific classes or atleast specific archetype trees.

So depending upon how you look at it, either the final game is going to give you the flexibility you are looking for, or the floor being raised is going to mean that there really is no where further up for proficiencies to go and it is the same problem, but with the appearance of more options.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Varying armor levels was generally done through archetypes in PF1. If you wanted a barbarian who could use their class features in full plate or a fighter whose class features don't depend on wearing it, you took an archetype that altered your armor proficiency.

This is still the case in the playtest. If you want to increase your weapon or armor proficiency, the quickest way to do it is through taking a (multiclass) archetype. One imagines we will get class specific archetypes for more dramatic armor changes, such as lightly armored fighters. We just don't have them yet.


Captain Morgan wrote:

Varying armor levels was generally done through archetypes in PF1. If you wanted a barbarian who could use their class features in full plate or a fighter whose class features don't depend on wearing it, you took an archetype that altered your armor proficiency.

This is still the case in the playtest. If you want to increase your weapon or armor proficiency, the quickest way to do it is through taking a (multiclass) archetype. One imagines we will get class specific archetypes for more dramatic armor changes, such as lightly armored fighters. We just don't have them yet.

They also mentioned something about archetypes that work like they did in PF1 so a way might come one day even if not on the core rulebook.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

We've been told in final release it'll be much easier to gain proficiencies. I fully expect Trained in everything to be easily achievable by everyone by endgame, and in most key things having Expert available to anyone who wants to put some effort, mostly because of mathematical concerns (4 points of AC difference is fine. 6 is big. 8 would start creating auto-crits).

However, what I expect classes to maintain is some form of dedication. For example, I expect that nobody will be able to gain Expert weapon proficiency at lv1 beside Fighters. I expect that nobody will be able to hit Legendary Untrained except Monk. I expect that Paladin armour proficiency will be free and likely faster than what you could get by feats.

In other words, class specialty is likely to remain a thing, but class exclusivity might not be as widespread.


Yes, the wait and see argument is valid. Archetypes may supply this. Feats would certainly be an easier method to "build your own" archetype.

Heavy armor shouldn't be the only sought after proficiency. What about Legendary in Light armor?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

That is much needed, but it only works if you give heavy armour something to make up for the extreme penalties. Lower penalties and light damage protection is the most popular request, but as of now all heavy armour does is give you very heavy penalties (and require lower dex, which is handy at low level but useless later on).
"the only kind of armour you can get better at" isn't really great as far as benefits go.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I mean as it stands heavy armor is kinda useless unless your class gives you higher proficiency in it than anything else. Since we increase stats 4 at a time, and "1 in your main stat and 3 in the save-relevant stats" is a pretty first order optimal distribution. So lots and lots of people are going to have more than the 14 dex that heavy armor wants by 10th level.

So the only reason your 10th level fighter with 18 Dex isn't going to throw away their half plate for some scale mail is if they have a higher proficiency in heavy than medium armor.

Which is to say- heavy armor needs a redesign.


I actually wonder if the AC numbers on all Armor are not getting adjusted with the new stretched proficiency scale and likely lowering of magical item bonus. If Heavy armors gain an extra +4 to AC, then there will be room for more classes to get higher light armor proficiency.


Unicore wrote:

I actually wonder if the AC numbers on all Armor are not getting adjusted with the new stretched proficiency scale and likely lowering of magical item bonus. If Heavy armors gain an extra +4 to AC, then there will be room for more classes to get higher light armor proficiency.

We might see the reverse of the current Paladin/Fighter paradigm. Rogues might get improving proficiency in light armor but not medium or heavy.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd honestly give heavy armour some innate Resistance to Slashing and Piercing damage. Not much, but one that scales automatically with Quality/Enhancement.

Something like

Splint: 2 Resistance. Half: 4 Full Plate: 6

And then have quality improve it

Expert/+1: +1 Resistance
Master/+2: +2
Legendary/+3: +3
+4: +4
+5: +5.

I feel having Resistance S/P 11 towards the end of your career is a valid reason to pick Full Plate over lighter Armour, but isn't over powered.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Giving heavy armor resistance is a solid idea. I would base it on proficiency. Every point of proficiency gives you some kind of resistance. I would even be for across the board damage mitigation of all types potentially. Quality/enhancement can impact this, but the idea of "I can reduce damage taken through skill in wielding my armor defensively and proficiently" is cool, believable, and fun.


Honestly, giving heavy armor built in Resistance, which gets increased with skill and/or quality seems like the ideal. I'd say with heavy armors consisting of splint, half plate, and full plate, allow it to apply to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing.

Personally, I'm thinking Medium armor could introduce a small amount of resistance to specific types of damage, but the resistance wouldn't also advance by skill.

New Armor Traits
Prioritized: DR is halved on critical hits [or maybe none]
Half Plate, Breastplate
Pierceable: DR is halved against Piercing weapons
Chain mail
Bludgeonable: DR is halved against Bludgeoning weapons
Scale mail
Slashable: DR is halved against Piercing or Slashing weapons (I can't imagine something being vulnerable to slashing but not piercing)
None as of yet

DR granted per armor type (added to table probably)
Hide, Scale, Chain: DR1
Breastplate: DR2
Splint: DR2
Half plate, Fullplate: DR4

Medium armors can get a single +1 item to DR at Master quality and above. They don't get additional DR for proficiency increases.
Heavy armors get a +1 item bonus to DR per quality increase. You also gain a +1 competency bonus to DR per proficiency increase above trained.

I'm not certain it would make sense to require DR to apply only if you are trained in the armor. But that could be made a requirement.

Primary issue I see with all of the above, is that at the higher levels it gets to the point where armor DR would begin to seem to dwarf shield protection, which requires a reaction to use and tends to damage your shield if you use it in dangerous situations.

One potential solution, although isn't quite in line with the Dents design concept, would be to say any time armor absorbs its DR or greater in damage from an attack in a round, treat its effective DR as one less from then on? You can repair armor with the appropriate exploration repair time for free with crafting skill to restore the DR to normal.


Armor as DR might happen as an optional unchained type rule, but it seems pretty obvious to me that the developers do not want that to be the default mechanic of the game, and thus, I don't think trying to balance armor selection around DR will be suitable as a system-wide fix.

The primary reason why the developers have avoided it is because it adds an extra step to every combat round (roll to hit, roll for damage, now subtract DR), that will be present in every combat. Players should eventually learn it and track it constantly, but if armor does more than just give AC, then every NPC and Monster is going to have to have something similar to compensate and that sounds like a nightmare to GM around. Resistances and weaknesses already slow fights down enough, imagine them factoring into 50% more stat blocks and having arbitrary values between 1 and 10 instead of a flat 5 0r 10? It is not the simple solution, and the more it interacts with proficiency, the more awkward it will be to apply it to creatures.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I love how awesome the discussion is in this thread. :D

I think most of the points I would make have already been said, but I will mention your pre-pre-rebuttal, DM. "Everyone should be good at something and there's no point in getting upset about what other people are good at" is an entirely valid stance and I agree.

The problem comes when one character's sphere of "the best at" becomes "combat". Because combat is 50% of the game, so that doesn't leave much room for other people to shine.

I definitely agree that characters should be able to dominate aspects of combat - if a character wants to be an absolute tripping beast, they should be able to.

What I think PF2e needs to avoid, though, is the PF1e issue where certain characters could get so good at combat that they redefined the entire paradigm. Either all combats become trivial, which is no fun for players and GMs who enjoy challenging combats, or all combats involve monsters that can actually challenge the murder-machine - which typically means monsters that can absolutely wipe the floor with non-murder-machine PCs.

For that reason, I think PF2e's dynamic of "character choices mostly don't grant numeric bonuses, and instead numeric bonuses are level-gated" makes sense.

I do think there should be a little more flexibility in which numeric bonuses you get, though.


However, weapons have traits which might come each time you use them (plus critical specializations) so would giving armor positive traits which are just about the same amount of rules impact really be an issue?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
However, weapons have traits which might come each time you use them (plus critical specializations) so would giving armor positive traits which are just about the same amount of rules impact really be an issue?

Yeah, it would be. Right now, the game puts the work on the attacker. They do all sorts of math and produce attack and damage. The defender only needs to report their AC or touch AC (if they're a PC- monsters will have resistances and vulnerabilities). Making defense math part of the game too means more people needing to calculate stuff for every attack. I wouldn't slow combat down to half the speed, but it wouldn't be a trivial difference either. You're also making every new player remember another set of combat steps to apply.

The benefit of that added complexity is not all that much (at least, if you compare it to weapon properties). Weapons have interesting properties because attacking things is widely considered fun, and people like have stylistic options while doing it. Wanting to avoid getting hit in different ways… well, there's just not as much interest there, and people who want that sort of thing will be almost as well served by magic items, special materials, and abilities like armor trick feats from PF1- things that avoid applying that complexity to a bunch of people who aren't interested.


Again more good points on the overall +'s affecting combat in ways potentially negative. Also enjoying reading the ideas on armor DR options. I'm hoping something like this gets implemented to differentiate armors, because as they are, the options don't look good and neither does their limited proficiency system.

The options Loreguard puts down sound fun. I can't see this bogging down combat:

DM: The ogre hits you with his club. You take 17 damage.
Player: Ok, thank goodness my bludgeon DR is 5 (jots down 12 damage, notes a dent or whatever tracking system may or may not exist).

Seems straightforward. Maybe dents only occur on crits? That would simplify things and give players some reticence to keep the DR maneuvering on after a couple dents. Losing a shield is one thing, but a suit of chainmail would be severe.

Maybe there could be a stance or action required so this isn't a default superior option making shield users obsolete. Attack, raise shield, position armor. Turn over. Or... maybe you get your base DR at all times, but if you want to enhance it with armor proficiency, it takes a readying action?


I am currently using an armour system where heavier armour is actually better due to DR (but where armour penalties are more relevant and specific) if anyone is interested.
Specifically, armours need a property to reduce damage (from one or more types of attacks) and another to reduce armor penalty (for either dex or str checks). Slowing down players is also an armour trait.
For example, in my own houserules, Hide armour has a very low TAC and a fixed -2 ACP (cannot be reduced), but it doesn't slow people down and offers DR from both slashing and bludgeoning damage.
Splint mail has a slightly better TAC cap than full plate and is the only heavy armour to offer reduced dex skill penalties, but only grants DR from slashing damage (all heavy armours do).

It makes everything a bit more specific and relevant. I like it. And it hasn't messed up my game yet.


The DM of wrote:

There are no active choices to make to improve your armor proficiency past trained at all. This is disappointing. There are also no choices to increase your weapon proficiency. [I define choice as a feat or path you select, not the current locked down method which is waiting until you're 13th level and your class or feat progression earns an Expert proficiency or the like. That's fine but not the kind of choice I'm looking for. A comparable choice is the general feat for gaining Trained in light armor for example. I choose it. I get it when I spend the feat.]

Early dev discussions discussed the fighter as having the best weapon proficiencies. Paladins had the best armor proficiency. "That's the dynamic."

Why is this class-locked? And why aren't there options to improve proficiency by choice?

With the introduction of the new shield dynamics, it's fun to get creative with fighter feats around defense. I say "defense," but the only two choices are parry and shield feats. There are zero armor feats. There are zero armor proficiency choices. (The same goes for weapon proficiency choices.) This is a disappointment. A defensive fighter is a perfectly valid concept. Yes, you can play it with shields, but armor is completely overlooked. I can never choose to be an Expert with my chain shirt. I can never gain Mastery with my breastplate. Getting Expert in medium armor at level 17th is a slap in the face. (Side note: The high level delays in simple things fall flat as a game design. Rarely will campaigns reach this level, so you're consigning things that would be cool at a lower level to a nearly unreachable level where it's going to be inconsequential at that point any way.)

In further customizing my warrior, I would like to be able to select feats that give armor bonuses and abilities. Same goes for weapons. The loss of anything resembling P1's Weapon Focus is a disappointment, also. You shouldn't have to take the Fighter archetype and wait until the uncommonly high level of 12 to get any sort of bonus to...

The problem stems from proficiencies being level-gated as well as choice-gated, and keeping the game from becoming soloable. A Level 7 character who is Legendary in chain shirt while being a default Master in weapons, or even worse, has access to spellcasting, does not help game balance at all, even if they spent 2 or 3 feats to get it/them, hence why such things are put behind a level barrier.

But let's say we want certain classes to acquire these things easier compared to others, so we can either give it to them for free as part of leveling, or make them generalized feats with differing requirements based on class (such as Fighter 7 or Paladin 5), which is effectively what feats like Weapon Focus and Shield Focus did. Those add a lot of pointless complexity and bookwork to something that's meant to be very simple. I mean, we could also just create another subtype of feats, called Proficiency feats, where players get a certain amount of feats based on their class, and can spend General Feats to improve them as well if they wish, but this can mess with a lot of other things too, and I'd rather not add in even more different kinds of feats than what we already have, it's complex as it is.

Another potential concept is Archetypes or Sub-classes, which change around proficiencies and standard features of your base class. As a very basic example, maybe an Armor Master exchanges the rate of his Weapon proficiencies with his Armor proficiencies, meaning instead of being a Master at Weapons by 3rd level, he's a Master at Armor. However, I have a feeling this will either A. be something introduced in a follow-up rulebook (similar to how Archetypes were created in APG), or B. be something that Dedication feats will already attempt to do (and be fairly disappointing).


Darksol, I believe your stance is too far-reaching. There are ways to differentiate capability in weapons and armor without breaking the game. You are right that one person should not become solable. Concepts should not usurp the others'. There should be a sufficient cost to expanding into another class or concept.

Right now, no two 5th level fighters are any different in skill. If I want to be a swordsman like no other, there should be a way... like weapon focus... a +1 doesn't break the game. It should be available at an opportunity cost. Same goes for armor proficiency. Saying it's too hard and too complex is not productive. That's what we're paying Paizo for after all. ;)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
The DM of wrote:

Darksol, I believe your stance is too far-reaching. There are ways to differentiate capability in weapons and armor without breaking the game. You are right that one person should not become solable. Concepts should not usurp the others'. There should be a sufficient cost to expanding into another class or concept.

Right now, no two 5th level fighters are any different in skill. If I want to be a swordsman like no other, there should be a way... like weapon focus... a +1 doesn't break the game. It should be available at an opportunity cost. Same goes for armor proficiency. Saying it's too hard and too complex is not productive. That's what we're paying Paizo for after all. ;)

A very important thing to remember is that if you can get a +1 to your main shtick, you will.

Weapon Focus and similar options, such as boosts to your attacks or DCs, are non-choices - you get them not to be better, but because you should never not get them. That's why P2 is removing them - not because they have no point, but because not getting them isn't realistic. They're already integrated in the Fighter's own features.

On the other hand, getting delayed access to someone else's feature is more of a possibility. You're never getting better than a fighter, but you can opt in to reach that if you invest your resources.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The DM of wrote:

Darksol, I believe your stance is too far-reaching. There are ways to differentiate capability in weapons and armor without breaking the game. You are right that one person should not become solable. Concepts should not usurp the others'. There should be a sufficient cost to expanding into another class or concept.

Right now, no two 5th level fighters are any different in skill. If I want to be a swordsman like no other, there should be a way... like weapon focus... a +1 doesn't break the game. It should be available at an opportunity cost. Same goes for armor proficiency. Saying it's too hard and too complex is not productive. That's what we're paying Paizo for after all. ;)

I don't think +1s are the way to go... Now they don't stack but i don't want to go back to the way it was before. I would rather a fighter that could attack opponents on TAC by doing something or feats like certain strike. They make for a much cooler likely to hit fighter instead of a fighter that always crits just cause he can stack legendary and more +1s...


Ediwir wrote:
A very important thing to remember is that if you can get a +1 to your main shtick, you will.

With crits the way they are, it's true that +'s are more valuable. That does not mean offering a +1 let's say with one weapon will be chosen as an option over another option like Furious Focus (+5 on a miss) or Sudden Charge (+1 circumstantial action). There are trade offs, and it's possible to create a system where a +1 to a weapon exists and is not a "must have for every combatant" option. To say it is must have is an oversimplification. Proficiency itself is a +2 per. Strength is an automatic +4 then higher.

I'm not saying there has to be +1 options, but I am entertaining the concept. Why? Because two fighters of the same l evel are identical swordsmen now. You choose the sword group to master in, I choose it, and we're both identical. But maybe you choose power attack and go with bigger swords, and I choose something one-handed and want to be more accurate and proficient. Right now, that's not possible. We're all carbon copy masters.

If having a +1 difference is as game-breaking as folks here are discussing, why do we have stats anymore? Every build I've seen posted assumes a strength fighter has 19 str at L5 and 20 str at L10 for the +1. Personally, I'd rather have +4 to two non-str stats for +2 more bonuses elsewhere than another +1 to str. Did I just break my fighter? If so, why do I have a stat choice at all? Hard code my stats.

Options exist. Options should exist. Options can exist without breaking the game. Otherwise, you're not playing pathfinder anymore. You're playing something less customizable and locked down like D&D5.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
The DM of wrote:

The options Loreguard puts down sound fun. I can't see this bogging down combat:

DM: The ogre hits you with his club. You take 17 damage.
Player: Ok, thank goodness my bludgeon DR is 5 (jots down 12 damage, notes a dent or whatever tracking system may or may not exist).

Seems straightforward. Maybe dents only occur on crits? That would simplify things and give players some reticence to keep the DR maneuvering on after a couple dents. Losing a shield is one thing, but a suit of chainmail would be severe.

If you play mostly with experienced people, sure, it's straightforward.

Here's how it would play out in my personal experience:

DM: The ogre hits you with his club. You take 17 damage.
Player 1: Okay.
Player 2: Remember, you had maneuvering on- don't forget to apply your damage reduction, because it's bludgeoning damage.
Player 1: Oh, uh, where is that?
DM: It's listed under your armor off to the side there.
Player 1: Okay, so I take 5 less damage? How much was the damage again?
Player 2: 17, so now it's only 12. Also, don't forget to check off a dent. You might want to stop maneuvering so you don't damage your armor too much.
Player 1: How do I do that?
DM: Stopping your maneuvering is a free action, so you can just do it.

It's several things to remember and keep track of: maneuvering on/off, damage types, damage reduction amount, and dents. Plus, armor is hard to opt out of- whereas with shields, you can free up a hand and an action by not using them.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The DM of wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
A very important thing to remember is that if you can get a +1 to your main shtick, you will.

With crits the way they are, it's true that +'s are more valuable. That does not mean offering a +1 let's say with one weapon will be chosen as an option over another option like Furious Focus (+5 on a miss) or Sudden Charge (+1 circumstantial action). There are trade offs, and it's possible to create a system where a +1 to a weapon exists and is not a "must have for every combatant" option. To say it is must have is an oversimplification. Proficiency itself is a +2 per. Strength is an automatic +4 then higher.

I'm not saying there has to be +1 options, but I am entertaining the concept. Why? Because two fighters of the same l evel are identical swordsmen now. You choose the sword group to master in, I choose it, and we're both identical. But maybe you choose power attack and go with bigger swords, and I choose something one-handed and want to be more accurate and proficient. Right now, that's not possible. We're all carbon copy masters.

If having a +1 difference is as game-breaking as folks here are discussing, why do we have stats anymore? Every build I've seen posted assumes a strength fighter has 19 str at L5 and 20 str at L10 for the +1. Personally, I'd rather have +4 to two non-str stats for +2 more bonuses elsewhere than another +1 to str. Did I just break my fighter? If so, why do I have a stat choice at all? Hard code my stats.

Options exist. Options should exist. Options can exist without breaking the game. Otherwise, you're not playing pathfinder anymore. You're playing something less customizable and locked down like D&D5.

+1 is a non choice lol. Because everyone will simply get it... And a fighter with one hand free is completely different in gameplay from one that uses two hand lol. In my campaign we used paladin (weapon and shield companion of different alighment) and fighter(versatile weapon with a shield that he mostly absorbed two hits and then dumped it on the floor and the other was a full two hander.) They played completely different... I would rather have that than the optimal path of getting every boosting feet with every character cause +1 boosts stack the math.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

What it comes down to, I think, DM of, is that Paizo is trying to keep the game interesting for optimizers.

If a feat like "+1 with chosen weapon" exists, it's an autopick for an optimized build. Weapon Focus was an autopick for most martial classes in 1e.

That's not to say there won't be obviously better choices - of course there will - but I applaud Paizo at least trying to get rid of the low-hanging fruit.

The other thing a feat like that does is adjust the maximum possible math. If it stacks, then someone somewhere will stack it, and that means that the math has to handle that theoretical character. Now I'm not sure raising the accuracy ceiling by one point is going to break the game, but again I applaud Paizo's decision to try to have an accuracy ceiling and respect it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
oholoko wrote:
+1 is a non choice lol. Because everyone will simply get it... And a fighter with one hand free is completely different in gameplay from one that uses two hand lol. In my campaign we used paladin (weapon and shield companion of different alighment) and fighter(versatile weapon with a shield that he mostly absorbed two...

I have to agree. +1 is fine for buffs, tactics, and core features like ability score increases, but when you tie it to the main method for character customization, you remove options by including it.

Forever more, the "+1 to your schtick" feat reduces your total number of feat choices by 1. It also makes you really, really unhappy to pick up a different weapon if the situation or story calls for it.

I do 100% agree that two characters need to feel different from one another, and it shouldn't be as simple as swapping weapons. Feats that expand your options with your weapon or fighting style of choice are a great means of differentiation.

Take two similar fighters: A greatsword fighter and a greataxe fighter.

If your solution to make them feel different from each other is to give one +1 to greatswords and the other +1 to greataxes, well that doesn't feel very different at all. They're carbon copies of each other, except for weapon name.

A feat that can only be used with swords that lets you get reach with a lunge attack would be an interesting differentiator.

A feat that lets you deal extra dents or damage objects more effectively with axes would be an interesting differentiator.

A feat that lets you half-sword and reduce damage but gain the ability to use it in a grapple or with smaller iterative penalties would be cool.

Also, ideally, these feats would not be locked to specific classes. I still think it's stupid that Fighters are the "combat feat" class.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I've said before - I feel like Fighters limit the combat options of other classes by existing. I think "the best class at combat" is a terrible design space for a class to have because combat is 50% of the game. If I could, I would remove Fighters from the game and replace them with a set of combat style-based archetypes.

That said, I think Paizo has room to do some really cool things with combat style based archetypes even with the existence of the Fighter.


I feel like there's some tension between the idea that feats like Sudden Charge and Furious Focus can provide solid competition with Weapon Focus while also maintaining that there's not enough differentiating characters.

Like, if Sudden Charge or Furious Focus are that big of a deal, shouldn't they make the two fighters feel quite different from each other?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:

I've said before - I feel like Fighters limit the combat options of other classes by existing. I think "the best class at combat" is a terrible design space for a class to have because combat is 50% of the game. If I could, I would remove Fighters from the game and replace them with a set of combat style-based archetypes.

That said, I think Paizo has room to do some really cool things with combat style based archetypes even with the existence of the Fighter.

Based on what I've seen so far, and unless they shake things up in the final product, one of my first house rules will be that you can select a class feat from any class as long as you meet its prerequisites.

If that means no one plays Fighters, it's a shame but also... *shrug*

Looking through the playtest feats the vast majority of prerequisiteless feats were in the Fighter, while the other classes largely built off of base class features.


I'm not sure I'd go that far - at that point what is the point of even having a class-based system?

Plus it narrows design space, for things like "Fighters have one feat for TWF and Barbarians have a slightly different feat for TWF that plays a little different".


4 people marked this as a favorite.

So one issue I've run up against is that if you wanted to play a version of a class which is especially skilled with weapons, it would make sense to snag the fighter dedication.

However, if you're already in that "martial adjacent" space, fighter dedication is a pretty poor feat on its own- it gives martial weapons, the next level of armor proficiency, one AoO/day, and training in a skill.

So if you're, for example, a giant totem barb who wants to make AoOs, what do you get out of the feat? Well, you already have martial weapons and you don't want heavy armor since it's incompatible with some barb feats, so you're spending a feat for a 1/day AoO and training in a skill. A paladin taking the fighter dedication gets almost nothing since they can already get unlimited AoOs with a Paladin feat. By contrast a wizard who is taking the fighter dedication benefits from everything the feat offers.

Based on how the dedications are built, you're punished more for taking one on a class which is already similar to it (a divine sorcerer/cleric multiclass gets almost nothing from the dedication feat) than from combining two things which are dissimilar, which seems backwards.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
WatersLethe wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

I've said before - I feel like Fighters limit the combat options of other classes by existing. I think "the best class at combat" is a terrible design space for a class to have because combat is 50% of the game. If I could, I would remove Fighters from the game and replace them with a set of combat style-based archetypes.

That said, I think Paizo has room to do some really cool things with combat style based archetypes even with the existence of the Fighter.

Based on what I've seen so far, and unless they shake things up in the final product, one of my first house rules will be that you can select a class feat from any class as long as you meet its prerequisites.

If that means no one plays Fighters, it's a shame but also... *shrug*

Looking through the playtest feats the vast majority of prerequisiteless feats were in the Fighter, while the other classes largely built off of base class features.

Doesn't this basically just make Spellcasters de facto the best. They get the best class feature (spells) and can also get the amazing combat feats at no cost?


WatersLethe wrote:

....

Based on what I've seen so far, and unless they shake things up in the final product, one of my first house rules will be that you can select a class feat from any class as long as you meet its prerequisites.

If that means no one plays Fighters, it's a shame but also... *shrug*

Looking through the playtest feats the vast majority of prerequisiteless feats were in the Fighter, while the other classes largely built off of base class features.

I'd suggest a slight variant, of either doubling [or add an arbitrary amount] the level prerequisite if you pull from another class that isn't yours. It would help the classes keep a bit of niche protection, but making things less exclusive.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Loreguard wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

....

Based on what I've seen so far, and unless they shake things up in the final product, one of my first house rules will be that you can select a class feat from any class as long as you meet its prerequisites.

If that means no one plays Fighters, it's a shame but also... *shrug*

Looking through the playtest feats the vast majority of prerequisiteless feats were in the Fighter, while the other classes largely built off of base class features.

I'd suggest a slight variant, of either doubling [or add an arbitrary amount] the level prerequisite if you pull from another class that isn't yours. It would help the classes keep a bit of niche protection, but making things less exclusive.

This is more like it, it basically removes the dedication requirement for feats. Still means that a Spellcaster can move into a Fighter and get most of its best bits while a Fighter moving to a spell caster gets basically nothing applicable.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

So one issue I've run up against is that if you wanted to play a version of a class which is especially skilled with weapons, it would make sense to snag the fighter dedication.

However, if you're already in that "martial adjacent" space, fighter dedication is a pretty poor feat on its own- it gives martial weapons, the next level of armor proficiency, one AoO/day, and training in a skill.

So if you're, for example, a giant totem barb who wants to make AoOs, what do you get out of the feat? Well, you already have martial weapons and you don't want heavy armor since it's incompatible with some barb feats, so you're spending a feat for a 1/day AoO and training in a skill. A paladin taking the fighter dedication gets almost nothing since they can already get unlimited AoOs with a Paladin feat. By contrast a wizard who is taking the fighter dedication benefits from everything the feat offers.

Based on how the dedications are built, you're punished more for taking one on a class which is already similar to it (a divine sorcerer/cleric multiclass gets almost nothing from the dedication feat) than from combining two things which are dissimilar, which seems backwards.

Yeah, I've noticed this too. Could use a fix for sure.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Malk_Content wrote:
Doesn't this basically just make Spellcasters de facto the best. They get the best class feature (spells) and can also get the amazing combat feats at no cost?

I'm not so sure.

For one thing, dabbling is easier from both sides already. A martial character can spend a bunch of feats to get spellcasting and a caster can multiclass and gain access to combat feats and proficiency.

A caster that wants to go crazy picking up fighter combat feats without the multiclass feat will be faced with lesser proficiencies and other multiclass options like improved HP and useful class feature poaching. Their ability scores will be spread thin and they would fall behind on meaningful caster specific feats anyway.

In essence, casters were already benefiting hugely from fighter dipping while other martials were really biting a bullet to get access to those feats which they could put to better use.

If anything, it's an all around buff to everyone that favors paladins, barbarians, rangers and rogues who are best poised to utilize the feats without sacrificing anything.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Captain Morgan wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So one issue I've run up against is that if you wanted to play a version of a class which is especially skilled with weapons, it would make sense to snag the fighter dedication.

However, if you're already in that "martial adjacent" space, fighter dedication is a pretty poor feat on its own- it gives martial weapons, the next level of armor proficiency, one AoO/day, and training in a skill.

So if you're, for example, a giant totem barb who wants to make AoOs, what do you get out of the feat? Well, you already have martial weapons and you don't want heavy armor since it's incompatible with some barb feats, so you're spending a feat for a 1/day AoO and training in a skill. A paladin taking the fighter dedication gets almost nothing since they can already get unlimited AoOs with a Paladin feat. By contrast a wizard who is taking the fighter dedication benefits from everything the feat offers.

Based on how the dedications are built, you're punished more for taking one on a class which is already similar to it (a divine sorcerer/cleric multiclass gets almost nothing from the dedication feat) than from combining two things which are dissimilar, which seems backwards.

Yeah, I've noticed this too. Could use a fix for sure.

Similar multiclassing mismatches happened in D&D 3rd Edition and Pathfinder 1st Edition. For example, a prestige class like Eldritch Knight that gave "+1 level of existing spellcasting class" per level would combine much better with full caster classes, such as wizard, than 6-spell-level casters, such as bard and magus.

However, martial classes that relied on full BAB usually combined well in multiclassing. That is no longer the case in PF2.

A fix would be to create alternative multiclass archetypes for each class that are designed to mesh with similar classes. For example, in addition to Fighter Dedication we could have Fighter Academy Dedication that has "Prerequisites Must be trained in all martial weapons." Then it can grant something else besides martial weapon proficiency. It would be explicitly designed to make a barbarian, paladin, or ranger more like a fighter.

Paizo is likely to also publish prestige multiclass archetypes, similar to the Gray Maiden archetype in the Playtest Rulebook, that have such prerequisites and give abilities that might be what the player wanted from the fighter class anyway. A Savage Swordmaster Dedication could grant more attacks of opportunity and mesh well with barbarian and ranger classes.


While that "could" be done, there would be little purpose to it if there are basic style feats for each class as Fighter's advanced feats would stay out of reach of multiclassing anyway and class-specific style feats such as Ranger/Rogue/Barbarian/Paladin dual-wielding feats exist.

Now, if we don't get them in the final version, well that's something worth ranting on.


Ediwir wrote:

While that "could" be done, there would be little purpose to it if there are basic style feats for each class as Fighter's advanced feats would stay out of reach of multiclassing anyway and class-specific style feats such as Ranger/Rogue/Barbarian/Paladin dual-wielding feats exist.

Now, if we don't get them in the final version, well that's something worth ranting on.

This is a thread on armor proficiencies. And we have the related issue that if Paizo improves the fighter class to give it a greater variety of proficiency ranks for the different weights of armor, then could other classes also gain those varied proficieny ranks through the fighter multiclass archetype?

The fighter multiclass archetype feat that deals with expert proficiency is Weapon Expert.

Weapon Expert feat 12
Archetype
Prerequisites Fighter Dedication
Choose one weapon group (see page 182 of the Pathfinder Playtest
Rulebook). You become an expert with all simple and martial weapons
that belong to that group.
Special You can select this feat more than once. Each time you select
it, you choose a new group.

We can assume that improved armor proficiencies for the fighter would also lead to a fighter multiclass archetype feat named Armor Expert that gives expert proficiency for one weight of armor (unless Paizo invents armor groups, which would be neat). It would be 10th or 12th level. And it would not give master nor legendary proficiency, even if the fighter has a way of gaining master or legendary proficiency.

In contrast, a prestige class archetype might give master armor proficiency. It depends on the archetype. Take a glance at the Stalwart Defender prestige class from the PF1 Advanced Player's Guide. The armor prerequisites for the prestige class are, "Proficiency with light and medium armor," but the prestige class is proficient in all armor and shields. If this prestige class is ported over to PF2, it has a good chance of offering expert and master armor proficiency.

As for an alterntive fighter multiclass archetype that requires martial weapon proficiency, like I mentioned above, the theme of the archetype would be that the character is already a lot like a fighter, so the character can learn some of the advanced fighter feats.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
MaxAstro wrote:

I've said before - I feel like Fighters limit the combat options of other classes by existing. I think "the best class at combat" is a terrible design space for a class to have because combat is 50% of the game. If I could, I would remove Fighters from the game and replace them with a set of combat style-based archetypes.

That said, I think Paizo has room to do some really cool things with combat style based archetypes even with the existence of the Fighter.

I think this is true, but also is a bit hard to just remove the fighter.

Duelist types don't really fit in the other 4. Arguably you could put that archetype in Ranger, but then Ranger won't fill the "nature warrior" niche.

Fighters are really meant to be the "opposite" of the Barbarian (controlled talent versus raw talent).

Monks, Rangers, and Paladins fill the niche of "flavored martials", where one is nature, spiritual, and religious respectively.

Personally I could see Monks subsumed by the Paladin or Rangers subsumed by Fighter or Barbarian.

There's just a lot of "splitting hairs" in the Melee space at the moment.

Most of them are honestly classified by their proficiencies in Armor and Weapons.

Fighter is about as ironed out as "Mage" and you'll notice there is not "Mage" class.

However, there's no real space for Gladiators, trained soldiers, duelists, samurai, etc. Those are all just relegated to "Fighter" as there is a lot that can be done with them.

Rogues are pretty much in the same situation though, the only real difference there is they don't really compete with anyone for their role. You could argue ranger/monk somewhat encroach on the role, but there is a distinct "feel" to a rogue that I just don't think you can emulate with anyone else.

A Gladiator? You could jazz up a Barbarian with the right totem and feats and style.

Duelist? You could try to swing a Rogue.

Samurai? The Monk might be able to satisfy if you can get the right feats/proficiency.

Soldiers? Rangers are used to marching, tracking, foraging for food, and dealing with horses and dogs.

But all of the above is "pushing" them into those spaces, where as Fighters are a blank slate you can morph into those roles.

Right now a Fighter feels like a blank slate of proficiency and locked feats. That's all it ever really was, just a combat focused class with little to no out of game flavor.

That's something I don't feel other classes in the melee space suffer from. Monks are spiritual. Rogues are cunning. Rangers are nature's blade. Paladins are justice's voice.

Barbarians are dubious, but with the Totems they gain a lot of rigidity.

Fighters lack that rigidity. Idk who mentioned "Paths" for Fighters a while ago as a suggestion, but that was something I felt they needed as much as the Barbarian needs Totems. Wish that had been looked at more closely.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I think one thing to keep in mind is that Fighter, Rogue, and Cleric, despite board sentiment, were the most popular classes in PF1. Stuff should be done to improve them, but you probably don't want to mess with the underlying ideas too much.

A simple core fighting class that doesn't come with a whole lot of specific flavor attached was pretty popular in terms of actual play. And, if you want a martial class that comes with more specific flavor, then you're in luck: that's every other martial class, and will be every other martial class going forward.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd also like to say that the Fighter in PF2 isn't just the bland "combat guy." In PF1 those buckets of feats let you stack +1s on top of +1s for a really bland outcome. PF2 feats seem to paint the fighter as the "master of tactical options" and I think that is more than enough to build a class around. If I wanted to make Taskmaster, it would be with the PF2 fighter.


QuidEst wrote:

I think one thing to keep in mind is that Fighter, Rogue, and Cleric, despite board sentiment, were the most popular classes in PF1. Stuff should be done to improve them, but you probably don't want to mess with the underlying ideas too much.

A simple core fighting class that doesn't come with a whole lot of specific flavor attached was pretty popular in terms of actual play. And, if you want a martial class that comes with more specific flavor, then you're in luck: that's every other martial class, and will be every other martial class going forward.

I think the concept can work, and again the idea of starting with a relatively blank slate is super appetizing.

I just wish they had something a little more defining instead of a slew of Feats (like a totem, bloodline type of deal).

Those classes might be the most popular because of how role driven they are and how easy they are to play (new players probably grabbed these a lot)

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Midnightoker wrote:
Those classes might be the most popular because of how role driven they are and how easy they are to play (new players probably grabbed these a lot)

This is probably true. It will probably be true in PF2 as well, and providing tools to enable it is a very good thing.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion / Armor Proficiency Rules are Missing and Weapon Proficiency is Locked Down All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion