Let's talk about what we learned from Paizo Con.


Second Edition

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Per Corie Marie's request from #MyPathfinderSpoilers, let's move discussions of the reveals over here.

Blave wrote:

Summon monster got really weak at high levels in the playtest. The stuff you could summon with a 10th level summon monster was barely able to hit a level 20 creature and could hit real epic threats like the Jabberwock on a nat20. That's pretty damn weak for a 20th level ability, that costs your level 20 feat and is usable once per day.

It looks like 10th level slots are no longer gated behind a feat, but I still hope they improved the summoning spells significantly. The dragon summon does look a bit disappointing in this regard, to be honest.

Summon Monster is a 1st level ability heightened to 10th level, not a 10th level spell. If they created a 10th level summoning spell (which is a pretty obvious thing they will do, even if it isn't in the CRB) it would be significantly stronger. Heightened spells shouldn't be as strong as higher level spells. The closest thing we have to a 10th level summon spell is Primal Herd, which does indeed seem much stronger than a Phoenix or a Boar Demon.

Erk Ander wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Divine Lance bodes well for cantrip damage in general. 9d4+Casting Stat is respectable high level damage for something free, and I doubt Arcane cantrips are too much worse.
I am not so sure. Comparte it with a composite longbow at that lvl it 5d8+dex+0.5 Str+Runes (fire, holy etc). Given all that its likely the ranged weapon deals at the very least twice as much damage .Plus the bow has FAR longer range (divine lance should have at least 120). The one downside a ranged weapon has is...ammo.

You ignored the bold bit there. That composite longbow required significant gold investment to upgrade to that point. Cantrips are free. A caster shouldn't be able to do comparable damage at will for free, especially when you consider at will damage tends to be biggest contribution a martial character can make while the caster still has, you know, spells.

If a caster wants comparable at will damage, they need to invest comparable resources at bare minimum. We know a cleric of Erastil could invest in that longbow and further boost it with the Divine Weapon feat, for example. And there may be ways to boost cantrip damage through wands, staffs, or other items.


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With striking taking up a rune slot and only going to three bonus dice won't max Longbow damage be more like: 4d8+3 Str+2d6 Other runes or ~28

Compared to 9d4+7 ~29.5

You get two shots with the bow which does make it more damaging for the action economy but it probably should be if it is a primary weapon.

I'd argue that cantrips should start off closer to weapon damage and then fall behind because as the caster level ups it's more likely that they are going to use a slotted spell or power so cantrips move from primary combat position for a low level caster to a backup option for a high level caster.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Heightened spells shouldn't be as strong as higher level spells.

Not everyone agrees with that…

And that them not being as strong as spells that are naturally that level was only true for some spells (summoning or damage spells). A lot of spells like slow (most non damage/healing/summoning/polymorph spells with heightening options) are comparable to spells of their level.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm still holding out hope for wands and staves that can be used to beef up your cantrips. That could bring them significantly closer to martial damage at the cost of gold, which is much fairer than just innately doing nearly as much as a class who spent their gold and feats on doing it.

I really hope gold dependence is more even between classes this time around.


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The other thing that gets ignored in these cantrip discussions is that white room DPR isn't the best metric in actual play against actual monsters. Cantrips (and spell damage in general) allows casters significantly more variety in the types of damage they deal, which allows them to bypass resistances and trigger weaknesses significantly more easily.

To illustrate, a 9d4+7 good damage divine lance deals an additional 15 damage to a Pit Fiend and 20 damage to a Balor. A martial with a holy rune can trigger that as well... if they bought a holy rune despite it being useless against any neutral monsters they fight. Even backup weapons only get you so far due to the cost of fully kitting out multiple weapons.

A wizard, meanwhile, probably can have a whole variety of cantrips and spells he can switch between to target different weaknesses without appreciable costs or dips in DPR.

citricking wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Heightened spells shouldn't be as strong as higher level spells.

Not everyone agrees with that…

And that them not being as strong as spells that are naturally that level was only true for some spells (summoning or damage spells). A lot of spells like slow (most non damage/healing/summoning/polymorph spells with heightening options) are comparable to spells of their level.

Not everyone agrees the Earth is round, either. Regardless, the paizo design team seems to agree on it so that's going to be the paradigm we play under.

Also, Slow and similar spells are quite often simply hitting more targets, while still remaining less potent for any individual target. A 6th level Slow is only sort of better than a 5th level Crushing Despair, for example.

Similarly, blasting spells retain relevance not just in raw damage, but for area, range, and utilizing different damage types. Fireball remains the premier "blow stuff up from very far away" for a long, long time. I know from previous discussions that you would prefer this paradigm is reversed (fireball deals the same damage as Chain Lightning but Chain Lightning provides superior targeting was an example you made, as I recall) but frankly that's basically illustrating the same principle in a different way. The higher level spell remains superior to the heightened spell. It is really just nitpicking on how it maintains that superiority, and it is a moot point regardless since Paizo (and presumably the majority of players) have made up their minds on that.


WatersLethe wrote:

I'm still holding out hope for wands and staves that can be used to beef up your cantrips. That could bring them significantly closer to martial damage at the cost of gold, which is much fairer than just innately doing nearly as much as a class who spent their gold and feats on doing it.

I really hope gold dependence is more even between classes this time around.

Well, if nothing else gold and feats can be used to to increase your effective spells known and spell slots, which means that casters probably have to rely on cantrips less and less with the right investment.


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There's that "Spell Substitution" spoilers now. It's essentially the old "Quick Preparation" except it's now a Thesis, so it will not be Universal to all wizards.

Just gonna say it'll be very hard to compete with this thesis since it can be used unlimited times. I liked it when it was free for all wizards since it wasn't going to dictate builds.


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ChibiNyan wrote:

There's that "Spell Substitution" spoilers now. It's essentially the old "Quick Preparation" except it's now a Thesis, so it will not be Universal to all wizards.

Just gonna say it'll be very hard to compete with this thesis since it can be used unlimited times. I liked it when it was free for all wizards since it wasn't going to dictate builds.

When it was a feat it basically was a feat tax that all Wizards took because of how powerful and flexible it was.

I don’t know what the other Wizard theses are like, but chances are players will now have an actual choice to make w.r.t. their Wizardy abilities, and I see that as a good thing


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ChibiNyan wrote:

There's that "Spell Substitution" spoilers now. It's essentially the old "Quick Preparation" except it's now a Thesis, so it will not be Universal to all wizards.

Just gonna say it'll be very hard to compete with this thesis since it can be used unlimited times. I liked it when it was free for all wizards since it wasn't going to dictate builds.

Yeah, I'm a little worried about that as well. Quick Preparation feels like something that was an auto-pick in the playtest, and then REALLY made wizards the best casters. I was cool with it being something granted for free if sorcerers got something similar to improve their flexibility, though.

So my opinion on this will largely depend on what sorcerers got to replace Spontaneous Heightening and what alternative Thesis options are.


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Captain Morgan wrote:


You ignored the bold bit there. That composite longbow required significant gold investment to upgrade to that point. Cantrips are free. A caster shouldn't be able to do comparable damage at will for free, especially when you consider at will damage tends to be biggest contribution a martial character can make while the caster...

Yes you make a good point., but the cantrip is also 2 actions as opposed to the weapons 1, plus range, and a bunch of other things. I'd suggest increasing the range at the very least. maybe adding a mid-level feat that makes cantrip attacks 1 action instead of 2. Due to overall weakening of casters cantrips are going to be way more important.

Bardarok wrote:

With striking taking up a rune slot and only going to three bonus dice won't max Longbow damage be more like: 4d8+3 Str+2d6 Other runes or ~28

Compared to 9d4+7 ~29.5

You get two shots with the bow which does make it more damaging for the action economy but it probably should be if it is a primary weapon.

I'd argue that cantrips should start off closer to weapon damage and then fall behind because as the caster level ups it's more likely that they are going to use a slotted spell or power so cantrips move from primary combat position for a low level caster to a backup option for a high level caster

Striking grants 4 dice (5 in playtest).


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Erk Ander wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


You ignored the bold bit there. That composite longbow required significant gold investment to upgrade to that point. Cantrips are free. A caster shouldn't be able to do comparable damage at will for free, especially when you consider at will damage tends to be biggest contribution a martial character can make while the caster...

Yes you make a good point., but the cantrip is also 2 actions as opposed to the weapons 1, plus range, and a bunch of other things. I'd suggest increasing the range at the very least. maybe adding a mid-level feat that makes cantrip attacks 1 action instead of 2. Due to overall weakening of casters cantrips are going to be way more important.

Bardarok wrote:

With striking taking up a rune slot and only going to three bonus dice won't max Longbow damage be more like: 4d8+3 Str+2d6 Other runes or ~28

Compared to 9d4+7 ~29.5

You get two shots with the bow which does make it more damaging for the action economy but it probably should be if it is a primary weapon.

I'd argue that cantrips should start off closer to weapon damage and then fall behind because as the caster level ups it's more likely that they are going to use a slotted spell or power so cantrips move from primary combat position for a low level caster to a backup option for a high level caster

Striking grants 4 dice (5 in playtest).

I'll agree with you that cantrip range doesn't tend to be very impressive, but that's a solid use for the Reach spell feat or a comparable range enhancing item. I'm somewhat reluctant to make 1 action cantrips the norm because then they become pretty absurdly good when combined with other actions in the same turn. Being able to launch two cantrips or a cantrip and a fireball in the same turn feels like a lot of DPR.

It also makes casters play more and more like martials, which I dislike both for protecting martial's niche and eroding the differences between how the classes play. Getting rid of touch AC and making spell attacks use casting stat has already eliminated some of that difference.


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Pramxnim wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

There's that "Spell Substitution" spoilers now. It's essentially the old "Quick Preparation" except it's now a Thesis, so it will not be Universal to all wizards.

Just gonna say it'll be very hard to compete with this thesis since it can be used unlimited times. I liked it when it was free for all wizards since it wasn't going to dictate builds.

When it was a feat it basically was a feat tax that all Wizards took because of how powerful and flexible it was.

I don’t know what the other Wizard theses are like, but chances are players will now have an actual choice to make w.r.t. their Wizardy abilities, and I see that as a good thing

When an ability is so good it's an autopick it either shouldn't exist or be granted automatically as class feature. Quick Prep is such an overwhelmingly powerful ability that it could invalidate the other theses unless they're incredibly amazing, which I'm skeptical about.

At least when it was a feat you could still make your wizard normally, it didn't carry much opportunity cost (just a feat slot), now it has a huge one.


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citricking wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Heightened spells shouldn't be as strong as higher level spells.

Not everyone agrees with that…

And that them not being as strong as spells that are naturally that level was only true for some spells (summoning or damage spells). A lot of spells like slow (most non damage/healing/summoning/polymorph spells with heightening options) are comparable to spells of their level.

It does seem a bit foolish to replace the existing set of Summon Monster spells by one spell that can be heightened to whatever level and then say "Well, if you wanted a more powerful one, you shouldn't be using the low level spell." Summon Monster IX has been removed, that's why I'm not using it. There isn't an equivalent.

There may be other specific high level summons, but that's not quite the same.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
citricking wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Heightened spells shouldn't be as strong as higher level spells.

Not everyone agrees with that…

And that them not being as strong as spells that are naturally that level was only true for some spells (summoning or damage spells). A lot of spells like slow (most non damage/healing/summoning/polymorph spells with heightening options) are comparable to spells of their level.

It does seem a bit foolish to replace the existing set of Summon Monster spells by one spell that can be heightened to whatever level and then say "Well, if you wanted a more powerful one, you shouldn't be using the low level spell." Summon Monster IX has been removed, that's why I'm not using it. There isn't an equivalent.

There may be other specific high level summons, but that's not quite the same.

Given the existence of Summon Dragon, it looks like there are going to be a range of summon spells, and the higher level ones will almost certainly be strictly better than heightened lower level ones (as they must be, because Sorcerers exist).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have to agree that summoning seemed lack luster in the playtest. Especially when you consider that you have to use one of your actions to control it. Another thing I found pretty weak was Druid wild shaping. I don't like the fact that you can basically only use the highest level wild shape spell you have access to, if you basically never use the earlier ones ever again since their flat stats aren't good anymore.


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All right, I wanna start talking about the pages we saw from the core rulebook. Thanks to tqomins for transcribing.

First off, we can surmise from the barbarian's proficiency page that classes probably get one less trained skill than the final version of the playtest, but that is made up for by backgrounds granting a skill which creates the same net result.

We know from the multiclass archetypes that dedication's have had their stat requirement lowered from 16 to 14, which is probably good. It is much easier to start multiclassing at level 2 this way, especially without having planned it out in advance. 14 seems like a reasonable investment, and in my experience most players who want to multiclass organically wind up with a stat at least that high anyway.

Champions, though, seem to require both STR and CHA to be at 14. I suppose this makes it harder to dedicate yourself to a god purely to get armor benefits as a puny sorcerer, which I guess makes sense. It doesn't bode well for folks hoping for Dexy Paladins though.

The Bard spellcasting feats seem to reference basic badic spellcasting progression features rather than tell you explicitly what spell slots you get. I'm curious what this looks like.

The champion dedication seems to grant even less benefits, now. No deity's weapon or once per day Reaction. The once per day reaction thing felt kind of lame to begin with, but this does seem to make multiclassing martial into martial even less appealing compared to crossing between casters and martials. Still, the main benefit here seems to be armor and we lack a lot of details on how good heavy armor is now. Barbarians, Brute Rogues, and some Rangers might really like snagging this. A barbarian Champion of Gorum down the line sounds fun.

Diverse Armor Expert seems to pretty much confirm that characters are going to get their upgraded to expert in whatever armor their classes are proficient in, but that's not shocking given the defensive gaps we would have otherwise. I'd hazard a guess that only monks, fighters, and champions will go to master and beyond though.

Healing Touch and Advanced Bloodline both granting 1 Focus point makes me think all Focus spells will cost 1 point to cast and that you may only begin play with 1 regardless of stats. That would actually go a long to explain why Sara Marie only gave Karinna 12 Charisma. The 10 minute Refocus cycle already means she's fine out of combat, but it might not have increased her in combat healing anyway. This has very interesting implications for MAD characters.

On to Skill Feats! In general, I'm a little disappointed how many of these seem the same from the playtest, as skill feats felt like the biggest letdown there. Excellent concept, less impressive specific examples.

Terrified Retreat and Ward Medic are both good feats, but they represent stuff you could do in the playtest without feats. Hard to get excited for them, but they are probably fine.

Titan Wrestler is cool, and I'm glad we got something to throw to folks who want to wrestle. But... I'm not happy that size restrictions on combat maneuvers are a thing to begin with, and paying a feat for it just reminds me of PF1 needing to pay feats to use combat maneuvers without provoking.

Underwater Marauder being the same as the playtest worries me because swimming is such a niche activity in most campaigns that investing multiple feats into it seems questionable; I'd much prefer less feats that scale with proficiency as a general thing.

At the other end of the spectrum, I like Unified Theory as a feat. Feels very appropriate for a high level wizard. And I'm very happy to see feats like Untrained Improvisation and the Pathfinder Dedication. I was sad we lost level to untrained skills, but this feats makes it pretty cheap to get that back without house rules. People who didn't like level to untrained skills don't need to take the feat. Seems like a solid compromise.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
I have to agree that summoning seemed lack luster in the playtest. Especially when you consider that you have to use one of your actions to control it. Another thing I found pretty weak was Druid wild shaping. I don't like the fact that you can basically only use the highest level wild shape spell you have access to, if you basically never use the earlier ones ever again since their flat stats aren't good anymore.

This is implied to be fixed to a degree as shifting spells now seem to scale with your level. The example seen was Dino's Form (level 5 or 6 spell, I forget which) giving an AC of (I think) 18 plus your level. I might have numbers wrong. But the implication of this of course is that other stats and other shifting spells will work this way.

Now that said they won't still stay fully relevant, AC 38 at 20th level is probably not great but it'll take a while to fall truly obsolete, at least compared to the Playtest. AC 32 at 14th level is probably more decent for example.

TL;DR Shifting Spells will take longer to fall out without heightening than they did in the Playtest.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
The Bard spellcasting feats seem to reference basic badic spellcasting progression features rather than tell you explicitly what spell slots you get. I'm curious what this looks like.

My read on this is slightly different; it seems like "what you get from multiclassing caster" has been standardized.

IIRC the caster multiclass feats in the playtest all have the same progression, so this is a space-save. Instead of printing "first feat gives you one spell each of level X to level Y, second feat gives you..." four times, they print it once and reference it for each multiclass. Smart.

Paizo Employee Designer

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MaxAstro wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
The Bard spellcasting feats seem to reference basic badic spellcasting progression features rather than tell you explicitly what spell slots you get. I'm curious what this looks like.

My read on this is slightly different; it seems like "what you get from multiclassing caster" has been standardized.

IIRC the caster multiclass feats in the playtest all have the same progression, so this is a space-save. Instead of printing "first feat gives you one spell each of level X to level Y, second feat gives you..." four times, they print it once and reference it for each multiclass. Smart.

Ding ding ding! This helped with the length of the casters in particular, which was important because every page counts. We wouldn't have gotten those last two pages of rituals I mentioned in the streamed panels as the "final pages" if we didn't get back a page from not repeating. Plus it lets us fit new caster multiclasses in much less space, useful for smaller books!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:

We know from the multiclass archetypes that dedication's have had their stat requirement lowered from 16 to 14, which is probably good. It is much easier to start multiclassing at level 2 this way, especially without having planned it out in advance. 14 seems like a reasonable investment, and in my experience most players who want to multiclass organically wind up with a stat at least that high anyway.

Champions, though, seem to require both STR and CHA to be at 14. I suppose this makes it harder to dedicate yourself to a god purely to get armor benefits as a puny sorcerer, which I guess makes sense. It doesn't bode well for folks hoping for Dexy Paladins though.

I'm still going to be houseruling out stat requirements for multiclassing, based on what I'm seeing. That extra Str requirement for champion is particularly egregious.

I'm still okay with the Multiclass Dedication feats themselves being pretty lackluster, since access to the other class's feats should be the main benefit. For martials multiclassing martial, the unforeseen synergies in feat choices should be well worth the lower value of the initial feat.

I'm still weighing the option of house ruling in free access to other pre-req-free feat lists, though, which would significantly change that dynamic.

It looks like Skill Feats are going to see heavy editing in my house rule document if they're still gating basic or assumed uses of skills.


Erk Ander wrote:
Striking grants 4 dice (5 in playtest).

Per the spoiler #97 it increases damage to 4 dice not by 4 dice. So it only grants three dice.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Champions, though, seem to require both STR and CHA to be at 14. I suppose this makes it harder to dedicate yourself to a god purely to get armor benefits as a puny sorcerer, which I guess makes sense. It doesn't bode well for folks hoping for Dexy Paladins though.

For a dexy Paladin though, wouldn't you start in Champion (which has no stat reqs, but it does boost str or cha I believe) and then multiclass to something else?

It feels like class archetypes, which are mentioned in the core rules but there aren't any yet are the best way to do "a different kind of [this class]" and multiclassing via a dedication is for bolting on the standard version of a different class to your original class.

Like all that's keeping me from playing a Paladin of Erastil in the playtest rules is "I can only start with Dex 16, which doesn't play well with armor" and "I don't have many archery relevant feats in class." We can fix the former with a class archetype, and the latter is fixable by "printing more stuff."


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ChibiNyan wrote:

There's that "Spell Substitution" spoilers now. It's essentially the old "Quick Preparation" except it's now a Thesis, so it will not be Universal to all wizards.

Just gonna say it'll be very hard to compete with this thesis since it can be used unlimited times. I liked it when it was free for all wizards since it wasn't going to dictate builds.

What if the base wizard (before thesis) only has 3 slots per level (like a druid or cleric) and a single use of arcane focus?

The other theses could be the old school specializations and the universalist's multi-use arcane focus.

Would you still pick Spell Substitution? Over a 33% increase in spell slots, potentially including an additional 10th level slot, which - judging by the sorcerer - is worth a 20th level feat on its own?


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
Blave wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

There's that "Spell Substitution" spoilers now. It's essentially the old "Quick Preparation" except it's now a Thesis, so it will not be Universal to all wizards.

Just gonna say it'll be very hard to compete with this thesis since it can be used unlimited times. I liked it when it was free for all wizards since it wasn't going to dictate builds.

What if the base wizard (before thesis) only has 3 slots per level (like a druid or cleric) and a single use of arcane focus?

The other theses could be the old school specializations and the universalist's multi-use arcane focus.

Would you still pick Spell Substitution? Over a 33% increase in spell slots, potentially including an additional 10th level slot, which - judging by the sorcerer - is worth a 20th level feat on its own?

Really it's wait and see mode. We also don't know (100% anyways) if you can pull the old -leave several spell slots empty for later memorization- trick. If you can, this has much less value.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Erk Ander wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


You ignored the bold bit there. That composite longbow required significant gold investment to upgrade to that point. Cantrips are free. A caster shouldn't be able to do comparable damage at will for free, especially when you consider at will damage tends to be biggest contribution a martial character can make while the caster...

Yes you make a good point., but the cantrip is also 2 actions as opposed to the weapons 1, plus range, and a bunch of other things. I'd suggest increasing the range at the very least. maybe adding a mid-level feat that makes cantrip attacks 1 action instead of 2. Due to overall weakening of casters cantrips are going to be way more important.

Bardarok wrote:

With striking taking up a rune slot and only going to three bonus dice won't max Longbow damage be more like: 4d8+3 Str+2d6 Other runes or ~28

Compared to 9d4+7 ~29.5

You get two shots with the bow which does make it more damaging for the action economy but it probably should be if it is a primary weapon.

I'd argue that cantrips should start off closer to weapon damage and then fall behind because as the caster level ups it's more likely that they are going to use a slotted spell or power so cantrips move from primary combat position for a low level caster to a backup option for a high level caster

Striking grants 4 dice (5 in playtest).

I'll agree with you that cantrip range doesn't tend to be very impressive, but that's a solid use for the Reach spell feat or a comparable range enhancing item. I'm somewhat reluctant to make 1 action cantrips the norm because then they become pretty absurdly good when combined with other actions in the same turn. Being able to launch two cantrips or a cantrip and a fireball in the same turn feels like a lot of DPR.

It also makes casters play more and more like martials, which I dislike both for protecting martial's niche and eroding the differences between how the classes play. Getting rid of...

Given that spells are weaker in this edition spell a cantrip isn't necessarily crazy. Also other classes have abilyties they can mix and mash their attacks with.

I'd rather have good cantrips than force casters to use subotimal options as 3.5 did (remember wizards with crossbows).

Also if the casters can rely on their cantrips (when they run out of spells) and not their weapons won't they play less like martials ? The cantrips are here to stay so at-will mechanics ain't going anywhere


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Blave wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

There's that "Spell Substitution" spoilers now. It's essentially the old "Quick Preparation" except it's now a Thesis, so it will not be Universal to all wizards.

Just gonna say it'll be very hard to compete with this thesis since it can be used unlimited times. I liked it when it was free for all wizards since it wasn't going to dictate builds.

What if the base wizard (before thesis) only has 3 slots per level (like a druid or cleric) and a single use of arcane focus?

The other theses could be the old school specializations and the universalist's multi-use arcane focus.

Would you still pick Spell Substitution? Over a 33% increase in spell slots, potentially including an additional 10th level slot, which - judging by the sorcerer - is worth a 20th level feat on its own?

Sounds like a good way to do it, although I believe until we see another wizard path (yeah I'm calling them paths now) speculation is of little use. We haven't seen a single spell table yet as well, so for all we know they might no longer be standardised and just reference a high-magic (sorcs), mid-magic (bards) and low-magic (multiclass) spell table.

About the cantrip discussion, keep in mind that while we got confirmation that rune damage is going down, we were also supposed to get character damage to go up. We had some percentages thrown around, and right now, the numbers don't quite add up... something's missing. We haven't seen it all.


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ChibiNyan wrote:

There's that "Spell Substitution" spoilers now. It's essentially the old "Quick Preparation" except it's now a Thesis, so it will not be Universal to all wizards.

Just gonna say it'll be very hard to compete with this thesis since it can be used unlimited times. I liked it when it was free for all wizards since it wasn't going to dictate builds.

Hopefully there are ways to get the effects of a different thesis. Otherwise yeah, that's going to be the best one to take, and anyone who doesn't take it is hampered with no way to compensate. This is one reason I'm not really thrilled with these "class paths" like Wizard Thesis and Rogue Racket. I don't like abilities being gated behind your 1st level decision without a way to get it later, as well as making them mutually exclusive.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

There's that "Spell Substitution" spoilers now. It's essentially the old "Quick Preparation" except it's now a Thesis, so it will not be Universal to all wizards.

Just gonna say it'll be very hard to compete with this thesis since it can be used unlimited times. I liked it when it was free for all wizards since it wasn't going to dictate builds.

Hopefully there are ways to get the effects of a different thesis. Otherwise yeah, that's going to be the best one to take, and anyone who doesn't take it is hampered with no way to compensate. This is one reason I'm not really thrilled with these "class paths" like Wizard Thesis and Rogue Racket. I don't like abilities being gated behind your 1st level decision without a way to get it later, as well as making them mutually exclusive.

If School Specialization is a thesis and it precludes getting this... Heads will roll...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I believe we have confirmation from one of the #MySpoiler cards that arcane school is still a separate class feature.

I actually wanted it to be a Thesis, but oh well.

Liberty's Edge

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Captain Morgan wrote:
You ignored the bold bit there. That composite longbow required significant gold investment to upgrade to that point. Cantrips are free. A caster shouldn't be able to do comparable damage at will for free, especially when you consider at will damage tends to be biggest contribution a martial character can make while the caster still has, you know, spells.

Yep. This. I was in no way saying it was as good as a dedicated martial, I was saying it was a respectable contribution to combat and much higher than the playtest. Especially with the Vulnerability considerations mentioned.

It also compares quite favorably to a crossbow, IMO.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

There's that "Spell Substitution" spoilers now. It's essentially the old "Quick Preparation" except it's now a Thesis, so it will not be Universal to all wizards.

Just gonna say it'll be very hard to compete with this thesis since it can be used unlimited times. I liked it when it was free for all wizards since it wasn't going to dictate builds.

Hopefully there are ways to get the effects of a different thesis. Otherwise yeah, that's going to be the best one to take, and anyone who doesn't take it is hampered with no way to compensate.

...You say without having a clue what the other theses are... I mean really, we don't have a clue. For all you know the other theses are just as powerful or more. It really seems kinda presumptuous to just assume this is the best one. I mean it might be, but there's no knowing at this point, just because it's an ability we know from the Playtest that was pretty hype doesn't mean that the new options Paizo is making are worse.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

There's that "Spell Substitution" spoilers now. It's essentially the old "Quick Preparation" except it's now a Thesis, so it will not be Universal to all wizards.

Just gonna say it'll be very hard to compete with this thesis since it can be used unlimited times. I liked it when it was free for all wizards since it wasn't going to dictate builds.

Hopefully there are ways to get the effects of a different thesis. Otherwise yeah, that's going to be the best one to take, and anyone who doesn't take it is hampered with no way to compensate. This is one reason I'm not really thrilled with these "class paths" like Wizard Thesis and Rogue Racket. I don't like abilities being gated behind your 1st level decision without a way to get it later, as well as making them mutually exclusive.

We've seen a couple class feats that let you dip into the progression of a different specialization (I remember seeing one for Bard Muses, for example) so I'd expect there's something similar for everyone else. If there isn't I agree with you, your first level decisions dictating your 1-20 playstyle so strictly is one of the things that made 5E a no-go for me.


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Erk Ander wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


You ignored the bold bit there. That composite longbow required significant gold investment to upgrade to that point. Cantrips are free. A caster shouldn't be able to do comparable damage at will for free, especially when you consider at will damage tends to be biggest contribution a martial character can make while the caster...

Yes you make a good point., but the cantrip is also 2 actions as opposed to the weapons 1, plus range, and a bunch of other things. I'd suggest increasing the range at the very least. maybe adding a mid-level feat that makes cantrip attacks 1 action instead of 2. Due to overall weakening of casters cantrips are going to be way more important.

Bardarok wrote:

With striking taking up a rune slot and only going to three bonus dice won't max Longbow damage be more like: 4d8+3 Str+2d6 Other runes or ~28

Compared to 9d4+7 ~29.5

You get two shots with the bow which does make it more damaging for the action economy but it probably should be if it is a primary weapon.

I'd argue that cantrips should start off closer to weapon damage and then fall behind because as the caster level ups it's more likely that they are going to use a slotted spell or power so cantrips move from primary combat position for a low level caster to a backup option for a high level caster

Striking grants 4 dice (5 in playtest).

Striking grants 4 total dice, in the playtest you got 5 extra dice for a total of 6.

Liberty's Edge

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oholoko wrote:
Striking grants 4 total dice, in the playtest you got 5 extra dice for a total of 6.

It's thus very plausible (though by no means certain) that you get extra dice from just being high level (or something else) in the final game.


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Be either 5 or 4. It still makes martial classes just some random using a rare magical weapon, which is a shame.

This will definitely will be the first rule I'll remove. Hopefully, it doesn't require a lot of effort, but even if does, it's being scraped. No more mandatory "choices" anymore for my group.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
oholoko wrote:
Striking grants 4 total dice, in the playtest you got 5 extra dice for a total of 6.
It's thus very plausible (though by no means certain) that you get extra dice from just being high level (or something else) in the final game.

I think is plausible that more features like paladins 'smite' and fighters 'PA' become viable adding dies for conditions or actions in feats. And that you gain small increments of damage with class, like the barbarian feature that came out in the spoiler.

Lightning Raven wrote:


Be either 5 or 4. It still makes martial classes just some random using a rare magical weapon, which is a shame.

This will definitely will be the first rule I'll remove. Hopefully, it doesn't require a lot of effort, but even if does, it's being scraped. No more mandatory "choices" anymore for my group.

I can understand that even if i do enjoy adding dice to magic weapons, i just like the concept of money being able to buy some power after all. But i do hope some general feats or some rituals make it possible for a char to instead of using weapons or armor gain those bonus without using weapons and stuff.

Maybe a vow of poverty-like feat that you gain stuff for donating instead of buying and the bonus go up as you level being able to be changed with a ritual that takes some small objects you get from the people you donate to.


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Nah man. Buying power just cheapens the whole value of having a magical item. Specially when items that don't offer any unconditional and mechanical benefits like these are never going to compete. On top of them not competing, the math of the game actually expects the players to have these items at the intended levels, which makes them catch-up items and not actual benefits. Hence the term "mandatory choices".

I would rather spend my character's money on stuff that let me do things that he can't already do... Which the Big 6 (or whatever the number) don't do at all, they just let you keep doing what you're doing. The huge difference now is that if in PF1e you did -5 dmg because you lost your best weapon, now you're dealing with a loss of 4 whole dice to your attack. This issue has been brought up often here with people actually making math to showcase the huge disparity that is losing a weapon in PF1e and PF2e. In PF2e the disparity is so huge that your back-up weapon to bypass DR will actually net you LESS damage, than just simply swing your best item at the monster.


Lightning Raven wrote:

Nah man. Buying power just cheapens the whole value of having a magical item. Specially when items that don't offer any unconditional and mechanical benefits like these are never going to compete. On top of them not competing, the math of the game actually expects the players to have these items at the intended levels, which makes them catch-up items and not actual benefits. Hence the term "mandatory choices".

I would rather spend my character's money on stuff that let me do things that he can't already do... Which the Big 6 (or whatever the number) don't do at all, they just let you keep doing what you're doing. The huge difference now is that if in PF1e you did -5 dmg because you lost your best weapon, now you're dealing with a loss of 4 whole dice to your attack. This issue has been brought up often here with people actually making math to showcase the huge disparity that is losing a weapon in PF1e and PF2e. In PF2e the disparity is so huge that your back-up weapon to bypass DR will actually net you LESS damage, than just simply swing your best item at the monster.

I always felt in pf1 it was even worse, lost your death-ward item. Oh yeah you are dead, lost your +save item guess who is killing the whole party today?

But yeah i am biased in that cause i want magic weapons that do matter, even if i do like the idea of a slower progression if you lack the weapon. Something like gaining the striking rune bemefot but with -4 to -5 levels(The first kicking at level 8 or 9 instead of 4) with a feat or ritual to get them to the same level.


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So casters cantrips have stat mod to damage at first level, I think they're fine. If they're too weak at first/low levels that's a problem with low level spells being bad so that when they increase in power with spell level they aren't too much better than martials (or because of lacking other class features at low levels because of the power of spells at high level, especially the playtest sorcerer and wizard, hopefully that's changed)


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I expected the designers to take advantage of building a new system from scratch.

This was an issue in PF1e and it's been in every system where you create the christmas tree effect. It was said several times they wanted to do away with it. Over and over and over.

Yet, here we are. Potency runes (i'm assuming they still do what they did) and Striking runes made it into the final release. Now, I'm eagerly looking for ways to get rid of them and enjoy the rest.

Frankly. I would love if instead of keeping these in the game, they spent more effort making weapon traits that actually changed the way a martial character engaged with combat. The ones in the playtest were mostly minor conditional bonuses... They definitely didn't show the idea of "play differently depending on the type of weapon you choose".

It would be way cooler to choose your weapons based on its utility, rather than pick one of them and sink all your gold keeping it relevant. Because that's what it is. You spend your money as a martial character, to stay relevant.

The best way to implement extra dice, for me at least, would be having all the named weapons offer different variations of the base weapons. Extra dice, different dice, bigger benefits that normal weapons give. Etc. On top of them offering cool magical effects. You get a +1 dice and it's a actual benefit in the grand scheme of things, not a +4 (striking) to keep the damage relevant.


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Lightning Raven wrote:

I expected the designers to take advantage of building a new system from scratch.

This was an issue in PF1e and it's been in every system where you create the christmas tree effect. It was said several times they wanted to do away with it. Over and over and over.

Yet, here we are. Potency runes (i'm assuming they still do what they did) and Striking runes made it into the final release. Now, I'm eagerly looking for ways to get rid of them and enjoy the rest.

Fortunately they've hinted at an optional automatic bonus progression system being in the core rulebook, which should take care of weapon/armor concerns.

Unfortunately the new multiclassing system was designed to reimplement some of the drawbacks of the old system, just because those things were true in the old system (not being able to multiclass until level 2 and level X/2 abilities not being appropriate for level X characters when X gets high)


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citricking wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:

I expected the designers to take advantage of building a new system from scratch.

This was an issue in PF1e and it's been in every system where you create the christmas tree effect. It was said several times they wanted to do away with it. Over and over and over.

Yet, here we are. Potency runes (i'm assuming they still do what they did) and Striking runes made it into the final release. Now, I'm eagerly looking for ways to get rid of them and enjoy the rest.

Fortunately they've hinted at an optional automatic bonus progression system being in the core rulebook, which should take care of weapon/armor concerns.

If true, then this is very much welcome for me and my group. We've been playing for a while now with ABP and it will stay for good.


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Lightning Raven wrote:
citricking wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:

I expected the designers to take advantage of building a new system from scratch.

This was an issue in PF1e and it's been in every system where you create the christmas tree effect. It was said several times they wanted to do away with it. Over and over and over.

Yet, here we are. Potency runes (i'm assuming they still do what they did) and Striking runes made it into the final release. Now, I'm eagerly looking for ways to get rid of them and enjoy the rest.

Fortunately they've hinted at an optional automatic bonus progression system being in the core rulebook, which should take care of weapon/armor concerns.

If true, then this is very much welcome for me and my group. We've been playing for a while now with ABP and it will stay for good.

I've written the ABP ruleset for the playtest and playing it right now, and it sounds like that was a big push for them to reconsider +5 weapons (initial surveys supported that choice).

Personally, I feel tentatively positive about the final ruleset. We don't have everything, but we have enough to run some math and notice what fits and what doesn't.
For now? It sounds good to me.

Liberty's Edge

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Lightning Raven wrote:
Potency runes (i'm assuming they still do what they did)

This is demonstrably untrue. We have Bestiary stats for monsters using weapons. They do not add dice of damage to +1 weapons and the like. A +1 weapon seems to add purely to hit, not to damage.

Striking replaces Potency as such rather than adding to it.

Now, we don't have definitive evidence of PCs getting bonus damage dice in their own right as of yet, but I repeat that it's very plausible if we're to see the same total damage as the playtest, which seems extremely likely.

This is especially true since the explicit reason for the drop from +5 weapons to a max of +3 weapons was to remove some power from items and make it inherent in the characters. We know for a fact that's true on to-hit and Skills (there's a revealed level 19 item that gives only +3 to a Skill) given the increase in Proficiency and reduction in items...why would anyone assume it's not also true of damage?

Paizo Employee Designer

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On the surveys, you guys resoundingly said that you wanted to reduce the amount of damage and bonuses the PCs got from items and rather have more of it be from your progression in your class and your choices in building the character, but you also resoundingly did not want to remove those +items entirely, so we did what you guys asked. That being said, I've been pushing for options to remove those bonus items entirely since my first days here (when I asked to find space and get the ABP added to Unchained after the text all came in); even though not many people wanted that option percentagewise, that's still a lot of people that did, so we're going to get that to you as soon as possible. We've announced our first RPG book after launch is the GMG this winter!


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I mean, it's long been my fantasy to be able to play a martial character who, like John Wick, is a force to be reckoned with if he's holding a pencil, a book, a belt, is next to a horse, etc. PF1 eventually gave us those magic gloves that gave you enhancement bonuses to improvised weapons, but even then it was the magic gloves making that barstool, red snapper, cutting board, tuning fork, etc. super dangerous.

So I, for one, am excited to get something like ABP back.


One alternative for the weapon damage progression, would be to tie the additional damage dice to proficiency.

So untrained and trained remain the same, but each tier after that grants an additional damage die.

So an expert in a type of weapon would not only hit far more often, but also be more deadly when they hit with their weapon, which makes sense, but I’m not sure how this would compare to the current damage progression.

Liberty's Edge

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Horizonwalker wrote:

One alternative for the weapon damage progression, would be to tie the additional damage dice to proficiency.

So untrained and trained remain the same, but each tier after that grants an additional damage die.

So an expert in a type of weapon would not only hit far more often, but also be more deadly when they hit with their weapon, which makes sense, but I’m not sure how this would compare to the current damage progression.

We know this isn't the direction they went since Fighters are Experts at 1st level and do not receive another damage die.

They could theoretically have done bonuses at only Master and Legendary, but that still makes Fighter get a bonus die over everyone else at 3rd level, which is bad design and pretty unlikely.

They could've redesigned Fighter and made this workable, but that does not appear to be a thing that actually happened.


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MaxAstro wrote:

I believe we have confirmation from one of the #MySpoiler cards that arcane school is still a separate class feature.

I actually wanted it to be a Thesis, but oh well.

We have confirmation that there's a wizard feature called "Arcane School".

It might just be the name of a thesis that bascally says "Pick one school of magic and get one additional spell slot per level that can only be used to memorize spells of that school".

Though I admit that it seems unlikely that the Linked Focus feat from the spoiler wouldn't list "arcane school thesis" as prerequsite in this case.

Anyway, I hardly ever use quick study on my playtest wizard and I hope some other theses will provide interesting and equally powerful alternatives. Also, Quick Study (or Spell Substiturion, if you will) seems a bit less "must have" if you can get situational spells on re-usable wands. Or pick up feats like Scroll Savant.


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Turning Quick Preparation into a thesis seems like a huge mistake. This was a cool option most people seemed to love and always wanted to pick, when I heard people talking about it being turned into a default class option that made a lot of sense. Turning it into a thesis doubles down on the initial problem and means that if you want it you might have to play a flavor tax to do so.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, it's long been my fantasy to be able to play a martial character who, like John Wick, is a force to be reckoned with if he's holding a pencil, a book, a belt, is next to a horse, etc. PF1 eventually gave us those magic gloves that gave you enhancement bonuses to improvised weapons, but even then it was the magic gloves making that barstool, red snapper, cutting board, tuning fork, etc. super dangerous.

So I, for one, am excited to get something like ABP back.

Definitely this. Certainly the hero with a magic sword is an archetypal fantasy idea, but the hero is still usually the hero even without it and the magic sword usually has some special effect or allows the hero to overcome some unique obstacle rather than it just being something required to meet his expected to-hit and DPR benchmarks.

I'm glad to hear ABP is coming back and immediately available, but knowing that we'll have to convince groups to use alternate rulesets to make heroes who aren't at the mercy of the gobs of bonus stats they get from gear is a little disappointing.

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