Explain 2e to an idiot (and some other discussion on 2e)


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Liberty's Edge

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@Staffan Johansson:

Sure, many Class Features are math fixers. But that's true of PF1 as well. I mean, let's look at Barbarian in PF1.

Ignoring Rage Powers (because they're the equivalent of Class Feats), after 1st level (where, in fairness, they get one extra Feature in Fast Movement), Barbarians get Trap Sense (a pure math fix/enhancer), Greater Rage and Mighty Rage (ditto...these are the equivalent of Rage damage going up in PF2, plus Weapon Mastery), and Indomitable Will (yet another math fix).

That leaves Uncanny Dodge, Improved Uncanny Dodge, Damage Reduction, and Tireless Rage as 'real' Class Features by the definition you're using, for a total of 4 Class Features (one scales, and is thus listed more than once, but that's not a functional difference), or 5 if you count Fast Movement.

That's actually a net gain in non-math fix Class Features from PF1 to PF2.

And as for Fighter...PF1 Fighters gain two Class Features that aren't direct math enhancers: Armor Mastery and Weapon Mastery. At 19th and 20th level. At 18th level or earlier, they have zero such features.

Bard is a bit of a different situation, having gone from a 6-level caster to a 9-level one, and more importantly not having a Class Feat equivalent in PF1. Classes that lack such a feature, their Class Features have indeed mostly (though not exclusively) become Feats...but most such features have just become optional rather than going away completely.

EDIT: Semi-ninja'd, but I went more in-depth.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Roswynn wrote:
Stone Dog wrote:
j b 200 wrote:
An easy houserule for prepared casters is not requiring them to determine their very low level spells for the day. Like once you can cast 4th level spells, you don't have to predetermine your 1st level ones, they are hand-waved as open until needed.
I rather like this sort of thing. I'd add an action or two to have to consult the spellbook, but the basic idea is pretty sound.
I read something like this in Unchained. It seemed a good way to avoid choosing tons of little spells you might not even use.

That's the idea. I have an 9th level Investigator (3rd level spells) and even then I rarely use all my 1st level slots. Think about a 9th level Wizard. In P1 his has 7 or 8 1st level spells and 6-7 2nd level. Unless you need to memorize Darkvision or Endure Elements for the whole party, you probably won't end up using all of them even in a full day of adventuring. It also avoids you burning a spell slot for a Utility spell that has very limited usefulness, except when you need it then it's a game changer.

P2 is going to be even worse, since although you don't have as many spell slots, with cantrips being modified into auto-heightening all day spells I would expect those 1st level slots to really drop in utility after 7th level or so.


Raylyeh wrote:

In the future look it up yourself before saying something. Knowledge is always a good thing!

You may continue with the raging if you’d like.

Wow.

First, I explicitly wrote that I was unsure about the final version of PF2 because I don't care about the play test.

Second..."raging?" It appears you may be projecting. :P


bugleyman wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:

In the future look it up yourself before saying something. Knowledge is always a good thing!

You may continue with the raging if you’d like.

Wow.

First, I explicitly wrote that I was unsure about the final version of PF2 because I don't care about the play test.

Second..."raging?" It appears you may be projecting. :P

“Shrug” not only were you the 1st to jump on the Vancian hate train (also the most aggressive about it I’d like to note) after I posted but also despite admitting that you know nothing about them, playtest or otherwise, you, seemingly rather petulantly, disregarded staves out of hand because apparently they need to be Dresden Files knock offs for you to care. If I misunderstood your emotional state I apologize.

BTW: There is is a Dresden Files RPG that uses the FATE system. If you haven’t tried it you should. It’s pretty fun though I’m not sure if staves and other magical objects work the way you want them to there either.

Liberty's Edge

Raylyeh wrote:
BTW: There is is a Dresden Files RPG that uses the FATE system. If you haven’t tried it you should.

I also endorse this, the Dresden Files RPG is fun.

Raylyeh wrote:
It’s pretty fun though I’m not sure if staves and other magical objects work the way you want them to there either.

They mostly do.

Technically, you can make a staff that either gives a bonus to your spellcasting or one that does its own independent effect, but all listed staffs fall under the first category (ie: a PC could make one that fit into the second, but it would be unusual).


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Raylyeh wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:

In the future look it up yourself before saying something. Knowledge is always a good thing!

You may continue with the raging if you’d like.

Wow.

First, I explicitly wrote that I was unsure about the final version of PF2 because I don't care about the play test.

Second..."raging?" It appears you may be projecting. :P

“Shrug” not only were you the 1st to jump on the Vancian hate train (also the most aggressive about it I’d like to note) after I posted but also despite admitting that you know nothing about them, playtest or otherwise, you, seemingly rather petulantly, disregarded staves out of hand because apparently they need to be Dresden Files knock offs for you to care. If I misunderstood your emotional state I apologize.

BTW: There is is a Dresden Files RPG that uses the FATE system. If you haven’t tried it you should. It’s pretty fun though I’m not sure if staves and other magical objects work the way you want them to there either.

I appreciate that tone can be lost across the Internet, but I really don't understand the origin of the apparent level of miscommunication in this case. Phrases like "hate train", "aggressive", or "petulant" are so far removed from the tone of the discussion I thought I was participating in that, even after reviewing my posts in this thread, I remain utterly baffled. (⊙_☉)

If you don't mind me asking, what did I write that struck you as hateful, aggressive, or petulant? I'd really like to understand where things went wrong.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Rather than focusing on where miscommunications occurred or where we can see some negative tone seeping into the discussion, I advise that we attempt to disengage from any condescending or accusatory language going forward. Be careful that your disagreements don't tread into attacking the individual.


You may have seen a post that I deleted and I apologize for it if you did because that went too far. As to the miscommunication. Well I admit I use the words hate train maybe a bit casually. I witnessed multiple threads in the playtest that went on for pages complaining about the subject at hand and the jadedness I gained from that may be affecting my outlook. Talk of killing sacred cows doesn’t help either. I know what the phrase means but in itself it is pretty offensive. It doesn’t make us sound like the most inclusive of communities...

But yes as Sam said let’s move on.


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Malk_Content wrote:
By that measure I wouldn't say 1st Edition [Core] classes are any different. I mean if we take out the feat equivalent (Rage powers) I'd say the 1st edition barb is mostly math fixers as well, with maybe only Uncanny Dodge, Damage Reduction and Tireless Rage being the only non-math fixer features.

I see your point, though my definition of "math fixer" doesn't just mean "numerical bonus". The way I see it, a math fixer is something you put on your character sheet and forget about it. Something like Trap Sense for the barbarian or Bravery for the fighter is more situational, so I'd count those as a proper class features - it's something to distinguish them beyond the equivalent of BAB and base save bonuses. It's not a judgment based on power, but on being distinctive. A +5 to all attacks would be a very strong ability in both PF1 and PF2, but it's still something you just put on your character sheet and forget about.

Also, Evasion-like abilities are a little odd from this perspective. In PF1, Evasion definitely counts as a rogue class feature - it's something to distinguish them from merely having a good Reflex save. But in PF2, the equivalent of Evasion (treat a successful save as a critical success) seems to be a standard feature of those abilities that give Master proficiency, so I'd be disinclined to count it.

And not all PF1 classes are as devoid of proper class abilities as the barbarian and fighter. The paladin, for example, has 12 class features after level 1 (plus spells), only counting Mercy once, and there's only one of those I'd count as a math fixer (Divine Grace). The PF2 paladin in the playtest has four non-math class features after level 1 (Righteous Ally, Holy Smite, Aura of Justice, and Hero's Defiance). The druid has 7, plus spells, and one could argue that being able to wild shape into elementals and plants should count as two more (the way I see it, being able to take the form of bigger animals doesn't count as a new ability, but being able to change into entirely different things might).

Anyhow, I'm not saying this is good or bad. My point is just that for most classes, the class features are about giving you your numbers, and class feats are about doing cool stuff. In PF1, the numbers were just listed on the class table as good/medium/bad BAB and good/bad saves - they weren't called out as class features, so all the class features were about something interesting.

Liberty's Edge

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It varies a lot by Class, but the basic way it works is that all Classes are now Talent Classes like Rogues and Barbarians (ie: Talents every two levels).

Rogues and Barbarians thus keep rough parity in Class Features, Fighters gain some, and Classes that never had them like Bard, Paladin, or Druid go down in Class Features as they're turned into Class Feats. So Paladin goes down from 12 to 4, but gains 11 Class Feats to make up for it, while Barbarian changes little in Feature/Talent numbers (6 or so Features, 10 or so Talents), give or take one or two.

But saying 'Class Features are now Feats' is reductive and overly simplistic. It's only true for some Classes and in some cases.


Okay I see I missed a hell of a lot in the time since I was here last..
And I guess just one more thing I'd note on the Vancian casting thing (since that's the last thing I properly remember being discussed)
I think that I probably beat up too much on it, I've just kinda been salty about it for a long time and I was never quite sure how to describe it. I've heard so commonly about how casters can easily overshadow any other class, and my rant came about just because of that sensation of frustration building up (and my minor addiction to spheres of power because good lord it gave you the ability to basically build your magic from the ground up to fit whatever fluff you could possibly want it to do but I'm rambling).

And... I hope it's not rude but can someone explain just what happened since I was here?

Liberty's Edge

This thread, starting with the linked post (the most recent after your last post here), has been serving as a warehouse for most of the information gained on PF2 for some time now.

If you have specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them, or at least attempt to do so.


So I feel like it's worth posting what I did with casters. I essentially made Prepared casters Arcanist-style and to balance it I allow Sorcerers to spontaneously heighten any spell. It's worked out pretty well. Though to be fair my group doesn't try to live super-exploit prepared casting or anything, if that's even a thing you can really do this edition.

I'm also considering allowing prepared casters to "undercast", that us that if they prepare a spell at a higher slot than normal then they can cast it with a lower slot (no normal than the lowest level of the spell of course). I think it would make an interesting dynamic with prepared casters being able to potentially have more options for their low level slots but Sorcerers have more options for their more powerful slots.


Edge93 wrote:

So I feel like it's worth posting what I did with casters. I essentially made Prepared casters Arcanist-style and to balance it I allow Sorcerers to spontaneously heighten any spell. It's worked out pretty well. Though to be fair my group doesn't try to live super-exploit prepared casting or anything, if that's even a thing you can really do this edition.

I'm also considering allowing prepared casters to "undercast", that us that if they prepare a spell at a higher slot than normal then they can cast it with a lower slot (no normal than the lowest level of the spell of course). I think it would make an interesting dynamic with prepared casters being able to potentially have more options for their low level slots but Sorcerers have more options for their more powerful slots.

How many prepared spells and spell slots do your arcanist-style casters have? As many as they can prepare in vancian style?


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

This thread, starting with the linked post (the most recent after your last post here), has been serving as a warehouse for most of the information gained on PF2 for some time now.

If you have specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them, or at least attempt to do so.

Thanks, though I'm not super sure of where to really start...

Well I guess I can start with a minor complaint from what little I know of pf2. I noticed some people saying that proficiency bonuses are more nuanced than 5e because of the multiple tiers (When someone made comparisons to 5e, that person may have been me, I don't remember for sure), but from what I understand each extra level of proficiency just adds a +1.

Also I'd like to respond to Albatoonoe's notes on Vancian casting, noting that.. when you put it like that (saying it is the "Evolution of Spells as Rituals") It definitely seems to make it a bit more palatable (And throwing away my salt for a moment that sounds honestly interesting), However I think this particular idea depends more on your prerogative as a GM and/or player. Like using how I nigh constantly compare it to Spheres of Power.
Vancian Casting is designed around the idea of being deep, intricate, and specific in how it works in the setting. Fullmetal Alchemist is a good comparison, as it is a Hard magic system.
Spheres of Power was designed to let the players take the reins to design their casters how they would like, the exact nature of magic is relatively up in the air and depends on what the GM and Players want to say casting traditions are. It still has hard rules within the game but not as many rules as to how those limitations affect the setting, and so it's designed to be softer.

Also as I was writing this and thinking about that "spells as rituals" bit. I realized that all of my disdain for vancian magic as a part of the STORY is directly connected to the class that uses it.

Alchemist/Investigator: I LOVE vancian casting on alchemists and it's the one class I'd 100% use vancian over spheres for, because the idea of its magic as specific chemical formulations make the trappings of vancian casting 'click' in my head a lot more.

Wizard: Make a lot more sense when thinking of Vancian Casting as rituals, but I still can't help but think that wizarding magic wouldn't be quite THIS exact.

Magus: Since it uses the same study as Wizards it makes sense, but at the same time I feel like the idea that they practice a few very specific techniques that they get a lot of use out of (See Spheres of Power and how they can choose a few all day touch attack talents for spell combat) makes sense because of their 'Full Contact Magic' style. (Though admittedly this one is less Story and more Mechanics thinking that a small number of at will abilities to use with spell combat is nice)

Clerics: Kinda weird that they have such specific spells when they're calling upon the fickle will of the gods if you ask me, but it makes JUST enough sense (since they have the idea of ritualistic divinity down) that I'm going to leave them out of the next section.

Warning: 4 line Rant Incoming: TL:DR: Sorcerers seem like they'd have a way softer magic system than wizards due to their origins:
Sorcerers (and oracles): Sorcerers seem like the Antithesis of Vancian Casting to me, and I know that I'm probably exaggerating but... You're learning the ropes of a strange and temperamental form of magic that you acquired via some distant blood relation (or other ancestral connection) to a magical creature. Yet you use the same Hard, Complex, Ritualistic magic system that the Wizards and Alchemists use. And Oracles are in the same boat because they have some vague connection to the gods that they don't quite understand, but learn the same hard magic as wizards. This just makes no sense to me, at all. (And since the Inherent "I don't quite understand where I got it from but I'm made of magic" classes are my personal favorite of the full casters this just makes the problem all the more obvious)

Edit: the rant was only 8.5 lines in the editor, not in the post itself.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Warriorking9001 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
[...]

Thanks, though I'm not super sure of where to really start...

Well I guess I can start with a minor complaint from what little I know of pf2. I noticed some people saying that proficiency bonuses are more nuanced than 5e because of the multiple tiers (When someone made comparisons to 5e, that person may have been me, I don't remember for sure), but from what I understand each extra level of proficiency just adds a +1.

[...]

The new proficiency bonuses in the final rules are this:

Untrained : + nothing
Trained: + lvl + 2
Expert: + lvl + 4
Master: + lvl + 6
Legendary: + lvl + 8
So basically, +2 per rank, except from untrained to trained, where it's bigger.

And a roll is calculated like this:
1d20 + MOD + PROFICIENCY
(MOD can be between -1 and +7 I think, as stats can vary from minimum 8 to maximum 24, at lvl 20, and one [now rare] boost item)

Oh, and small point about the rest: Alchemist are not casters anymore, their elixirs are now counted as pure crafting.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Warriorking9001 wrote:
Well I guess I can start with a minor complaint from what little I know of pf2. I noticed some people saying that proficiency bonuses are more nuanced than 5e because of the multiple tiers (When someone made comparisons to 5e, that person may have been me, I don't remember for sure), but from what I understand each extra level of proficiency just adds a +1.

I get the impression a lot of people felt that way. It's also one of the things confirmed to be changed for the final version. Proficiency bonuses have a bigger spread past trained.

The short answer is that it's not worth getting riled up or disappointed in playtest rules. So much is changing in ways we don't know yet.

Frankly, it's probably not worth getting riled up with the final rules, either, except maybe Pathfinder Society players since they don't get to houserule stuff.

However:
To pick one thing from your original list of questions, my take is the action economy gains in simplicity what it loses in now occasionally having people complain "x" small thing is an action. I also think it's a good microcosm to explain PF2e based on the the playtest. It's streamlined in a lot of great ways, but largely still felt like Pathfinder, with some of the nuance lost in mostly unimportant ways. A polished version of the playtest rules is a game I want to play.

The gain in the better underlying structure feels worth the loss in designing interesting characters around fiddly edge cases and weird builds that a decade of additional source books enabled. I eagerly await the ever-expanding rules because I have a problem and I can't stop myself, which is why I play Pathfinder instead of other systems. Paizo has demonstrated a commitment to offering multitudes of choices in a way that feels better engineered to handle weird design options without going so far as to build a fully-generic system. As a perpetual GM, I think that's really cool.

This has also brought up a lot of thoughts on generic/setting agnostic systems versus the various D20 descendants of D&D 3, but that's really off topic.

Liberty's Edge

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Warriorking9001 wrote:

Thanks, though I'm not super sure of where to really start...

Well I guess I can start with a minor complaint from what little I know of pf2. I noticed some people saying that proficiency bonuses are more nuanced than 5e because of the multiple tiers (When someone made comparisons to 5e, that person may have been me, I don't remember for sure), but from what I understand each extra level of proficiency just adds a +1.

As Elfteiroth notes, this is one of the major changes we know of between the playtest and final PF2 rules, with these changes making Proficiency a lot more meaningful.

I will also say that the improvement over 5E a lot of people were talking about was as much about being able to acquire new skills as it is about leveling the ones you have in a more fine-grained way. In 5E you very rarely gain even a single skill past 1st level, making the few choices you get pretty much over after 1st level.

I have no real response on Vancian casting, beyond noting that it's a legacy thing and not going away any time soon.


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I’d say my top 5 points for explaining P2 are as follows, and yes, I have been trying a little but not too much (only one that gave me pause was number two):

One choice each level.
P2 is heavily oriented towards customising your character, allowing players to select variable options (feats) to add functionalities in various aspects. General feats improve your overall character, Class feats are generally oriented towards combat, Skill feats give you more ways to use your abilities, and Ancestry feats grant you exclusive perks to differentiate you from those pesky humans. There’s one more type of feats, but more on this in the next point.

Two classes in parallel.
Rather than using an alternate progression for multiclassing, P2 allows you to progress your main class at full speed even while multiclassing, at the cost of some optional abilities which you will substitute with Dedication feats. Dedication feats give you the benefit of another class’s feature, such as spellcasting or weapon skill, and are selected as Class feats. This way, your main class never really falls behind in your most important features, and you can still pick the extra features you want.

Three actions per round.
Action economy is structured around having three actions (plus a reaction) for each character. These can be an attack (less precise the more you take), a movement, an interaction, or a complex action that requires multiple actions to be completed, such as a spell. Most feats will give you some more options for how to use your actions, sometimes helping you squeeze in some extra juice from the time you have and sometimes doing something entirely new.

Four degrees of success.
A check (1d20+n) can give four results rather than two: critical failure, failure, success, critical success. If you beat the DC by 10, that’s a crit. If you miss by 10, it’s a fumble. Exact consequences for rolling each are up to the specific action, but it’s important to specify that skill checks and spell saves can also crit. Fumbles on attack rolls tend to do nothing special, but can provoke reactions from certain abilities.

Five ranks of proficiency.
Untrained (+0), Trained (lv+2), Expert (lv+4), Master (lv+6) and Legendary (lv+8) are the measure of your skill with weapons, armour, spellcasting, and everything else. Rather than using a single modifier for everything or a series of granular points and formulas, P2 uses a linear progression for everything, making your abilities different but similar, allowing for interaction. For example, you might be asked to take a Will save (in which you’re Expert) to save against a spell… or a Survival check to get out of the illusion instead (and f you’re Master, that’s better).


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I'll note that the numerical bonus from the different proficiency ranks also allowed you to attempt different actions (ie, you might need to be an expert on thievery to even roll to disable an expert trap) and allowed access to different skill feats (you had to be a master of stealth to move your full speed while sneaking.)

Silver Crusade

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ediwir wrote:

...

One choice each level.
...
Two classes in parallel.
...
Three actions per round.
...
Four degrees of success.
...
Five ranks of proficiency.

That is awesome!

Edit: Though yeah, number two is technically not correct, at least on higher levels you can add on even more 'classes'.


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Yeah, “parallel multiclassing” would be better, but then I’d have no numbers.


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Megistone wrote:
Edge93 wrote:

So I feel like it's worth posting what I did with casters. I essentially made Prepared casters Arcanist-style and to balance it I allow Sorcerers to spontaneously heighten any spell. It's worked out pretty well. Though to be fair my group doesn't try to live super-exploit prepared casting or anything, if that's even a thing you can really do this edition.

I'm also considering allowing prepared casters to "undercast", that us that if they prepare a spell at a higher slot than normal then they can cast it with a lower slot (no normal than the lowest level of the spell of course). I think it would make an interesting dynamic with prepared casters being able to potentially have more options for their low level slots but Sorcerers have more options for their more powerful slots.

How many prepared spells and spell slots do your arcanist-style casters have? As many as they can prepare in vancian style?

Exactly. So both Prepared and Spontaneous casters get a notable upgrade to versatility bit in very different ways, and it hasn't seemed to leave either style behind.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I might steal that, Edge.

Although I am definitely going to run my first 2e campaign RAW, just to give the system a fair shake before I start prodding it. :)


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I like how when figuring out stats it goes A, B, C, 4, with the next upgrade at level 5. That's a nice way to remind of the Autoprogression being every 5 levels, and makes making the character easy


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Elfteiroh wrote:


Oh, and small point about the rest: Alchemist are not casters anymore, their elixirs are now counted as pure crafting.

Touche (I admit I haven't properly kept up with PF2 very much just because I haven't had the time to really tear into it). It's more that just whilst writing that post about vancian casting it hit me so suddenly that.. Well I had said my relative distaste for vancian casting a lot in the past, but I never really understood why I had a distaste since it has been relatively balanced, and so many editions have said they were improving it. Yet suddenly it just hit me that I finally had an explanation for WHY I felt something seemed so off about it to me, and I thought to say it.

Dataphiles

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Warriorking9001 wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:


Oh, and small point about the rest: Alchemist are not casters anymore, their elixirs are now counted as pure crafting.
Touche (I admit I haven't properly kept up with PF2 very much just because I haven't had the time to really tear into it).

They essentially looked at alchemists and alchemical items and realized that the two weren't actually related. So, they fixed that.

Instead of getting spells in a juice-box you now get a wide variety of cool alchemical items. Some of them work very similarly to spells, but have their own quirks and perks. Others are new items.

You can also now hand out your alchemical items to people in the party. Supposedly you can also have a medicine-focused alchemist be your party's main healer now. (I got to read a lot of the PF2 playtest stuff, but didn't get a chance to play)


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Not to be really stupid but I just want to make a quick note of the phrase "Spells in a juice-box", because for some reason that made me chuckle.

Though sorry if I'm just stuck on something stupid but I'm still so surprised that I finally have some semi-logical explanation for why it rubbed me the wrong way for so long. Although it's funny that it also gave me a new appreciation for it and maybe I'll be more open to vancian casting if I get a chance to play in Golarion.

Now back to 2e and saying that.. Admittedly I'm not quite sure of what else to say on it for now since I don't know where any of the PDFs aside from the playlets are and I don't know how things have changed, but basically all of my wants for the game are about the same as they originally were.

1: Let gishes be good please
2: Let Gishes be Good Please
3: LET GISHES BE GOOD PLEASE.
4: filling in the cracks like Inquisitor (although a Rogue with Cleric feats could fill that role in)

And a question, what are Paladins looking like right now?
Edit: Since I mentioned gishes 3 times I'll ask whether armor still has arcane spell failure chance in this version. (And also also just where the most recent system info is in general)


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Armour spell failure has been consistently absent from every version of the playtest and we have no indication that it will make an appearance.
Gishes are intended to be possible, but as of now there is no such thing as “use your weapon proficiency to discharge ray spells” or similar. However, anyone can natively cast a spell and make an attack in the same turn, without any issue.

Paladins are a LG-exclusive subclass of Champion, a defensive/teamwork oriented class.

Liberty's Edge

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Warriorking9001 wrote:

Now back to 2e and saying that.. Admittedly I'm not quite sure of what else to say on it for now since I don't know where any of the PDFs aside from the playlets are and I don't know how things have changed, but basically all of my wants for the game are about the same as they originally were.

1: Let gishes be good please
2: Let Gishes be Good Please
3: LET GISHES BE GOOD PLEASE.

There's not a dedicated Class, but Fighter/Wizard and Fighter/Sorcerer multiclasses both look quite effective from what we saw in the playtest. No new info on them in the final game thus far.

Warriorking9001 wrote:
4: filling in the cracks like Inquisitor (although a Rogue with Cleric feats could fill that role in)

I certainly hope for Inquisitor-type Classes in the future. That said, we know that Cleric is getting multiple 'paths' including one for martial weapons and armor, as well as one with improved spellcasting, so a third with improved skill options is very possible (though unconfirmed) and might tide us over until a proper Inquisitor class arrives.

Warriorking9001 wrote:
And a question, what are Paladins looking like right now?

Paladin is the current LG version of the Champion Class. At last look, they were still pretty strongly defensive and reactive, built around Retributive Strike. They're effective mechanically, though some object to the way in which they are.

Warriorking9001 wrote:
Edit: Since I mentioned gishes 3 times I'll ask whether armor still has arcane spell failure chance in this version. (And also also just where the most recent system info is in general)

Arcane Spell Failure never showed up in the playtest, and everyone was happy about that, so it's extraordinarily unlikely it'll show up in the final game.


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Yeah, Gishes are treated quite nicely in PF2. The action economy is naturally built for it, even more so once you get Haste. Just beware the dreaded AoO if ye be fighting a foe what bears it.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Our Sorcerer (imperial) / Champion (redeemer) of Falayna in War for the Crown is doing really well so far. Excellent spells, credible melee, great protection, and even healing. She has a lot of champion feats, enough to branch archetypes, and is likely to wind up with some bard or monk too.


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Quote:
She has a lot of champion feats, enough to branch archetypes, and is likely to wind up with some bard or monk too.

Hmm, so distinct from specific Feat chains/trees and simple Level requirement, overall # of Class Feats of given Class is requirement to enable more specific sub-paths/abilities of that Class. Is that just for Multiclass, or the base Class as well? :-D

On Arcanist casting, I'm still interested in the Prestige Class Feat chain/tree approach, which could even have "reverse" wording for similar end result if taken by full Spontaneous Casters. It just makes sense when people don't really seem to care about unique identity of Arcanist as independent class, and same Prestige Feat Chain/Tree could also include Exploits... giving variety of ways to "rank up" thru the PrC (i.e. Spell Slot or Exploit centric) as well as variety in degree of focus on actual base Class' Feats (School, BL, etc).

I mean, I always felt willing to approach Arcanist as unique class with own identity, but really none of it's biggest fans really seem to: It looks and feels like a Wizard, just with some unique mechanics... But that's what all Wizard Class Feats (or Caster PrC Feats) do anyways, so why bother with standalone class? Actually, standalone Arcanist also means needing to triangulate balance/distinction for Multiclass Arcanist, which doesn't feel worth it for weak identity. Really, Arcanist feels similar to Magus, which AFAIK we already expect to no longer be standalone class... just some Class or PrC Feats (atop action economy already better suited to gishing).

Liberty's Edge

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Quandary wrote:
Quote:
She has a lot of champion feats, enough to branch archetypes, and is likely to wind up with some bard or monk too.
Hmm, so distinct from specific Feat chains/trees, overall # of Class Feats of given Class is requirement to enable more specific sub-paths of that Class. Is that just for Multiclass, or the base Class as well? :-D

He could just be talking about having enough Feats to take another Archetype, as was needed in the playtest (ie: she has 3 Champion Feats so she can take Monk or Bard Feats as well if she desires).

So they could easily still be distinct feat chains/tress, and his phrasing continues to make sense. I wouldn't read too much into it.


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Staffan Johansson wrote:
since PF2 has done away with less-than-full casters.

That is such a strange thing to read, given that most places I talk about the game online seem to agreed that Paizo's strength was in writing its 2/3rds casters.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Our Sorcerer (imperial) / Champion (redeemer) of Falayna in War for the Crown is doing really well so far. Excellent spells, credible melee, great protection, and even healing. She has a lot of champion feats, enough to branch archetypes, and is likely to wind up with some bard or monk too.

But do those features combine and mix with each other? Or just complement the other half?

IMO The thing that made PF1's gishes the most interesting were the mechanics designed to combine magical and mundane aspects, with spell combat/spellstrike obviously being the most blatant example.

So even if the Sorc/Champ is mechanically amazing, I feel like if it's something that just sometimes casts spells and sometimes smacks things with a sword it's a step backwards in terms of overall design.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
He could just be talking about having enough Feats to take another Archetype, as was needed in the playtest (ie: she has 3 Champion Feats so she can take Monk or Bard Feats as well if she desires).

True, I was wasn't sure whether Sorceror or Champion was the Base Class, and was maybe reading particular context into "branching" (within topic of Champion). Possibly a meta-mechanic they could use in future, distinguishing true dedication vs moonlighters, but maybe that wasn't what he meant.

Quote:
I wouldn't read too much into it.

No fun... ;-)


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Squiggit wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
since PF2 has done away with less-than-full casters.

That is such a strange thing to read, given that most places I talk about the game online seem to agreed that Paizo's strength was in writing its 2/3rds casters.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Our Sorcerer (imperial) / Champion (redeemer) of Falayna in War for the Crown is doing really well so far. Excellent spells, credible melee, great protection, and even healing. She has a lot of champion feats, enough to branch archetypes, and is likely to wind up with some bard or monk too.

But do those features combine and mix with each other? Or just complement the other half?

IMO The thing that made PF1's gishes the most interesting were the mechanics designed to combine magical and mundane aspects, with spell combat/spellstrike obviously being the most blatant example.

So even if the Sorc/Champ is mechanically amazing, I feel like if it's something that just sometimes casts spells and sometimes smacks things with a sword it's a step backwards in terms of overall design.

FWIW casting a spell and then swinging a weapon or vice versa is basically the equivalent to Spell Combat in PF2. Yeah you get less attacks compared to PF1 but that's kinda true globally. It's that first attack per round that's most important anyway.

Also you can be a Gish and still do Sword and Board, 2H weapons, or dual wielding (though casting and TWF in the same turn is tricky) which even PF1 Magus couldn't do.

Also IMO Spell Combat and Spellstrike were pretty broken, even on a 2/3 caster.


Welp...
1: I'm glad to hear that gishes are treated well, just because they were always my favorite archetype whether going for Versatility or Power.
2: Paladins have been expanded into a more general class? interesting.


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There were also several options that specifically powered up your weapons or channeled a spell through a weapon. Weapon Surge, Weapon Storm, Channel Strike, Magical Striker... I feel like there were a lot of options to get your spell strike on. They weren't literally turning any touch spell into a strike, but they weren't far off.


Yeah, I don't necessarily NEED spellstrike. I just kinda assumed that it was the most standard "Gish Class" power out there.

Also not to make another comparison to 5e but I hope we get some archetypes that would admittedly be comparable to 5e archetypes.

Bards getting things like the Colleges as archetypes. You want DPS? College of Swords. You want to Tank? College of Valor. Want to make Rogues Useless? College of Whispers. Want to be better at casting? College of Lore (Or Compulsion to be specifically good at charming and compelling people to do what you want with magic).

Rogues getting Assassin and Scout as archetype abilities that they can just pick, although things like multi-class feats can cover Arcane Trickster better than an archetype may, same for Fighters and Eldritch Knight...

Also unrelated to this 5e talk I just realized, HOW defensively oriented are champions/paladins supposed to be? I'd think they would carry equal proficiency with defense and murder seeing how their most common class feature is the ability to SMITE(!) people.


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Warriorking9001 wrote:
Also unrelated to this 5e talk I just realized, HOW defensively oriented are champions/paladins supposed to be? I'd think they would carry equal proficiency with defense and murder seeing how their most common class feature is the ability to SMITE(!) people.

Champions are heavily defense-focus, or were in the playtest. They were still able to throw down, though.


Warriorking9001 wrote:
Also unrelated to this 5e talk I just realized, HOW defensively oriented are champions/paladins supposed to be? I'd think they would carry equal proficiency with defense and murder seeing how their most common class feature is the ability to SMITE(!) people.

I think the easiest description of that defensive orientation is that they're strongest offensively against enemies that threaten others, although they're certainly no slouches in a pure 1v1 fight. A blade ally paladin focused on being as murdery as possible was still quite solid.


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So... in the specifics, this is based on the proficiency system. There’s an upper limit to your offensive and defensive capabilities, and normally it is determined by your class. For example, nobody can have the strike precision of the Fighter: he starts a notch above everyone else and consistently maintains it.
Champions and Monks have the highest armour class proficiency of all classes, so they’re the ones with the highest defense capability... however, monk tends to have mobility-oriented features and feats, while Champions have a lot of shield-based feats and protective features. So their defensive potential is top notch.
A Champion who invests in offense will still be relatively tanky, and able to dish out a decent slap when needed. Smite is, however, no longer a level one feature.

Liberty's Edge

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Warriorking9001 wrote:
Yeah, I don't necessarily NEED spellstrike. I just kinda assumed that it was the most standard "Gish Class" power out there.

Well, everyone basically got Spell Combat for free, so I think that evens it out a bit.

Warriorking9001 wrote:

Also not to make another comparison to 5e but I hope we get some archetypes that would admittedly be comparable to 5e archetypes.

Bards getting things like the Colleges as archetypes. You want DPS? College of Swords. You want to Tank? College of Valor. Want to make Rogues Useless? College of Whispers. Want to be better at casting? College of Lore (Or Compulsion to be specifically good at charming and compelling people to do what you want with magic).

You can do a lot of this with the new Multiclassing Rules. Most of what, say, College of Valor does is steal cool stuff from the Fighter, so investing your Feats in Fighter Multiclass on a PF2 Bard has much the same effect in many ways. As does taking Rogue Multiclass for Skills mimic that aspect of College of Lore.

That's true of many Classes and works for quite a few 5E archetypes.

Warriorking9001 wrote:
Rogues getting Assassin and Scout as archetype abilities that they can just pick, although things like multi-class feats can cover Arcane Trickster better than an archetype may, same for Fighters and Eldritch Knight...

This is substantially correct, yes.

Warriorking9001 wrote:
Also unrelated to this 5e talk I just realized, HOW defensively oriented are champions/paladins supposed to be? I'd think they would carry equal proficiency with defense and murder seeing how their most common class feature is the ability to SMITE(!) people.

Paladins (and Champions in general) are, at the moment, best when defending allies, getting to inflict serious penalties on or attack those who dare to strike their allies. They're also among the highest AC Classes in the game (only high level Dex-based Monks equal them), and have Lay on Hands as usual (a very defensive buff).

Their offense is solid but lags a bit behind, say, Fighters or Barbarians. I personally hold out hope for a more offensive 'Smite Evil' Focus Spell, which would allow them to do the 'pick one evil target and mess it up' thing a few times, but we'll see whether anything like that crops up.


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Spell combat might have been a bad example given the way 2e's action economy works.

The larger point though was just that one of the strengths of PF1's partial casters is the way they created class features and unique spells to blend together martial and magical components to some degree, Spell Combat was just an example of that.

And my worry is that with battlemages being built around multiclassing instead we'll see a bit of a backslide toward 3.5 design philosophy where being a gish is just bolting spells onto your fighter or bolting attack bonuses onto your wizard with not a lot of meaningful interconnectivity between the two and I hope Paizo looks at that when designing feats to support these systems.


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Warriorking9001 wrote:
Also unrelated to this 5e talk I just realized, HOW defensively oriented are champions/paladins supposed to be? I'd think they would carry equal proficiency with defense and murder seeing how their most common class feature is the ability to SMITE(!) people.

We're not certain for PF2 itself, so most of this discussion is about the playtest version and may be different. But in the playtest, smite is no longer the core paladin ability, instead it's Retributive Strike, which gives you bonuses to reactively hit back at someone who hurt one of your allies, and to negate some of it's damage. The other champions got different reactions, but reactions but their focus was still on reactions. Smite Evil wasn't even in the playtest until the 1.6 update when it was brought back as a 12th (!) level feat. There were some other abilities that were kind of smite-adjacent that work by giving extra effects to Retributive Strike. Paladins were the only class to get Legendary proficiency in any armor (only heavy armor in their case), and only got up to Master in one weapon group, and Expert in other simple and martial weapons. Several of their abilities are tied to heavy armor, like an increase in fort saves while wearing heavy armor and eventually reducing some of the penalties of heavy armor. In the playtest, heavy armor is pretty bad without some way of reducing those penalites, the final game does seem to have improved on that in some ways though.

The other Champions were introduced in the 1.6 update. They're based on alignment and have a different reaction to take the place of Retributive strike, but are mostly the same mechanically. NG Champions are Redeemers, their reaction is Glimpse of Redemption that gives resistance to an ally from an enemy's attack and then gave the enemy the choice to negate the attack entirely (while still keeping the multiple attack penalty) or getting enfeebled until the end of their next turn. Chaotic Good Champions are Liberators and their reaction is Liberating Step which gives some resistance to damage to an ally, and gives them an extra chance to break out of grapples or any other kind of restraint.

As I said before, this is for the playtest version, we don't really know what if anything changed for PF2, other than the overarching name of the whole class is now Champion, Paladin is the name for the LG version, and only Good Champions are in the core book, but others will likely follow later.

I'm one of those who strongly dislike the direction of the playtest paladin/champion, so I'm almost certainly portraying it in a more negative light (although I'm trying to stay neutral). But this isn't a thread to gripe about Paladins/Champions, I've done that enough elsewhere, so I'll leave it at that.


Squiggit wrote:

Spell combat might have been a bad example given the way 2e's action economy works.

The larger point though was just that one of the strengths of PF1's partial casters is the way they created class features and unique spells to blend together martial and magical components to some degree, Spell Combat was just an example of that.

And my worry is that with battlemages being built around multiclassing instead we'll see a bit of a backslide toward 3.5 design philosophy where being a gish is just bolting spells onto your fighter or bolting attack bonuses onto your wizard with not a lot of meaningful interconnectivity between the two and I hope Paizo looks at that when designing feats to support these systems.

Repeating...

There were also several options that specifically powered up your weapons or channeled a spell through a weapon. Weapon Surge, Weapon Storm, Channel Strike, Magical Striker... I feel like there were a lot of options to get your spell strike on. They weren't literally turning any touch spell into a strike, but they weren't far off.

And that was just within the playtest book, which was less than the final CRB will be. The PF2 core is shaping up to indisputably be better at blending than PF1 core. Honestly, it doesn't feel that far behind PF1 all inclusive. The main classes that blended casting and melee were Magus and War Priest and we can already do most of their shticks


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Thanks for the clarification, and on Smiting I less think of "Is it a first level ability?" and more.. The worry that made me ask "How defensive are they?" is thinking of the worst case scenario being that they basically have one way to play "Right" and other ways just becomes "wrong", because "if you wanted to use a big sword and smite down heretics why aren't you just playing a fighter and take a cleric multi class feat or something because everything champions do is connected to retribution".

Also on Smite Evil as a Spell. I think that could work, let them grab it as a power to spend points on when they don't feel like doing whatever else champion does (Admittedly I don't have the playtest on hand to really know what things do).

I also would like to note that I'm actually... Though again I haven't really gotten to read the playtest books I'm surprisingly happy at how things are coming along so far. It kinda reminds me of the other 'pathfinder 2' attempt from fans called Kirthfinder, and it kinda did a lot of the same stuff (namely EVERY class gets a talent list, and they can spend some of their talents to gain synergy with other classes) but this for some reason just feels a lot more streamlined than that.
(Although if I'm going to mention KF I'll note that I still REALLY like its equipment system and the idea that rather than simple martial and exotic weapons you just have a specific level of proficiency with all weapons, ranging from understanding the simplest of it to exotic training where you're ESPECIALLY good at using them)


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Squiggit wrote:

Spell combat might have been a bad example given the way 2e's action economy works.

The larger point though was just that one of the strengths of PF1's partial casters is the way they created class features and unique spells to blend together martial and magical components to some degree, Spell Combat was just an example of that.

And my worry is that with battlemages being built around multiclassing instead we'll see a bit of a backslide toward 3.5 design philosophy where being a gish is just bolting spells onto your fighter or bolting attack bonuses onto your wizard with not a lot of meaningful interconnectivity between the two and I hope Paizo looks at that when designing feats to support these systems.

It seems to me that an easy (if potentially very wordcount-heavy) first step is making multiclass feats with multiple class prerequisites. So multiclass feats with both fighter and wizard as prerequisite, sort of thing. Then you can design tightly-focused benefits to build off the two classes' specific strengths.

makes a note

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